King’s nurse takes in beloved cat as patient’s dying wish

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A nurse at King’s College Hospital has taken in a popular rescue cat after its owner died at the end of life while being cared for.

Angelica and Mango

Cat lover Angelika Timberlake treated the patient in December 2020 before she was discharged for one last Christmas with her family.

Angelika explains: “The patient’s nurses helped her to talk to her son on the phone regularly and we heard her insist that the vet shouldn’t put him to sleep.

“Then she told us about Mango, who showed up on her doorstep a few years ago when one of her sons died.

“She said she thought Mango was sent to care for and comfort her.

“When we were helping the patient make plans for her palliative care, she asked if we knew anyone who could house her cat.

“Unfortunately, I had lost my own cat the year before, Charlie, and offered Mango to take him in and see if he would make himself comfortable.”

Angelika kept in touch with the patient and sent her updates and photos about how Mango had settled in until its owner died in early February.

Since then, he has had nine teeth extracted and treated for a number of serious health problems, but he has recovered well.

“He has a preference for sardines and vegan ice cream and likes to wear a bow tie,” added Angelika.

“Mango is pretty peculiar, he doesn’t like wet paws, sleeps in his own bed and takes medication.

“He’s a very cuddly cat and it was a real privilege to take care of him.”