Well, it’s been a week. Just one whole week since we’ve had to have our oldest cat in the house put down.
Oliver was his name. A fully orange with some white strands of fur on his belly and chest cat. We got him in the mid-90s. Blondie was about three or four years old at the time. We’ve had our lab Katie for a few years, but I don’t recall having Chance yet. Since my sister and I were young, we liked watching Disney movies, the movie Oliver & Company was pretty big in our house, but then again so was The Aristocats. My dad brought him for my mom as an early birthday present. I actually remember that day, Blondie and I were sitting in our large living room and one of them carried him into the room, of course he was itty bitty and freaking out that two kids wanted to pet and snuggle with him. When mom let him go, he took off like a bottle rocket underneath the couches. I didn’t understand why he was so afraid, but now I do! He and Blondie would grow to have a love/hate relationship after a few days he was brought home. My mom had given him a bowl of milk and my sis sat on the floor watching him I guess, he wasn’t in the mood to eat it so she decided to “help” him along and pushed his face right into the bowl. What is now a funny story to tell was pretty scary for my mom and the cat at the time.
When he was starting to get more comfortable with us, he’d play with her more, at this time he had all four claws. As they would “play” more and more, poor sis had to wear long sleeves shirts because Oliver had used his claws on her good. These two would still be at each other’s throats. Blondie had a thing of teasing him with different toys, those sticks that had the string at the end, yeah she’d use those and he’d jump up to grab them. Sometimes he’d get very angry and just as you go to walk away, he’d attack your leg and then she’d turn around and swad at him. It was a miniature boxing match between a five year old and a cat. While he had a complicated friendship with her, I kind of liked him. Growing up and this is going to freak out a LOT of people! I wasn’t a big fan of cats. He liked to be alone and sleep. Not very entertaining to a young girl, unless he picked your bed to sleep in that afternoon. I think he only liked me because I didn’t fight him as much and I always gave him the best chin rubs. I would play with him using pencils and socks. In a way, I think I turned into an introvert because of him, if that can even happen! The only problem we had with each other is that I ran over his tail at lot more than the dogs’ tails. Oops!
Blondie was the only one to have a love/hate relationship with one another, my dad and Oliver weren’t as good buddies either. My dad swears up and down that he hates cats, but yet he came home with Oliver. Technically, it was his fault that Bootsie never made out of our backyard and which lead to three future litters of kittens. At the beginning, Oliver was trained to be an inside cat. He used the litter box and even cleaned after himself very well. Once as we moved out to the country side of town, somehow Oliver managed to become more of an in-outside cat. He’d come in at night only to be led out in the mornings. This worked out well even after we moved back in town after a few years. I remember one winter day, quite frankly it was in the same month. It was 2008, Oliver wanted to go outside. He kept meowing at Blondie, I guess she got irritated at his meows and let him out. Well, then it snowed. A lot. My mom was very worried about him because nobody could find him. Dad had always said that he goes underneath the house whenever its raining or it’s cold. Poor sis was worried and then five days later, there he was sitting up in the front porch waiting for dad to let him in. That was a good day for everyone, but Oliver.
In 2012, maybe a little bit earlier than that Oliver had been “missing” for a few hours. When mom or dad discovered him, he had hurt his eye pretty bad. It was red, runny and absolutely disgusting! He didn’t look like he was any pain though and he could walk straight without running into any walls. Kind of sad when a cat who basically can’t see out of one eye walks better than you driving a wheelchair with your feet. Anyways, my mom took him to the vet and he said he looked good! He wasn’t necessarily blind, it sure as hell looked like he was though! We all think he had gotten into a fight with a neighborhood cat and since he doesn’t have front claws, this was his wound of the battle! After that, he was officially back to indoors. A little later after that, we started noticing that he wouldn’t clean after himself when he’d go to bathroom. He’d clean the walls but not his area. It was really weird. Even our kittens clean after themselves and some go in and outdoors! Late 2013, he started having nose problems. His sneezes were loud and he would sometimes lose his balance after a big one. Not only would his eye drain, but so would his nose too. This gave him a new nickname from our dad, he went from being called, “meh meh” to “snots” in a good ten years span!
Well, in November Oliver was laying on top of our couches. It was an early morning, dad was reading the newspaper. ChiChi was there with him and waiting for her pieces of food too. The way I heard this story, was that dad was sitting underneath Oliver’s place and I guess he was in the middle of a sneezing fit and after the last big sneeze he stumbled over and fell off the side of the couch. Scared the shit out of ChiChi but he was fine! Oliver was pretty old. He was 16 (or 17) years old, which is like a 106 in people years. As far as ages go, Oliver always had good balance and his legs worked well still. At the beginning of December, he had to put him in the bathroom and lock him in there. Which is what he had to do with Chance in her last days with us too. He always ate and drank, but according to my cousin that was one of the signs that it was going to happen. After I heard that, I had begun preparing myself for the end. I don’t usually see our pets the morning of the day they got put down. My mom was at work, so dad took me to the bathroom. Oliver tried to walk from one end of the bathroom to the other and he could barely stand. He kind of looked like Sven the moose from Frozen trying to walk up the ice stairs. Slippin’ and sliding all over the place! I just wish I had come up with this image when I saw Oliver do it. I got very sad and my dad noticed it according to my mom.
I’m always the one to push people away first, because I don’t like to get hurt when they leave. When animals die, it kind of makes you wonder why you didn’t keep yourself away from them too. My dad always says whenever Bootsie has new kittens, “don’t get attached” well that’s somewhat harder than it looks. Since nobody is as strong at taking our animals to be put down as my dad, he had to carry Oliver in his brightly colored blanket to the vet. So much for being manly! My mom and sister were a wreck. I tend to hide my emotions. I wait to let them out in a blog post, so in a way I feel sorry for all of you that are reading this at the moment. A few hours afterwards, my dad left to go to our neighbors. So mom brought in the babies and we left them eat their food in my room, all three of us girls sat and watched them fight for a taste. It was like they are never fed but they are! Oliver was pretty nice to them, a lot better than we thought he would. ChiChi became semi-buddies with him too. On Thursday, I awoke early and heard loud meowing coming out in the hallway of my room. Which freaked me out, because I thought everybody was asleep and I knew it wasn’t Oliver. No, I didn’t think he was haunting the house or anything. Grumpy and Bear-Bear decided to come in my room for a visit. My mom had brought them in while dad was gone.
Okay, I’m done with this sad post now. Sorry if I made anybody cry while reading this. I’ll redeem myself and publish an upbeat post for tomorrow!