January 30, 2010

Bye to an old friend

There is a heavy sadness today. Last night my wife's cat of 23 years passed away. Oscar has been part of the family almost ten years longer than I have, and he has known the girls since the day we brought them home from the hospital. When I first met him he was a healthy twenty-two pound cat who loved to jump in your lap and wanted nothing more than to be loved by someone and petted.
We have known for quite some time that this was probably Oscar's last year. Last night he yeowed, stumbled and went behind the couch. I glanced behind me just in time to see that he was moving slowly and I saw him wobble. I pulled the couch out just far enough away from the wall so that Aly could squeeze in to lift him out. She was crying and said, "Mama, I think he's sick."
His eyes were cloudy and we gently covered him in a towel because he was cold. We suspect that he may have had a stroke.
We thought of taking him to the vet but we knew they would just put him to sleep. And since he wasn't howling out in pain, we chose to keep him with us.
He looked at each of us as we all gathered around him. Lois held him in her lap as we all sat around and cried like babies. She told us all the Oscar stories that we've heard time and time again and we all laughed and cried.
I eventually had to go to bed because I had to work and the girls and Lois camped out in the family room. The girls set up an airbed by the couch and Lois curled up on the couch with Oscar in her arms.
At 1:30 this morning Lois came upstairs crying and said that Oscar was gone.
It has been a long time since I've felt this sort of grief. Sitting here I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I am thinking of my wife and the pain she must be going through. I am thinking of my youngest daughter who woke up this morning only to learn about her beloved friend and then who fell back to sleep with tears on her face. And later this morning, the other will wake up to the sad news and the crying will continue.
I have not seen our family shed this many tears in a long time. And as my friend Renee said the other day, "Hard times."
Please stop by and offer your condolences to my wife at Miscellany.

20 comments:

Laoch of Chicago said...

Very sad news. The loss of a family member is eternally sorrowful.

Laurie said...

I'm so sorry about your beloved Oscar ...he sounds like a great cat! And he will be missed.

kristine said...

I went there first.

I am so sorry for your loss of oscar. nothing can replace the love and companionship of a well loved pet.

23 years. wow. we had our dog for 10 - i still miss him.

you are a very special family.

kristine said...

I went there first.

I am so sorry for your loss of oscar. nothing can replace the love and companionship of a well loved pet.

23 years. wow. we had our dog for 10 - i still miss him.

you are a very special family.

*mary* said...

I'm so sorry about Oscar, you guys. I know it is hard. My thoughts are with you all.

Pop and Ice said...

So, so sorry for your loss of Oscar. Now I'm tearing up thinking of my kitties in the recent past that left way too soon.

Krëg said...

Man, I'm sorry. Losing a pet is always rough.

23 years is an incredible run, and I'm sure you guys made every minute of it a pleasure for Oscar.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Laura Hegfield said...

so sorry for your loss Beaux. Our kitty Lev died a warriors death earlier this fall in the woods behind our house. He was young. Only 4. But we have lost long time friends too, Clydie was 18, Ginger 16, Ebby 11. It's always so hard, every single time.

Indigo said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I take in strays and get them healthy and re-home them. To hear of a cat so loved for so many years is heartening and gives me hope. Please know you're in my thoughts during this sad time. (Hugs)Indigo

I left this same comment for your wife.

Chew said...

Oh, I am so sorry about your
kitty:( It made me cry because it reminded me of our family dog, Bart who dies 4 days after Alexis was born. It's amazing how they become apart of the family, not just as a pet.

I hope your family is doing alright:)

Debra W said...

Beaux, I am so, so incredibly sorry about your loss. Our pets are just our children in furry clothes and so, we love them just as deeply. 23 years is an amazingly long life for a cat, and Oscar had the very best life with Lo and your family. Three years ago, my twenty-one year old kitty, Chloe, passed away, and I still miss her deeply. It got to the point where Mark(who told me, "No more cats!") went out and bought me two kittens for Chanukah a few months after Chloe passed. He knew how much I was hurting and how large that empty spot in my heart was. Well, the kittens were the best gift that he ever gave me. Even though I still miss my Chloe, I have been able to share the love that I felt for her with Callie and Jesrsey, my crazy Cornish Rex kitties. I would have been just as happy with a pound kitty, which is what we usually do, but Mark picked these guys out because he read that they are a particularly friendly breed. They are! Having them around helped me to heal.

It is too soon for you to bring another furry baby home, but when the time comes, Oscar would want you to. You will never be able to replace him, but you will be able to close that hole in your hearts a bit by loving on another sweet kitty.

Gentle healing hugs,
Deb

nollyposh said...

(((Hugs)))

One of my lovely neighbors is going through that same 'last week' with their beloved dog and i have just been patting his dear old head... Loss of a family member is always hard but is something our children need to learn in order to not be afraid... Your beautiful cat had given them a great gift <3

Debbie said...

I am so sorry for your loss of Oscar. Our pets are such a vital part of our families.

Lille Diane said...

I am so very sorry. That is such a long, long time to have had him but it's never long enough. I believe we will be reunited with our fur babies. My 17 year old doxie traded her fur suit in for a sparkly one almost 2 years ago. I still miss her so. Sometimes she comes to me in a dream, all wiggly, and smiling--as if to say "I love you, Mama, and see... I'm happy here and can see you from this side." A love like this can never be taken from us. I wish I could hug you all~

MODG said...

I had a cat pass away. I'm still not over it. It's hard because a lot of people don't like cats and just don't understand. I feel for you.

Anonymous said...

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nollyposh said...

Dear Beaux,

When i was in hospital having a mastectomy
my wonderful bloggy friends kept a candle
burning for me on their blogs...

If like me you would like to do the same for our dearest Renee
follow this link... the Angels can see it too

http://www.animationlibrary.com/animation/25473/Realistic_candle/

(Ps) Pass it on x

ZDub said...

Hugs to you guys, I'm sorry about Oscar. I know that cat had a badass life.

Kimberly said...

23 years...wow.

~*~ Crystal Iris~*~ ~*~Photography~*~ said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

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