Biko by Suzanne / Your ever loving Mama

Let me start by saying, Biko was my son. He wasn’t “like a son” to me. He was my son, my child. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to adopt Biko when he was 10. At the time, I didn’t know how he would change my life. I also wasn’t sure how I would adapt to having a cat when I was used to dogs.

Biko and I bonded very quickly. He was the king, very spoiled, very charming and entertaining. He did not want any other animals around. He enjoyed being the one and only king of the household. Biko came into my life at just the right time. I truly believe God brought us together. Biko’s owners were not able to keep him,
so I took him and gave him a home.

Biko moved to several different places throughout the country with me. These moves were very stressful and emotional for me (and probably for him as well since he did not like change and hated to travel), so having his constant companionship was very important to me. I do not think I would have made it through some of the events of the past 6 1/2 years were it not for Biko being at my side, my faithful friend and companion.

Biko was healthy all along. Everyone said he did not look nor act like a 16 year old cat. He had an overactive thyroid that was diagnosed this past July, but it wasn’t bad and everything else looked good, so I decided to do the procedure right away that would take care of the thyroid problem once and for all. I did not want to wait and take any chances that Biko would suffer damage to his heart or other organs if I let the thyroid condition go on too long. After that, he was still doing well and all tests indicated that things had gone as they should.

Then, only one month ago, I came home to find Biko not acting at all like himself. I could tell something was wrong so I took him to the vet right away. To my complete and total surprise, they diagnosed him with liver cancer. They told me one event (the thyroid issue) had nothing to do with the other (the cancer). Here I had tried so hard to take care of the thyroid to prevent any further complications and he got cancer anyway. It came out of nowhere and it progressed with lightening speed.
In only a little over 3 weeks,
Biko was gone.

At first, we were going to try some different options, but when he had another bad episode this past Sunday night and further X-rays showed just how fast and how much the cancer had progressed, I could not put him through any more pain. My son, my child, my little buddy, my faithful friend and companion, Biko, was trusting me
to take care of him.

I knew the only decision was euthanasia, so that his pain would be gone. Through tears, I held him while the vet gave him the injection. It was fast and painless and I knew he was free from pain. It’s amazing how fast the whole procedure is over and then you just realize they are gone. I held him in my arms and brought him home with me, wrapped him in a favorite blanket, placed him in a small pet casket, included some pictures, toys, and a St. Francis medal, and then buried him in my backyard.

It has only been 3 days since this happened and I cannot yet believe it is real. The house feels so lonely, empty, and quiet without him. I miss my little baby so much. I feel the pain will never end. I always thought Biko would live to be at least 20 because he was such a feisty little guy. However, cancer took all that feistiness and energy away in such a short period of time. I know he is not suffering anymore; he is at peace. However, I am suffering so much and grieving for him. I miss him terribly and wonder how life will ever be the same without him. I did not know on that day 6 1/2 years ago, June 19, 1999, when I brought Biko home to live with me, that he would capture such a huge part of my heart and change my life forever. However, that is exactly what he did. He and I are bonded for life and I will never, ever forget him.

I love you, Biko, and I will always miss you. I am so grateful to have been your Mom even if our time together was too short. I hope I did the best for you and that you were happy with me. I pray that you are happy in Heaven and pain free. I hope you are playing with my childhood dog (my “sister”), Sabrina. Of course, you would have had to have learned to like other animals in the after-life for that to happen, but I’m sure you do now. I firmly expect to see you again one day. How joyous that reunion will be.

I ache to hold you in my arms again and will look forward to the day when we will be together in Heaven. I love you!


With lots of love and gratitude
for the gift you were in my life,
12, December 2005