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

A King’s College Hospital nurse has taken in a much-loved rescue cat after its owner passed away while receiving end of life care.

Angelika and Mango

Cat-lover Angelika Timberlake was treating the patient in December 2020 before she was discharged to spend one last Christmas with her family.

Angelika explained: “Staff caring for the patient helped her make regular phone calls to her son, and we overheard her insisting that ‘the vet mustn’t put him down’.

“She then told us about Mango, who had turned up on her doorstep a few years ago, around the time one of her sons had died.

“She said she thought Mango had been sent to look after and comfort her.

“As we began helping the patient make plans for her palliative care, she began asking if we knew anyone who could rehome her cat.

“I’d sadly lost a cat of my own, Charlie, the year before, and offered to take Mango in and see if he’d make himself at home.”

Angelika kept in touch with the patient and send her updates and photos about how Mango was settling in until his owner died in early February.

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

“He has a liking for sardines and vegan ice cream, and happily wears a bow tie,” Angelika added.

“Mango is rather particular, he dislikes wet paws, sleeping in his own bed and taking medications.

“He is a very cuddly cat and it’s been a real privilege to look after him.”


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