Leo came into our lives in 2009 as a kitten around the holidays. His first Christmas was spent sitting up in the Christmas tree and wreaking havoc by knocking down all the ornaments. For those first few months, he slept on his Ryan's chest every night. |
Leo loved to run and play. Despite all the nice toys we bought him, his favorite toys were twist ties from loaves of bread and the pieces of plastic you peel when you open up gallons of milk. We also had to make sure we hid paper towels from him, because he was known to rip them up and scatter them around our apartment. He loved to sleep in the sun, next to us in bed, and especially on top of the couch! A total lap cat, he would always INSIST he sit on your lap, even while you already had a laptop or your homework there. He also liked to jump from the floor to the shoulders of his favorite humans. This often came as a surprise. You always knew when he expected to be fed in the mornings because he was known for knocking things off the dresser until it woke you up. He loved Ryan and Sarah so much that often, when we would walk out the door, we could hear him meowing as if he instantly missed us. You could also see him sitting in a window awaiting our return. He unfortunately had no manners and was known to steal bread right off your plate. Chewing cardboard was one of his favorite pastimes.
For the three years we had Leo, he lived in four different houses and apartments and had several different companions, all of whom he loved to run, play, and snuggle with. He had such a sweet, loving, fun personality, even self-proclaimed cat haters found themselves captivated by Leo. Leo was Sarah's comfort and her best friend when Ryan was away on deployments and made her feel less alone. Sarah woke up every morning with Leo snuggled up next to her.
Unfortunately, Leo was not destined to have a long life. On the night of November 14, 2012, while Sarah was taking a shower, Leo passed away suddenly on the bathroom floor. He was only three years old. Emergency room veterinarians believed that Leo suffered from cardiomyopathy, a condition that often shows few or no symptoms until it is too late. They believe that what took Leo away from us was massive heart failure as a result of this condition. In hindsight, all the things we had noticed about Leo's breathing, his snoring, and his laziness all began to make sense.
Leo was an amazing cat who showered everyone he met with love and affection. He was our angel, our best friend. Though his life was short, he has left us with enough memories to last a lifetime and we are so lucky to have been his guardians. We are better people because of him. We miss him so much and life without him has proven difficult and painful, but we take solace in the fact that Leo had a wonderful life that was full of the most important thing in the world: love. He was so loved by us and he radiated love in return. He was truly one-of-a-kind.