A feral cat dubbed Mason was supposed to die within a few months of TinyKittens rescuing him in autumn 2016.
Instead he would go from a snarling scrapper to a sedate grandfather of most of the kittens that the Langley-based animal welfare group tended. Despite his terminal kidney disease, he survived 1,069 days longer than expected and eventually came to accept humans.
This week, it came time to say goodbye to Grandpa Mason who became a sensation around the world for his tender way with kittens.
TinyKittens made him comfortable in his final hours before a veterinarian visited Thursday. Tests earlier this week showed his kidneys were failing.
According to a TinyKittens Facebook post, he spent those final hours resting with kittens around him.
“This morning, he got to meet Angela’s kittens. His respiration rate had increased a little bit, and after a few minutes with the babies, it was right back down to normal,” the Facebook post said.
Grandpa Mason became the face of TinyKittens internationally as the group tried to spread the message about feral cats not being considered disposable and the need for spay and neutering.
In March of 2018, TinyKittens actually had to put out a public plea for kittens for Mason to foster because all the ones the organization had were adopted out. Mason even had his own Facebook page.
“I’m grateful for every single day, even today as all of our hearts are shattering into a million pieces. This is the sunset I hoped I could give him; the final gift he so deserved; at home, in peace, free from pain and surrounded by love and kittens,” TinyKittens posted on Mason’s Facebook page.
Reaction to the news of Mason’s passing came from around the globe.
Inger Marie Nielsen said “I am sorry like you. I live in Denmark and I cannot stop crying. He was so gently and sweet with all his small kittens. Thankful for knowing you, Grandpa Mason.”
“The outpouring of love for Grandpa and Shelly [Roche, founder] and TK from around the world is amazing. Grandpa Mason will always be the king of the internet kitties. I will miss him so much. Hugs to you, Shelly,” said Californian Carol Wenokur.
• See how the video of when Mason first came to TinyKittens: