Twelve years ago, after the sudden loss of my beautiful Siamese Dinky, my mom came home with another Siamese and your brother Milo an Ocicat. A day later, she came into the house with yet another Ocicat. This one was not spotted like his brother; rather he was this amazing chocolate brown. I can remember vividly trying to come up with a name for this chocolate guy. My mom said “Hershey”, which I thought was lame. I can’t quite remember how I even arrived at Ozzie, but I just knew it was just fit. I thought for sure I’d fall in love with Lilah the Siamese, but it was you on your first day in the house that came into my bed purring and I knew you chose me. The rest would be history.
Ozzie you were truly my best friend. You were by my side for so many things. When my mom kicked me out in my early 20’s I remember having to leave you behind to go to my Dad’s. I can remember sneaking over my Mom’s to visit you. You would come out when I was there and start picking up your back legs off the ground and shaking your butt. It was your dance that myself and so many others would grow to love. You really loved to dance, especially when I sang your favorite song “You are my sunshine.” Next stop in my life was my first apartment. We were finally reunited and stayed together from that point forward. You were there for so many other big things in my life. You were there when I moved out of the shared apartment and got a place of my own. You were there when I completed my bachelors and masters, although you always wanted attention when I was studying, so you would sit on top of my books and notecards. Ozzie you were one of a kind. You knew what multiple commands meant. You would always be waiting for me at the door every day when I came home. You loved having our morning love sessions and would always sit in the bathroom and watch me get ready for work. The vets you saw throughout your life always commented on how handsome you were and what a good, cooperative cat you were. It was always funny when the vet would try to listen to your heart. They never really could hear it all that well because even at the vet’s office you were a purr monster.
The bond I shared with you was so very, very incredible. All you animal lovers know what I am talking about. Those of you who have never had a bond with an animal, I feel sad for you. I think unconditional love exists between humans, but I bet that is a very, very rare thing. Ozzie, you gave me unconditional love every day. Through my good and bad days you were always there loving me. Even the days when I was and incredibly horrible person and didn’t deserve love from anyone, you still gave it to me. You made me whole. You filled in all the little holes; the holes where people throughout the years may have disappointed me, or hurt me. You made up for where my human counterparts lacked.
You had your share of health issues. You were diagnosed with asthma many years ago. Following the asthma diagnosis, you developed diabetes from steroids you were on. We kicked diabetes in the butt together and were able to get you off the insulin in 2 months. Thank you for being such a tolerant boy through all the ear pricks and insulin shots.
Two month ago, a limp that you had back in June for a few days came back. This time, it didn’t go away. Inadvertently, we picked up part of your lung in an x-ray of your pelvis. Something bad was in there, so I took you back to see what was going on. Mama was so incredibly heartbroken when we saw the large tumor in your lung. We made an appointment with the oncologist immediately. We did a cat scan of your lung in the hopes we could do surgery, but sadly they found more very small nodules in your lung. I wasn’t giving up on you though. Mama decided to try chemo to see if we could buy you more time and make you feel better. I even started an online fundraiser for you Oz. You should have seen all the donations we got for your medical bills. We did one round of chemo. Before the chemo you lost interest in food, so I started to syringe feed you which you seemed to tolerate well. Mama’s sorry that I had to put so many pills down your throat. Soon I didn’t see you drink anymore on your own, so I started to give you fluids which you tolerated like the good boy you always were. Two weeks ago you started having discomfort in your mouth and having pawing fits. We thought it was nausea related and tried a new med, but you kept getting worse. You started to not even want to eat via syringe, and couldn’t muster enough energy to make it to the litter box most days to do your business. I cancelled your second chemo appointment that week.
Arriving at the final decision for you was the hardest day of my life. On Friday September 26th, I helped you cross the Rainbow Bridge in the comfort of home with dignity and peace. You laid on my chest and I held you tight. I know you felt my heart beat and my arms wrapped around you tight when you took your last breath.
Ozzie, I know your last day was full of incredible love (as every day was for you). You spent one last day outside in the sun, and you loved it. It was the perfect fall day outside. For a cat as sick as you, you still managed to purr and make biscuits and look me in the eyes with such incredible love and admiration. I think I was the only joy left in your life. I think you would have kept going in pain, hunger and being uncomfortable just because you loved me so much. That day I gave YOU a final gift of love.
I am so incredibly heartbroken without you here.
If I could have imagined what my heart and soul would look like roaming around outside my body, Ozzie, it would have looked like you.
Till we meet again my sweet, sweet boy.
I will always love you.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France