Miles Nickle Fernandez - 2006-2010

A moment of silence, for Miles - the four-year-old black tabby who carved a groove on my shoulder and a deep, infected gouge in my heart. As you can see by the picture above, he was an agile, merciless little familiar of a cat - named for Miles Davis, so as to make a matched set with his lifelong house-mate Dizzy.  Miles was never a picture of health - he spent the first few months of his life locked in a room while he worked the ringworm out of his system. He never did get rid of the feline herpes, so endured a life-long bout of the sniffles that, while endearingly cute, would have driven any lesser cat insane.

Miles was not insane. What he was, was deeply and persistently affectionate. He liked shoulders best, but he was also fond of waking up his humans with a relentless kneading-of-the-bladder, or a damp, snotty head-butt. He ate head-phone wires like licorice, and refused to pay for the replacements. But no one complained. Everybody loved Miles. Miles loved everybody.

He died Friday night, after a week in the tender and competent care of The Animal Clinic in Toronto.  There was something with his kidneys - to the end, no one could figure out precisely what. But whatever it was, it wore him down, and wore him out, and by dinner time Friday, it was time.

He was cuddled by the people who loved him most for hours before that time came.  A whole day. Then the results of his last blood test came, showing that there was only really one course.

The veterinarian warned us about various indignities we might witness: he might twitch, or yowl, or void his bladder when the anaesthetic overdose took effect.

He was quiet. He was still. And having thoughtfully insisted on using his litter box just minutes before the veterinarian returned, he was dry.  He finished his life with immense dignity, in the loving arms of his humans. And that's something.

Miles Nickle Fernandez.  Four years old is too damn young.