B R O W S E ....
The rad story of two of the best kitties, Mylo and Otis!
This is one of the hardest, raw, emotional, and possibly long stories I will tell here. The story of Mylo and Otis, how they came to be a part of our family, and how they decided to leave us.
Kittens on The Farm
When I got back from working a Summer in Alaska, I was living in La Crosse at the time with my ex-boyfriend. Well, I was living partly with my parents and partly with him. Due to not having a job yet in La Crosse, I had one near my parents. My brother told me about a litter of kittens that were dropped off on the farm. And I wanted to bring one home the next time I was back in La Crosse.
I went to his house to choose one; only two were left. I knew I wanted Otis because he was such a fluffy, light orange color. But I didn’t want to leave Mylo alone, so I took them both. Drove them back to La Crosse with Mylo screaming bloody murder, the only 2ish hour drive. Otis just hunkered down next to him. (Mylo always was the protector).
We got to the apartment, set up their little box, and got their food and water ready. I was all ready to wean them into litter training. But, that was unneeded; they just knew what to do—never having an accident.
Life in La Crosse & Breaking into My Apartment
While in La Crosse, these kitties were my salvation. We only lived in La Crosse for a short time. Due to my ex being emotionally and verbally abusive. They cuddled me while I was home, as I could not leave the apartment without my ex. When I would hide in the bathroom, they were always with me. I hugged them while he screamed on the other side while I sat on the floor. (Since then, they were never far from me when I was sick or having a bad day, they were always there to cheer me up)
During one of my weeks at home, I decided to break up with him but had to get the kitties and my stuff back. So my sister drove me back to La Crosse while he was at work so I could get my things and kitties. When I arrived, I found a new lock added to the door. My ex added a lock, so my key wouldn’t work. I panicked.
Called my friend at his work to see if she could get his keys for me, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t call the landlord as he ensured not to have me on the lease. But, I wanted to try one thing I always saw on TV. I used my driver’s license to try and open the lock.
So we grabbed everything I wanted, along with the kitties. My sister and I returned to my parents, where we lived for a few months!
Think they are cuddling and being cute? Well, they are actually fighting over the chair & Mylo licks Otis to annoy him until he moves. (if he moves)
Small town Living and Cuteness
While l was living with my parents, Mylo and Otis lived in a bedroom downstairs. My parent’s kitty, Spike, didn’t like intruders, so we kept them separate. We all made sure to visit them and keep them company. A few times, Otis would jump on us and climb our pant legs. He always loved being picked up and cuddled.
Then a few months later, my sister bought a house, and we all moved in together. It was then Me, My Sister, her kitty Maggie, and my kitties Mylo and Otis.
They were in my room for a while only so they could slowly get used to Maggie. Never whined to get out or clawed at the door. They just waited for me to come home or chill with them.
Once we let them fully roam, they loved running around, playing together, clawing the furniture, and watching all the birds outside.
There is where we lived for about a year or so before Justin, and I got an apartment. I still lived between my sister’s place and his as I worked in a different city.
Becoming a Family of Four
Once I fully moved Mylo and Otis into our apartment, and all four of us were together, it was the best. The kitties got spoiled with having a deck at each apartment we lived at. They would go outside and nap all day.
One day, Mylo was the risk taker when he jumped on top of the railing and accidentally fell off. Justin was home at the time, heard a light thud, and when he looked outside, Mylo wasn’t there. So he ran downstairs, and Mylo puffed up and scared, looking inside the door. He never did that again!
Our last apartment in Stevens Point lived on the 2nd floor, with stairs leading from the front door. The cats simply LOVED that! They were run up and down while playing with each other. They even chased the laser pointer up and down.
It had an attached garage, and they spent a lot of time there. We NEVER really knew why they loved it in there, but they really did. One day Otis came up the stairs carrying a HUGE spider in his mouth like a prize. He just dropped it and looked at it. We quickly smooshed it. But, we still both think it was a brown recluse. How he didn’t get bitten, I don’t know. He was always a good spider hunter; yes, he would sometimes eat them. When we came home, they were always waiting for us at the top of those steps.
We lived there for two years before deciding to move to Madison.
Otis is on his favorite lap, Justin’s. Since he likes to be warm, Justin is a human heater.
Otis’s first scary visit to the vet!
There was a stretch after we brought home a new couch that Mylo was peeing everywhere. He peed on the couch, me, floor…all over. We thought it was because of the new couch. Nope, he had a UTI. We had no idea, and after getting him some drops from the store, it cleared up and—no more issues.
Then Otis started doing the same thing. But, it didn’t clear up. We wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the vet. We found that he also had a UTI, they ended up keeping him for a few days, and he came back to us as good as new.
This is also when we found out how close the bond Mylo and Otis had. Mylo was always looking for Oti, and looking at us, confused. So we thought bringing him home would be a happy reunion. Nope.
When we brought him home, Otis didn’t smell like Otis. And Mylo hissed and growled at him. So we had to barricade them apart for a little over a month. They could only smell and see each other through a little homemade barricade we made.
