Chango was born on September 19, 2004, while my coven was having a Mabon ritual at my house. We knew his mother was pregnant, as we'd been feeding her and her two older kittens for quite a while. Our first glimpse of him on the day he was born (we have a picture in our main computer, which is on the fritz right now) was of an orange and white ball of fur surrounded by four black balls of fur (his sisters).
Because they were in danger from a construction crew who didn't know they were there, Martin brought them all inside when they were three weeks old, along with their mother. We eventually found homes for two of them, but Mama and the other three stayed with us, and we took in the two older kittens as well.
Even when they were still nursing, Chango always had to be in the middle of things. He had soulful golden eyes that made you melt looking into them. He was spoiled rotten, and got into the habit of whining when he wanted something. He loved to cuddle and be carried like a baby, but kneading was his life. As a human, he would have made one hell of a bread baker! He was constantly rushing between my feet to get into my altar room so he could sprawl on the floor and hang out with me there. He brought love and laughter into our lives, along with some frustration and a few tears.
A couple of years ago, he barely survived an infection that started in one fang and spread to his lower jaw. I told him then that he couldn't die before we paid off the $845 bill. I don't think he made it, but it wasn't for lack of trying.
Last month, we found that his liver had failed, and he had a less than 33% chance of the medication helping him. Fortunately, it did, and we were given six extra weeks with him. However, a few days ago, he began going downhill again, and this time the vet found a mass in his abdomen. He told us frankly that, even if he managed to successfully remove it AND even if it wasn't cancerous, having two serious medical situations so close together meant that Chango's chances of surviving another year were low. Because of this, combined with his age and the prohibitive costs, we decided to let him go. We didn't want him to have to go through all this misery a third time. So the vet gave him a tranquilizer before the final shot, and we held him and rocked him until he fell asleep.
Losing a beloved fur companion is never easy; it's even harder when you are with them from almost their first breath to their last. Then they're more like your children. On Monday we will take him to where our other children in fur are buried.
Bast and Sekhmet, please guard your brother Chango, and guide him safely to wherever our beloved cats go!
We love you, Chango! Rest in peace, Mango Boy.