In loving memory of our Little Hiro

Hiro passed away peacefully in his sleep early this morning. He was on the little red flannel blanket I had sewn for him. Totally at peace.

We want to thank all friends and readers for your very kind prayers and wishes for Hiro throughout his short final battle with his illness. Please know that your compassion and support mean the world to us.

I am crying as I write this, but I am also comforted that his battle is over. I did not want any prolonged suffering for him. He fought bravely, even still eating yesterday morning.

Today was supposed to be the appointment for his first vaccination with Indra.

Hiro was brought to our porch at dawn on 16th March 2023 by his mother, Misty. I took him to the vet’s and he was diagnosed with severe flu and a collapsed right lung. But with medication, after two weeks, he made a complete recovery and was given a clean bill of health.

Little Hiro had been remarkable right from the start. He used the litter box dutifully, he stayed in his little kitchen nursery and he obediently took all his medication without even the slightest resistance. It was such a pleasant experience looking after him.

As I’ve always written time and again, “Little Hiro is such a good kitten”. And he really was.

He would greet us at the door whenever we came home from anywhere. He ate his food so happily but he could only eat small amounts at a time.

He had his special place on the sofa but would always do us the courtesy to greeting us whenever we came to bed. He took turns to sleep with my hubby and I so that we would not feel “neglected”. He was such a sweet and adorable little boy. How can anyone so young be so thoughtful, we wondered in amazement.

He would accompany me while I did my work on the computer. He had his special place on Jayden’s cloth book under the table just beside my desk.

He played with Jayden and was his constant loyal companion.

I suspected something was not right with Hiro when he remained very small in size and could not put on much weight. He only started eating well recently, but I thought that was because he needed to recover from the collapsed lung and I thought I should give him time.

Within days after eating very well (I bought him whatever food he liked and he took a great liking to beef chunks), Hiro suddenly wasn’t active and started being very choosy over food. That was when he started going down. I wasted no time in taking him to the vet’s.

It was discovered that Hiro was FIV+ (his mother, Misty is also FIV+, tested when spayed), and acquired FIV from the mother during pregnancy, is very challenging. A neonate’s immune system isn’t developed or matured yet, so it is very difficult for him to fight the virus. Immediately, I got him the RetroMAD1, the only anti-viral available to mitigate the effects of these deadly feline viruses.

Just after three days of this discovery, again, there was a worse discovery – Hiro had IMHA. This was devastating, because IMHA in one so young would be fatal. The vet explained that this was due to the FIV. His own body was now destroying his red blood cells. His PCV had already dropped to half within three days. The vet said the prognosis was very poor but I still got him all the injections that he needed with hopes that these might still help.

I never gave up doing my best to help Hiro and to make him more comfortable. Even yesterday I was still consulting four vets asking them what else I could do and I got new supplements for him.

Throughout this final five days, Hiro remained steadfast. He tried his best to eat and I totally empathise that when one does not feel like eating, we should respect that. It wasn’t easy deciding on the best possible way – to force feed or not? I finally had to take a moderate path and I only managed to give him glucose water last night. That would be his final meal.

I was relieved that the painkiller must have made him comfortable as he was able to sleep most of the time. Pain management is very crucial in palliative care. For this, I am thankful for the medicines.

Our Little Hiro passed away very peacefully in his sleep early this morning. He was lying on the little red flannel I had specially sewn for him when he came.

It has only been exactly 37 days that he has been with us. And yet, within this very short time, Hiro had endeared himself to our hearts so much that we will never forget him and his lovable and adorable ways will remain with us for a very, very long time. Cherished. Forever.

Hopefully in time, the grief of losing our little one will be replaced with all the sweet memories of these 37 days that he was with us.

From stardust to stardust, until the next Big Bang, our little Hiro, be free now!

In loving memory of Little Hiro, our very big hero.

When Hiro first came with eye discharge and the collapsed lung.

Hello, look for Hiro!

Our little Godzilla!

Jayden’s playmate.

Peek-a-boo!

He was very brave too.

Hiro’s last video with Jayden two days ago.

Thank you so much for being a part of our lives, Little Hiro.

We will always remember you very fondly and with lots and lots of love.


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6 responses to “In loving memory of our Little Hiro”

  1. CW Lee

    My deepest condolences Dr. Little Hiro is free from all suffering now, he departed with no regrets as he had received all the love from you within these 37 days. It reminds me of my little Tiger too who came & left in just 7 days. Knowing that We have done our best for them is enough & comforting but we just cannot control nature and the universe

    1. chankahyein

      Thank you very much for your kind and comforting words, Ms Lee. Yes, there are so many things in life beyond our control. We can only do our best.

  2. enny

    My deepest condolences to you, Dr. Chan. It has been a joy for me reading aboutLittle Hiro story from you everyday. It has been only a little over a month since knowing him, but I already adore him very much. I’m very heartbroken when he was sick. But, at least he is not in pain anymore. Thank you for taking care of him, Dr.

    1. chankahyein

      Thank you very much for loving Little Hiro, Enny. And thank you for your comforting words.

  3. AW

    I am so sorry so read this. Little Hiro was an adorable kitten and I would have wished for him to get old and chunky.
    I found your blog because I was looking for people who use RetroMAD1, but I think you never mentioned it afterwards – did you give him the RetrMAD1?
    All the best

    1. chankahyein

      Yes, I started him immediately on RetroMAD1. Sadly, we couldn’t fight the FIV in his little body. He had an auto-immune (IMHA) condition.

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