If this week were not emotional enough, we have other bad news.
Mr. McKinley passed away Saturday night.
McKinley, who would have been 11 this June. McKinley, who was part of our Danville story as we adopted him in December 2004, shortly after moving to town.
McKinley, who would come running when J would come from work and say “Where’s my mister? Where’s my mister?” McKinley, who loved head butts and giving kisses. McKinley, who was best at lazy weekend naps and snuggles.
McKinley, who would sleep on our pillows in between us every night. McKinley, who moved with us from Virginia to New Hampshire. McKinley, who never minded when we left him alone time and time again. McKinley, who we abandoned and handed off to my parents in New Jersey when we left to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2011.
McKinley, whose name was shortened to McK by my dad. McK, who didn’t want us to take him back when we returned from the AT and spent the last 4 years of his life being spoiled by my parents.
Shortly after we returned from New Zealand, my parents said McKinley had been acting strange, not coming out from under the bed and acting very sluggish. An initial vet visit and bloodwork revealed low white blood cell counts and some dehydration. The vet ordered a course of antibiotics, vitamins and more monitoring. But this Saturday, my parents said he took a turn for the worse and hadn’t peed in 3 days. They spent 6 hours at the vet’s office getting more tests and X-rays, which revealed a shrunken kidney. The vet thought it could be either cancer or an autoimmune disease. The vet suggested overnight observation so they could give him IV fluids and steroids.
He died that night. It was kidney cancer.
My parents deserve so much credit. They truly gave him more attention than J & I ever could have given him these last 4 years. I know he was happier because when we came to visit, he wouldn’t sleep with us. It was them who took him to the vet several times these past few weeks. It was them who monitored him every day these last few weeks. It was my mom who laid on the ground under the bed and hand fed him food and helped him take a few sips of water. It was them who had to watch him suffer.
Between his 7 years with us and 4 years with them, I am sure we brought him great joy and happiness. But I’ll venture to say that he brought us all even more and there will be a hole in our hearts forever.