A terminally ill cat’s final day before being euthanized has been chronicled in an emotional video posted to TikTok by his owner.
Quin Gable choked back the tears as she described embarking on one “final adventure” with her beloved cat, Otto, who had been struggling with an aggressive form of cancer.
The loss of a much loved pet is keenly felt by those they leave behind. One 2008 study published in the journal Marriage & Family Review estimates that pet grief can last anywhere up to a year.
But while every pet is special, Gable had more reason than most to feel a sense of loss at Otto’s passing, given the incredible journey they went on together.
When he was alive, Otto formed part of a formidable feline double act alongside his “brother,” Atlas, having been adopted as a pair from an animal shelter in Chicago, aged just 4 months old, back in 2019.
“I saw them in there together and decided they were perfect,” Gable told Newsweek. “They had both been in the same cage together for two months after being found on the streets of Chicago as kittens.”
Straight away, Gable could tell there was something special about Otto. “Otto was more like a dog, honestly,” she said. “From the moment I brought him to my Chicago apartment, he started playing fetch.”
Otto and Atlas were there for Gable through the worst of times, during the pandemic, when she decided to leave a job in Los Angeles and head down to her father’s farm in Colorado.
That was where she taught Otto to hike and they developed their own special routine. “After work, I would put Atlas in his backpack and Otto in a harness and leash and we would do about 3 miles every few days,” she recalled. “Otto loved rock climbing the boulders and sprinting on the trail.”
Best Friends From Day One
Eventually, Gable’s love of the outdoors and ability to explore the wilderness alongside her two feline companions inspired her to take the plunge. She quit her job, bought a van and hit the road with Atlas and Otto, chronicling their adventures together on TikTok.
She’s spent the past two years creating memories that will last a lifetime – memories with Otto front and center. Together they climbed boulders across Moab, watched the sun rise on Washington’s Chain Lake Loop Trail and hiked to Wahclella Falls in Oregon.
She loved Otto and Atlas’s company on these incredible adventures, while she remembers the two cats as being “best friends from day one.” Gable said: “They always fell asleep together, played together in the van and my personal favorite would be on walks, Otto would hide in the bushes to scare Atlas.”
Otto was the more adventurous of the two, often heading off to explore the local surroundings in the day, but always returning to the safety of Gable’s van as night drew in. He was tough too, with Gable recalling how he came to Atlas’s rescue once when he was being chased by a dog. “Out of nowhere, Otto jumped out of the tree and started attacking the dog,” she said. “Everyone was fine but it was incredible how he protected his brother and was fearless.”
‘Everything Happened So Fast’
Otto was only three years old. There should have been so many more adventures, so many more nights under the stars with Gable and Atlas. But that tragically won’t be the case.
Gable had initially become concerned after noticing Otto was losing weight. At first, vets thought he might have had worms. It was only when she sought a second opinion that the heartbreaking truth emerged: Otto had an extremely rare and very aggressive form of cancer. “He was given 2 weeks to live,” Gable said. “Everything happened so fast.”
Eager to make his final days as comfortable as possible, Gable took Otto and Atlas back to her dad’s Colorado farm where he first learned to climb trees. Eventually, Gable could see Otto was reaching the end. “I knew it was his time when he stopped climbing trees, playing with Atlas, grooming himself and walking,” she said.
Gable organized it so a vet came out to the farm to help Otto “cross the rainbow bridge.” But before then she organized one special final day with her beloved cat. Together with Atlas, they watched the sunrise together, took Otto’s paw print and gave him “1 million kisses.”
Atlas Says Goodbye
Then as the vet helped Otto pass on, something special happened. “Atlas climbed a tree,” Gable recalled. “He doesn’t climb trees and it was the one Otto always climbed and watched him pass.”
Gable said that Atlas has been struggling since his best friend passed on – but it’s brought them closer together.
“For about 4 days after, he did try to go searching for him in different rooms of the house, his backpack and the blackberry bushes Otto used to sleep in,” she said. “Atlas isn’t super cuddly towards me, but ever since it happened he’s been sleeping next to me. He is doing ok, but he is such a social cat and needs a friend.”
Having given Otto the send-off he so richly deserved, Gable decided to share the video of his final goodbye with her followers on TikTok. At the time of writing, the video has been watched over 12 million times.
Writing alongside the clip, Gable said: “I will miss the way you pet my shoulder to get under the covers. I will miss your peach tree climbs and rim trail hikes. I will miss you protecting your brother from dogs. I will miss the play fights you and Atlas have while on our morning walks. Otto, I love you more than life itself.”
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
Rest in paradise sweet Otto. Many said you'll know when its their time and on Thursday Otto had let me know it was time after his breathing had increased to an extremely uncomfortable level due to cancer. I will miss the way you pet my shoulder to get under the covers. I will miss your peach tree climbs & rim trail hikes. I will miss you protecting your brother from dogs. I will miss the play fights you and atlas have while on our morning walks. Otto, I love you more than life itself.♬ Glisten by the Wind – nick leng