2018 has started off on a sour note. Earlier today we sadly said goodbye to our beloved cat, Oscar. He was just under ten years old and had been with us for most of that time. Part of me still can’t quite believe it, while the other part is utterly heartbroken.
To us, Oscar wasn’t just a pet. He was an integral part of this family. A familiar presence that we valued just as much as our (human) children. Everywhere I look I expect to see him. Whether that is flat on his back, shamelessly star-fishing on the rug while I blog, or out on the deck under the table out of the suns reach.
I feel kinda’ lost at the moment. Maybe a bit disbelieving or in shock. I keep expecting to see him. The hardest part will be putting the food bowls away and it’s something that just can’t be faced today.
A SUDDEN CHANGE
I noticed something was wrong on Friday morning. Oscar normally wakes with me, becomes my shadow while I potter about in the kitchen and then stands by the back door to be let out. He did none of that. In fact, I didn’t even see him. We hardly did all day because he spent the majority of his time under our bed. He didn’t even come and spend the evening on the arm of the sofa like he normally does.
Becoming concerned it might be more than an off day, we checked him thoroughly for ticks in the evening. We found nothing but made the decision to watch him closely the next day. I told Hubby I’ll know if he’s still feeling bad because he won’t get up with me in the morning.
As you’ve probably guessed, Oscar didn’t join me. Instead his lethargy got worse and he became unsteady on his back legs. He didn’t eat or drink so come mid-afternoon Little Man and I took him to the emergency animal hospital.
The triage outcome was for Oscar to stay in overnight because he was dehydrated and also so blood testing and an ultrasound could be performed. I called for an update around 9pm and was told that they think it’s chronic renal failure with some secondary issues. The following morning I prepared myself for the worse outcome and sure enough, I was delicately told there wasn’t really anything more to be done. My beautiful boy had jaundice, renal failure, kidney stones as well as a urinary tract infection with a high possibility of stuff going on with his gall bladder and liver too.
THE FINAL MOMENTS
Fortunately my good friend could come and watch the kidlets for us while Hubby and I made the third and final trip to the animal hospital. We had a good half an hour alone with our first born where we got him to purr really loudly and talked to him. I thanked him for looking after me all those times Hubby worked away. Through tears we both told him how much we’d miss him.
When it was time, Hubby decided to wait outside. I wanted to be there, I felt it was the least I could do considering all of those times Oscar was there for me during my hardships. I talked to the lovely vet and told her how he would never leave my side when I had all of my miscarriages. This made her have a bit of a cry too and she remarked how she felt honoured to be able to be with such special animals during the end of their much loved life.
And then he was gone.
THE LAST FEW MONTHS
Since October, Oscar had adapted to become an outside cat. Something he had clearly wanted for a long time and I’m so glad he had chance to enjoy the open. His favourite thing was lying on our paving path or up against the house – just out of reach of the children of course. He would come and help me hang up washing and follow me about as I tended to the garden bed. Other times he could be found lazing on the deck, especially if we were out there too.
I actually don’t have many photos of Oscar outside, I simply thought I had more time. However what I do have is gorgeous memories and they’re all extremely happy ones. Thinking of him makes me smile. I feel privileged that he was in our lives and that he loved us unconditionally.
We had ten short years with Oscar but his presence will continue to be felt for the rest of our lifetime. He really was a special little soul.