Oscar...For Love

About three years ago I was working with a woman who had alzheimers and a broken hip. She lived in a lovely beach home, and she had found a cat who had been abandoned, crying in the beach house next door. He was so shy...so scared of all the people coming in to care for his "Mom", that she was amazed when Oscar the cat came near where I was sitting and allowed me to pet him. She told me then that she knew I was special, because Oscar was afraid of everyone.

Her condition worsened, and her stepdaughter decided to place her in a rehab facility. The consensus was that she would probably never come home again. All of us who worked with her tried to find a shelter that would take the cat, but we had so little time, and as it turned out later.....the cat was too old. There was not one no-kill shelter that would take him. My client confided in me that she was so afraid her step-daughter would send Oscar to a kill shelter. I don't know what happened then, but my big mouth opened up all by itself and before I knew it I was saying, "That will never happen." Basically that was a promise to her that I would make sure her cat was okay.

She was sent to the rehab facility and I got in touch with her step-daughter, and made arrangements to come and pick up the cat. I wasn't sure at that point what I was going to do with him. I arrived at the beach house, and the step-daughter and her husband were there. The husband enacted a wild chase all through the house, and finally cornered Oscar and put him in a pet carrier. The step-daughter said to me, "It's a good thing you came today, because I don't have time to take this cat to a shelter." I knew right then that if I had not shown up that day, she would simply have opened the door in the middle of a bad winter, and let the cat outside to die.

I took the pet carrier and put it in my car. I thougt to myself, "Well, here I am driving down the highway with a homeless cat and I have no idea where he is going." Then I thought to myself, "The first thing I have to do is get his medical records." So I drove to the local vet....where my client told me she used to take the cat. They had never seen or heard of the cat. There was one other vet in town, so I drove there, and they had never seen or heard of the cat either. One of the vets did tell me that my client used to take her dog there....back in 2004. I discovered that my client had never once taken this abandoned rescue cat to the vet....she just thought she had. He hadn't had any medical care in all the years she had him.

I drove to my own home town, and went to a good local vet. They examined the cat, and told me he was about 10 years old. He only had 4 of his teeth. He had had gingivitis so badly that all of his other teeth had broken off. He had fleas and was licking huge stripes of fur off his back that were starting to go raw. Later on, we found out he had tapeworms from the fleas. We found out that at some point in his life, before my client adopted him, he had been hit by a car and a pin had been placed in one of his rear legs to hold it together. We found imbedded in his flesh a pellet from a pellet gun, and two BB's. One of his ears was clipped, so we know he began life as a feral kitten.

My next step was to find Oscar a home. I had a friend who served as a foster father for him for about two months. While Oscar lived with my friend, I took him for surgery on his teeth and paid for it. They had to remove the roots of every single one of the teeth that had broken off. He had been left with exposed nerves, and they told me they didn't know how he could even eat, because he must have been in so much pain. They had to pull three of his remaining 4 teeth....and Oscar was left with one tooth. We cleared up the fleas right away of course, and brought him in for treatment of the tapeworms. Unfortunately, a month later, Oscar's foster home fell through, and I realized that I was about to adopt a cat.

I filled out the paperwork for my apartment building, paid an exorbitant pet fee, and brought Oscar home. I was not happy about it. I am allergic to cats (or so I thought) and I was not looking forward to years of having allergies....or the stuffy nose that always followed taking allergy pills.

I remember the first night he jumped up in my bed, and I gave him an evil look.....like..."Who are you and what do you think you are doing in my bed?"

However, inevitably, I fell in love with this little boy cat. I found out he craved contact.....craved affection.....and I provided it. I fell in love with him....maybe a little slowly....but love him I did. We had two good years together when he was healthy, and a third year after that.....and I hope I made his life wonderful.

One day I noticed something oozing from Oscar's back....on his upper hip. I took him to the vet, and they told me the pin in Oscar's leg had become infected.....and had to be removed. Another surgery followed, and my little boy seemed fine again for a month or two afterward. I had no idea that was the beginning of the end.

Apparently, with a cat, with any surgery, there is a potential for a tumor to grow on the site of the incision....and that is what happened to my boy. I was horrified.

I took him to the vet again, anxious for him to have another surgery and have the awful tumor removed....but they told me that Oscar would not survive the surgery. He had two different heart conditions, and he had kidney disease. The medicine for kidney disease would damage his heart.....the medicine for the heart diseases would damage his kidneys. He couldn't be treated at all.....for anything.

And so I took him home, and watched that tumor grow. I watched Oscar's appetite decrease until he was eating next to nothing. I watched him become skeletal. The tumor became as big as a grapefruit.

One day, I wrote a question on the question board on EP....I knew it was time to let my baby go....but I had a very hard time making that decision. EPeeps helped me.

At the vet that day, I held my baby in my arms and rocked him and rocked him and tried not to let him know I was crying. Then the vet arrived, and gave my little boy a tranquilizing shot.....and I held him and rocked him until he went to sleep. Then they took him away.

I know he crossed the rainbow bridge....and I pray he will wait for me there. Love you, my baby Oscar.
Rolle2323 Rolle2323
61-65, F
Jan 24, 2016