I remembered a trick my Mom taught me growing up. When we would take kittens to a new home with other animals, she would put vanilla on their noses and the kittens. This way, everything smelled like vanilla. So I did that, and it worked wonders!
Life in Madison
Wow, life with these kitties in Madison has been a rollercoaster!
Our first apartment on the West Side of Madison was so small that their little box was in a hall closet. My office was in the living room behind the couch. The head in that place was hard to regulate, so it was always so chilly in there during the winter. So the kitties would always be snuggling us. Mylo would curl up right by my chest when we first went to sleep. It was his way of keeping me warm, along with himself. Otis would curl up by my feet or on the couch by Justin’s butt while he slept.
Each morning they would cuddle me while I worked or watched TV in the bedroom. I would always cover Otis up with a blanket to keep him warm. He was always a chilly kitty who loved to be bundled in a blanket. On the other hand, Mylo was always on the warm side and cuddled us to keep us warm.
This apartment also had a mouse that lived on our deck that the cats loved. They would stare through the window and wait for it to pop out. One day one of them carried inside the apartment. We caught it and safely returned it to its home. And yes, we totally bought food to feed it.
Otis with his cone, thankful to be back home and better.
Otis Almost Dies
Justin and I went on a road trip to Montana, leaving the kitties for a week or so. We had a friend keep an eye on them and clean their litter box, but since they hid from her, she didn’t know that Otis wasn’t doing well.
While on our way home, we were going to spend a night or two in the Badlands, but I had a feeling we needed to be home. So we drove all night to get home. When we got home, Otis was not well at all. We looked up vets and took him to A Breed Apart the following day.
During the vet visit, we discovered he had bladder stones and needed fluids and removal. We left him there and picked him up later that day. This went on once a week for a month. So we needed to make a decision. Let him go, or give him the PU surgery. The surgery wasn’t cheap, but we knew it would provide us a few more years. Thankfully a traveling doctor was available that week, making it more affordable.
He had the surgery and came home with an adorable cone that scared Mylo a bit. But Mylo warmed up quickly, knowing that Otis would be OK. They cuddled, and a week later, Otis got his staples out, and he was a brand new kitty. We were so thankful we had him back and a kitten again.
My cuddling his dino on his favorite blanket
Covid and Fire Alarms
The second apartment we all moved into was in Middleton. We chose this apartment because it was in a quiet area with so much light, a pool that we used a lot, and an amazing kitchen. But, we were NOT told about the monthly fire alarm tests. Yes, they tested the fire alarms in the apartment building by floor once a month. They advertise pet friendly but terrify pets monthly with fire alarms.
Thankfully we were home for all the fire alarm tests and would stand on chairs with a pillow pressed against the alarm to muffle the sound. But, each and every time, the cats rad terrified under the couch. This is a warning to those wanting to rent Paragon Apartments. We were beyond angry about it. Since then, when one of ours goes off, Otis pees himself and hides. While living in Stevens Point, we had a touchy fire alarm that went off often and rarely terrified the cats as bad as it does now.
This is also the apartment we quarantined with the kitties during the beginning of Covid.
We were thankful it was in an area that allowed us to walk without many people, and the kitties could get outside for fresh air too! They loved having us home 24/7, that is for sure!
We only moved out because the company rented our apartment without telling us, another thing we are angry about.
What I loved about this apartment and the kitties were how Mylo would watch the sunrise every morning. Check out this Insta Post to see an adorable video. I always woke up to him staring out at the corner of the bed. We put up a bird feeder, and it was kitty TV outside.
Otis always came into the bedroom after hearing my alarm to cuddle.
Stoughton, their final Home
While looking for apartments during Covid wasn’t easy, we found an amazing place in Stoughton, Wisconsin, that was bigger and cheaper. So we signed a lease as soon as we could! They loved it here so much! So much to look at out the window.
This is also where they learned about trains. Yes, a train just across the street blows its horn. It took a bit for them to get used to, but after a while, they just stood up and watched it go by. We just had to make sure to close the Windows in time so it wasn’t loud.
This apartment had a lot of light they sunbathed in all the time, a loft where we could throw treats down for them to chase and eat, and where their ultimate love of blanket forts was formed. When they were too warm, they stood in front of the air vent to cool down. And during the winter months, Otis ran to the vent every time it turned on to warm himself up.
When it was nice enough, we could let Otis into the stairwell with the door open, so he could look out and check out the squirrels that would chew on our door frame. He would often fall asleep down there. Since we didn’t have a deck, this is what he used as a substitute.
Before our new couch was delivered, we used our camping chairs to sit in the living room. Otis fell in love with them, as it was like a kitty hammock. Hugged his body just right.
Mylo and Diabetes
Last year we had a scare with Mylo where he stopped eating and couldn’t poop. So we talked to our vet, and they told us to bring him in. He got blood work done and some fluids. We learned he had diabetes. We got trained on how to feed him, check his blood sugar, and give him his shot twice a day. Getting him back to healthy was rough, as he wouldn’t eat. But thankfully, after some appetite stimulant, he quickly returned to his old self.
