Friday, November 17, 2006

The Story of Us

OC found his way to our home in the middle of the woods in July, 2003. He was a little thing, a kitten still. We already had 3 cats so my husband wouldn't even entertain bringing another one into the fold. I couldn't let the little fella starve, so of course, I'd put food out for him which he happily ate. We noticed that he had a funny way of eating, but I chalked that up to him being out on his own with no momma to teach him the right way to do things. Our kids were visiting us then so the girls would go out and give him attention and he loved it. At night, he'd sleep in the flower bed next to our patio door and go do cat things during the day. My husband was dead set against giving him a name, because you know where that would lead. I decided we needed to call him something when referring to this cat that we weren't taking in but who didn't leave, so we agreed to call him OC, for "Outside Cat". So we went on, us "not owning" him but feeding him food we bought especially for him, and him not leaving. I put a blanket out in the flowerbed, assuring my husband that it didn't mean OC was ours....::looks up and whistles::.

Then in September I had to have major back surgery which caused me to be pretty incapacitated for a while. Two weeks after I returned from the hospital, one of my cats, Petey who I had since she was a baby and I was 19 (I was 35 at the time), went into hiding and I knew something was wrong. She had a mass and I had to let her go. I was so sad, wracked with guilt that the last couple weeks of her life, I couldn't bend over to pick her up or wasn't up and about enough to notice she wasn't herself. So, I was dealing with the grief, poorly then I'd see little OC out on the deck looking at me through the patio door, hopeful for just a little cuddle or a pet. I'd go sit out there with him for hours. Him loving on me, helping me through my sadness and comforting me as I cried.

Time passes and winter comes, poor little OC is determined that we're his. Husband is still determined that we're not (heartless isn't he?). Winter in Illinois is cold, and I was sick with worry over this little fella and to appease me, husband says we can make a little bed for OC in the garage, and he'll put a lamp over it to generate heat so OC can sleep in there at night.

Then I notice OC sneezing but it's not just a sneeze. It's clear to me that he's got some kind of cold. So I call hubby, and turn on the waterworks, this kitty is sick and needs help. So he lets me take this cat, who doesn't have a real name and isn't ours to the vet. The vet determines that this poor soul has feline stomatitis, which in short is an inflammation of the entire mouth caused by a compromised immune system. No wonder he ate so funny. If we take him to the shelter, as I had considered doing since hubby wouldn't let us take him in, he would likely be euthanized. If I decided to try and combat this disease, there's no guarantee it will work and it would require a committment to an intensive medicine schedule and costly multiple vet visits. The medicine alone would cost us a few hundred dollars per month for a while. This was all, to save a cat who may or may not even live for 2 years after all these measures. My heart was broken.

I call my husband in tears, holding little OC, and explain the situation. In my heart, I could not say goodbye to this little fella who saved me from my grief so soon after losing Petey. My husband said we could try to save him (maybe he DOES have a heart after all, huh?) but he couldn't live inside with us until we were sure he wouldn't spray. I got to bring OC inside to sit with me on the couch, as long as he stayed on my lap. Oh, the purrs and the loving. So, we had him neutered and he got to come inside to live with us.

It's been almost 3 years now, and OC is thriving. He is the most loving animal and I know it's because he's grateful. We had to have his teeth removed because the medicines alone didn't cut it but you'd never know it. He loves people food especially if Papa feeds it to him. I am forever grateful to Dr. Dena Nelson and her staff at All Cat Clinic in Springfield, IL. It was through a partnership between her and our family that we were able to have the great results we've had with OC. We had to move away to Myrtle Beach, SC this fall and I'm sad we had to leave Dr. Nelson and her staff behind.

OC enjoys days filled with sleeping in laps, riding on backs and hanging out (upside down).

I believe with all my heart that he was sent to me to save me from my sadness. Oh, and the heartless wrapped firmly around OC's paw.

~Ammy aka tiggerprr, frend of OC

Visit me at: tiggerprr's scratching post


Blogger Finnegan & Buddy said...

That OC is one smart cat! I firmly believe that each cat is brought or sent into our lives by someone who knows what each of us needs from the other. It's obvious that OC had a big assignment and he's done a great job! Keep up the good work, all 3 of you.

Finny & Buddy's mom

5:53 PM  
Blogger Skeeeeezix the Cat said...

Wow, that was just the best storey! It made water go in my eyes. I'm glad it had a happy ending!!!

4:42 PM  
Blogger tiggerprr said...

OC's extra vote goes to Smudge, but gosh, he loves everyone's stories too. :)

8:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home