Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oscar Part 2: It Matters More than I Thought

I stared at the paperwork through tear-welled eyes...I had been fine until I needed to make decisions: blood tests, a catheter so medication could be administered more quickly in an emergency, “this test is required if he’s over seven, but he’s only 4 and-a-half so it’s your choice,” biopsy back in a week, emergency phone number.... If I were the parent of an actual child I’d have been a wreck.

Oscar was a kitty when he found my parents four years ago in October. He came home with me about 2 weeks later. All he’d had to do was show his face and big eyes through the weeds at the opening of a culvert. I’m such a sucker.

He became Oscar immediately: easy going snuggler, playful, somewhat blind. It took awhile to figure-out that last one. I thought it odd that he’d ignore kibble at his feet, yet would chase one skittering across the floor. I’d never seen a cat stumble over a pillow on the floor, but he did and then continued on his way as if it happened all the time it happens all the time. He rousted-out a nest of bunnies and chased one zig-zag across the backyard -- the Wild Kingdom right in my backyard! I was fascinated. Until he caught it here's the deal: if you make him drop it then YOU have to deal with the half-dead bunny. I think everything finally clicked the day he leapt toward the bed and totally missed it, landed four-footed back on the floor, cocked his head, then trotted off.

He’s got established pathways around furniture, his whiskers are about half the length of those on a typical cat because they get so much use, he rarely runs, he often taps a paw ahead of himself before taking a step forward through a clothing-strewn room, he won’t jump on anything taller than a sofa. The vet confirmed that his eyes have no defined blood vessels. He sees movement, but not much else.

Studies show that a pet is a calming presence (1, 2, 3), but Oscar also amazes and amuses, which is probably why I find myself more attached to him than I’ve been to others. That full realization hit as I sat at the vet’s signing paperwork for a lump removal. I imagined him suddenly gone, and I about lost it. If it turns out he’s got kitty cancer, I’ll have time to get myself ready. I just wasn’t ready on Friday.

- OB


George said...

When my wife and I were first married, I took in a stray cat.

Dave was deaf, half-blind, had no hair on it's ears or parts of her body, but she was a cool cat.

Sadly she died about a year after we took her in but at least the last year of her life was comfortable.

Hoping for the best........

Pete said...

My mother-in-law is the queen of rescuing kittens from strange locations, and I know how attached you can get to them after a rescue. Good luck to you and Oscar.

Ptelea said...

My heart skipped a beat when I read this - I will be hoping for the best. My kitty suffered a medical crisis a year and a half ago. I cancelled a work trip to spend time with him and everyone understood. We share your pain.

the old bag said...

Thanks to all of you!

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i miss all my kitties.


shyte ~ that sucks.

i'm going to look at O's picture again and then think good thoughts n' crap like that. couldn't hurt, even if it gay as all hell.

the old bag said...

oV -- thanks for the good thoughts. Things look good for now!