We hired a cat sitter to give him shots while we were away, and all was great! But, sadly, the sitter did something to start hating strangers and them. So we had to cancel many trips and find a new sitter. It broke our heart because Mylo always warmed up to strangers. He always wanted to be where people were. But, whatever happened stopped that.
Nearly a year later, we came home to a nearly dead Mylo on Memorial Weekend. We took him to a vet, and they were super worried. He got some tests and two days of fluids and came home. After about a few weeks, he was back to his old self.
I must note that these two HATE the vet. Otis has bitten a vet tech through the protective glove. And Mylo hisses and growls when anyone comes near him. He got a muzzle during his first visit. But that is also how they knew Mylo was NOT ok the last time we brought him in.
Otis worried about Mylo and the start of the end.
When Mylo got super sick over Memorial weekend, Otis was so worried he stopped eating as much. He was also super sad. Just as they were both starting to become their old selves. Otis had problems pooping. So we took him in the first thing to our vet.
While there, we learned that he had some backup; they gave him fluids and cleared it all out. We were told that he might have Hepatic Lipatosis, but it couldn’t be confirmed without an ultrasound that they couldn’t do. So we brought him home with pain meds and instructions to take him to the Emergency Vet early in the morning.
I brought him home and made him a comfy spot in my office under my desk. He chose this spot, and as I sit here, my heart breaks, knowing his last day here was in this room.
Before we took Otis to the vet, we noticed Mylo wasn’t eating much and hiding in his fort all day. We thought it was just stress from worrying about Otis, the construction outside, and high blood sugar. When cats are stressed, and it spikes their glucose, insulin may not help much, so we got him some anti-anxiety meds. They helped relax him and get his levels down a bit. But, he still wasn’t eating.
Kitty Bunk Beds & Mylo just taking it all in.
Said Goodbye Just in Case
I cuddled Mylo one last time and said goodbye to him just in case. He looked at me the whole time. After he wobbled back down to the floor. I went to Otis and did the same thing. I thanked them for coming into our lives, being the best cats ever, and wished them hundreds of years of happiness running and sunbathing.
We woke up at 430 am (after only sleeping two hours) and took them both to Madison Veterinary Specialists. Since we were already going and we were worried about Mylo, we figured we just take them both. When I picked Mylo, the cry that came out of him was so sad and scared. It was a sound nearly of us have ever heard come out of him before. It broke out hearts.
Six Hours Later
During the six hours, we were at the vet waiting, watching pets come and go. We were finally brought into a room to learn their diagnosis. I learned that they were both in liver failure and Mylo had a bad infection they couldn’t figure out.
Before all this, we did discuss what we wanted to do if we couldn’t afford to help them or if it would only add more suffering. These were the hardest conversations we’ve ever had with one another. We cried so much. So much so that our eyes and noses are still red and sore.
We discussed it all with the doctor and decided to stop their suffering.
We signed all the paperwork and paid our crazy big bill. (when we got into the car to leave, I just sat there and said, “we paid 1300 to help our cats, and we are going home empty.”) Then we went to their comfort room, where we cried for an hour while waiting for them to bring Mylo and Otis.
When they came in, we got to hold them for as long as we wanted before they put them to sleep. Justin and I were told it wouldn’t take very long due to how sick they were. And what may happen during. Mylo and Otis were going to remember being held by us and falling asleep.
While I held Mylo, he saw that we were crying, and his eyes got scared, and he started crying. Otis looked defeated and ready. We are happy we were all together, and they got to go together.
We made sure they were facing each other and told them we loved them and were sorry as they fell asleep. Mylo had to let out one last attitude by sticking his tongue at us all. I think he wanted us to have one last giggle. He always found a way to make us giggle in the last 14 years.
We think they knew and were ready….
When Justin and I got home we talked about the past six months and how I kept saying something was different with them. They were more cuddly, Otis was always watching us when we did something. They stopped fighting over the sleeping spots and they ate a lot more human food. (we only gave them stuff that was cat friendly and never very much)
It was like they knew they didn’t have enough time and wanted the time they had to be the best for us all.
The day before we took Otis to the vet, Mylo was whining becasue he didn’t know where Otis was. So we took him upstairs where he was hiding in our closet. They had a brief moment and then he cuddled Justin for a bit before coming back downstairs. Just after that Mylo took his turn.
It was like they had a brief conversation that we imagine went like this:
Mylo: Man, you ok?
Otis: No, man I don’t think I can hold on anymore…I’m done….
Mylo: I was holding on for you, I don’t think I can go anymore either….
When Mylo came back down, he decided it was OK to let go, and stop fighting.
They had such a strong bond, they wanted to fight for as long as possible for each other and us. But, they just couldn’t anymore.
We are so thankful!
We are thankful these two cats came into our lives and brought the brightest light to daily life. They were the best. The good far outweighed the annoying and bad parts. They will be greatly missed.
We are thankful they were together when they went and will be together for all eternity together. Playing, sunbathing, and eating all the treats and bacon they want. In a place of only calm, no trains, doorbells, or fire alarms.
We are also soooo very thankful for the people at A Breed Apart and Madison Veterinary Specialists. They were the kindest people through it all.