Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Little O

Losing a pet is never easy. They come into your life with little to no expectations and leave a lifetime of memories and love when they go. My cat Oreo did just that.

I was still in High School when my Dad brought her home. He was in a parking lot when he witnessed a car pull up, open the door and set a kitten down. I believe they came back once only to change their mind again and leave her there all alone to fend for herself. My Dad couldn’t leave her there, so he scooped her up and brought her home.

My sister and I had allergies to cats (or so we thought) so we knew we couldn’t keep her. My Mom said that they would probably end up taking her to the Humane Society if they couldn’t find a home for her. A few days passed, then a week. No allergies from my sister or myself and the next thing we knew, we were at the vet getting her checked out.

The Vet told us she looked to be around 6 weeks old or so, probably born around the first week in April. We picked a birthday for her and called her Oreo since she was black and white and reminded us of an Oreo Cookie.

We had a Golden Retriever at the time and he didn’t seem to mind her at all. It took her a little adjusting to get used to him, but eventually they became BFF’S until he passed away three years later. Oreo was on her own and would be for the next 10 years. My parents never got another dog and would later divorce which is how Oreo and I ended up together. I am the only one of my family members who has been with her since the beginning.

When I moved into my first apartment, she came with me, and then to my second. She has been around for so many milestones in my life and I never questioned whether to leave her with my parents or anyone else. She was my baby.

In 2008 Eric and I bought our first house together and she was the one who got to celebrate with us. Ten months later we got Brody (our over-sized Beagle). They adjusted well to one another. She was already 13 so being up in age, she didn’t show a whole lot of interest in him!

17 years is a long time for any pet to live and I did my best to give her a good life. She suffered from hyperthyroid and was put on medication earlier this year. It made a world of difference and really perked her up. Her hearing was gone and had been for about a year and a half. My life became overly busy due to having twins but I tried to give her what I could.

Last Friday morning, I think she may have had a stroke. She was on her side panting and her breathing was really rough. She got it under control but would only drink water and milk and not eat. Saturday and Sunday was more of the same as I monitored her. Around 9pm on Sunday her breathing became shallow and I knew the end was near.

I struggled with having to make the decision of whether or not to put her down. This was the first time I have had to deal with this on my own. I didn’t want to be the one that had to make that call, all I wanted was for her to go on her own peacefully and not in any pain. I stayed with her until 1am Monday morning, said good night and good bye.

At 4am Eric woke up and found her, she was gone. He woke me to tell me and then the next thing he said completely put me at peace. She was under the Christmas Tree. Oreo loved the Christmas tree. We have two artificial ones and she would gnaw on the branches. My heart melted when I came downstairs to see her. She took her last breath under the Christmas tree, one of her favorite places. She found her peace and in turn gave me peace knowing that she wasn’t in pain and I didn’t have to make that heart wrenching decision.

I decided I wanted to have her cremated so she could always be with me. I even cut a couple of pieces of the tree to have cremated with her. She was the start of my family. It was her and I and we welcomed Eric, Brody, Pharoah, Alex and Evan. I want her to remain with us through the years wherever we may go.
May you rest in peace my Little O...until we meet again. 
I will love you forever.

Oreo - April 2, 1996 - December 9, 2013 - 17 years old

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful cat, but I'm glad that her passing was peaceful and that she lived a long and wonderful life. This post really hit home for me, as December 9th is the anniversary of my cat's death as well. Losing a family pet is so difficult. xoxo