An empty spot

The last week has been a difficult one for me.  I realize that my hurt doesn't compare to that of the people who have been injured and traumatized in Boston this week.  But heartache is heartache no matter how it comes to you.  And my heart has had an empty spot in it since last Wednesday when Byron and I had to put our beloved kitty, Oggy, to sleep.

Last I talked about Oggy, here, I was hopeful about his health, and he was doing better.  Although he was a bit thinner than before, after we put him on medication in January Oggy returned to his normal self -- catching rats (argh), waking us up in the morning by walking on us, sitting on laps, jumping up on tables, and hanging out on Herman's bed and chair whenever he could get a chance.  He had even learned how to beg since we had started giving him treats in the afternoon . . . it didn't take him long to figured out how to manipulate us to give them to him morning and afternoon.  In any case, he was doing quite well and was his old self until the beginning of April.

At that point, Oggy seemed to quite suddenly fall sick again and seemed to be failing fast.  He became more vocal, his appearance began to change dramatically with his abdomen sagging and looking bloated at times and his back looking less muscular and more bony.  All of a sudden he stopped jumping up on laps and tables (we know something was really wrong at that point).  He saved all his strength for getting drinks in his favorite location -- the toilet (despite the bowl of water by his food).  Soon he only nibbled on his wet food, ignored dry food altogether, and refused treats.  On Sunday he wouldn't take his medicine easily . . . by Monday he didn't eat much at all.  He looked pale.

I took him to the vet on Tuesday, and she found a medium-lemon-sized mass in his abdomen adjacent to or in his intestine.  The vet was confident that it was lymphoma.  She thinks that probably it was beginning to develop in January when Oggy had his other troubles, but the steroids held it at bay for a while.  She said the disease becomes resistant to the steroid treatment eventually and begins to grow aggressively again.  It seemed that's what was happening. 

Byron and I were heartbroken to learn that our time with Oggy was so quickly and unexpectedly coming to an end.  Of course we didn't want him to suffer any more than he had already, and since he had quit eating and had begun going off by himself a lot, we knew he was trying to hide his condition (as cats do, apparently) and be stoic as he met his end. We didn't want him to just wither away, to be in pain, or to be alone when he passed.  So we made the hard choice to help him along.  He died very peacefully at the vet's office, last Wednesday afternoon, April 10, with us petting him (and crying) until the end.  He was almost exactly 14 years old.

He spent most of his last day sleeping downstairs or in a sunny spot at the base of the spruce tree in our back yard.  He didn't eat, but he came around to check on Wyatt and me now and then, he got a lot of petting and love, and a dozen or more drinks from the toilet. 

Yesterday, Wyatt found Oggy's collar, which was still in my purse.  "Need to find Oggy," he said.  "Oggy needs the bell."  Of course I had to explain, again, why we can't find Oggy . . . 

Thinking about it later I realized that Wyatt was saying exactly what we are feeling.  We miss Oggy.  We notice his absence.  Unconsciously we attribute random noises to him.  And we still irrationally find ourselves expecting a fluffy orange cat with a big tail, furry paws, and a thundering purr to greet us when we get home or, better yet, to brush our legs with his tail while we are eating breakfast.


  1. I am so sorry Oggy has left you. There is nothing quite like the loss of a longtime furry friend. Thinking of you all.

  2. RIP, Oggy. I understand the heartbreak, and I am thinking of you.


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