Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Pretty One: 1994-2008

I'm covered in sweat and grave-dirt. My hands are blistered and my face hurts from crying.

And my best friend in the world is gone.

Oz, my cat, was put down this evening by the vet while I held him in my arms.

The last picture of him, ever.

The rest of this post will probably be boring to y'all but I really don't give a fig.

According to the vet's records, he was born in 1994 and then bounced around from family to family until we got him in 1999. Missewether and I had just moved into our house. It was big and empty except for two computers and a futon (which I hated). The next thing we got was Oz. He was very shy and it took him three days to get up enough nerve to come out of the bathroom in which he had been hiding. Misseswether had spent hours and hours trying to coax him out and just when he finally took his first tentative step out, I accidently set off the house alarm. Ear-peircing "WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP's" filled the air...

It took another two days to get him back out of the bathroom.

Oz's first picture, just before disappearing behind the toilet for another two days.

Eventually we needed to add furniture to our house and being fairly practical people, we got furniture which matched Oz's coat.
His chair.

His couch.

Oz wasn't like most cats. You definately knew there was something going on inside his brain. He didn't have that empty stare like so many cats do. No, his stare was more of the "Love me or become food" sort of stare. Even though his stare made a lot of people nervous they all comment on how pretty he was. He quickly developed the nickname, "The Pretty One".

The Pretty One.

He didn't "meow". His lips would move, but only the faintest sound would come out, softer than even the voice of a newborn kitten. That's how he got his name. We were huge "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fans back then and Oz the cat seemed very much like Oz the character, just kind of mellow and smart, but not with a lot to say. His purr could be deafening though.

After having Oz for a year we discovered why he had been bounced from home to home. He started "marking his territory". We were about to give him up when a coworker sugessted we have his testosterone level check. He had been fixed way back in 1994, but blood work revealed his testosterone level was over 800. A normal, fixed male cat should have a testosterone level around 20. Exploratory surgery discovered a second set of testes! Apparently though rare, this was unheard of in cats. "Fixing" him a second time took care of the spraying and a happy household was formed.

I'm not sure what was Oz's greatest contributuion to the family was. It could have been his beauty. It may have been his love. Most likely though it was probably Miniwether and Mambowether. Way back when Misseswether and I first talked about adoption I wasn't sure if it was how I wanted to build our family. I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to love a child who didn't come from us. I was sitting at my desk praying for God's guidence and Oz curled up into my lap. I started stroking him and then whispered, "I love ya', buddy". It hit me like the punch to the stomach. I'd been telling Oz I loved him for years and I did love him. He wasn't even the same species as me but I'd do anything for him. I called out to Misseswether and told her I was good with adopting. The rest is history.

But, I wouldn't do anything for oz. About two months ago he started spraying again. He had developed diabeties and his body was trying to purge himself of excess sugar. The first month's treatment to find the right insulin dose was more than we could afford. The fact that he'd need two shoots of insulin a day would be impossible for us to do. I travel too much and Miisseswether just couldn't do it.

I couldn't give him up to an animal shelter where he'd no longer be loved, but we couldn't keep him either...

He was old and couldn't get upstairs any more to sleep with us. There was a sore on his neck that wouldn't heal...

It was time.

I made the appointment last week and spent the time between then and now spoiling Oz rotten. Love, petting, and tuna as much as he wanted...

Today came fast. Too fast.

He fought the effect of the drugs. He wouldn't fall asleep. He wouldn't close his eyes.

But in the end he still died.

I dug his grave under a tree in the backyard. Summer heat had turned the Texas clay into rock. It took me hours of work with my pick to bust out a hole big enough for him.

I laid him down, covered in my tears, and filled in the hole.

My little buddy is gone.

It sucks.


Peace be with you.


Windrider said...

My heart goes out to you Bro...


I know personally that there is nothing worse than having to put a beloved pet "down".

My own experience was very much like yours. And to this day I can still feel the loss and remember the feel of tears falling off the tip of my nose as I dug Harry's grave beneath the little palm tree behind the house I used to own.A part of me was buried with him that day.

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I hope that in time the blow is softened.


Thorian said...

There is nothing I can say that can lessen the sadness you are feeling.

Give the wife and kids a hug it helps.

Lone Star Chris said...

I am sorry.
so incredibly sorry.

Dr. Zyme said...

I am so sorry. May peace be with you and your family.

Jackie said...

So sorry you had to lose your friend Oz. Just think how fortunate he was to do all that bouncing around and to end up in your family! You did a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you , Misseswether and the Wether girls. - Brita

Dale said...

I feel for you and your family. We had to do the same for a cat we had for 15 years. She just got to sick to live comfortably. And you're right, it sucks, still does.

Anonymous said...

Hi Blast,

Thank you for sharing this personal moment with us. I'm terribly sorry about the loss of your little friend, and I hope the fact that most of us have been there and know what you're going through is of some help. Take care, buddy. We're all thinking of you.

ClarkTX said...

Oz lived a lot longer than Bobek or Ciapek, which undoubtedly intensifies the loss. He is with the great kings now, going forward into the borderlands.

kd7fqd said...

I just wanted to let you know one of our cats died on May 30th not sure from what but, DD Angel was mortified from it and when we buried the cat in the backyard she couldn't watch.

My heart goes out to you and the wethergirls