Rest in peace, Oscar

Oscar passed away yesterday morning. He was 15. Diabetic. And, until recently, still able to jump a 3-foot cat gate in a single bound and capable of striking fear into the hearts of our neighborhood dogs.
But he quickly went downhill over the last couple of weeks, not eating as much and spending a lot of time sleeping. He lost a good bit of weight, then his blood sugar level crashed the other night. I revived him with honey, but the weekend was bad with a trip to the emergency vet (there were fluids involved that I hoped never to see come out someone I love).

After going to our regular vet on Tuesday and getting bloodwork, we learned he had kidney disease, UTI and some kind of additional internal infection.

Our options were to hospitalize him (major, major buckaroos) or give him subcutaneous fluids at home every day for a week or two and then twice a week for the rest of his life, plus pill him with antibiotics for 2 weeks. And change his diet to some kind of hideously expensive unappetising kidney-friendly kitty diet. Or euthanize him.

We had a chat Tuesday night after we got blood work results and I told him about the results and what they meant and I think he decided to go on his own accord. Neither of us fancied that subcutaneous fluid thing (even though Kevin volunteered to do it. I got incredibly squeamish when the vet explained how it was done, even though I handled twice-daily insulin injections and ear prick glucose tests for the past 2 years just fine).

A friend of mine is an animal communicator and I’d asked her to tune in a few days ago to see if she could tell what was up. One of the things she said was that when the time came, Oscar wanted to pass into spirit lying on my bed. “But he doesn’t get to lie on my bed,” I said. “My bed upstairs?” Yep. That one.

So yesterday morning when I realized there wasn’t much longer to go, I padded the comforter with chucks pads we brought home from the hospital along with Duncan and transported him upstairs.

I think just as I lifted him from his cat bed onto a blanket on my bed he passed. By the time I arranged him comfortably and smoothed down his fur, I looked into his eye and there was no one in there. It was vacant. Unoccupied.

I’d never seen anyone physically die before. I kept looking, expecting him to blink back in and look back at me. But he wasn’t in there anymore.

He was a very cool cat. Very smart. Very loving. Crazy loud purr. He was our street’s mascot, just about. Once, the summer before last, he followed our next door neighbor into their house and had a look around. It took her a few minutes to realize it wasn’t her cat (also grey)! Silly Oscar.

I keep thinking I see him curled up in various parts of the house. Totally normal, of course. We miss him. He’s being cremated at the Rush Pet Cemetary and I have to pick up his remains in its “decorative tin” tomorrow, though I’ve procrastinated about calling to set up a pick-up time. We thought about burying him in the backyard, but it’s so small and the house is 106 years old, so wherever we dig we’d probably find some other pet attempting to rest in peace.

So, Oscar, do rest in peace buddy. We had 4 good years together – hopefully it was a good retirement for you. You’re free now. No collar, no insulin shots. Probably off chasing squirrels and teaching the neighborhood dogs a thing or two.

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