July 13, 2016

I'll Love You Forever

In Loving Memory of Oz
March 2007 - July 10, 2016

I brought Oz home in the spring of 2007. I was a college student and wanted the companionship of a pet. I'd never had a cat before, but when I visited the animal shelter and laid eyes on Oz, I knew he was meant to be mine. I signed all the papers and ran to the pet store. I wanted to give him the best of everything, so I bought expensive food and pine shavings litter. I set everything up and brought him home. I showed him his litter box and he backed away from it, not knowing what the pine shavings were. He was only 7 months old and had only used clay litter at the shelter. When he had to go, he decided my couch would make a decent enough litter box and pooped on it! I promptly went out and got the litter he was used to.



A few years later, Oz was diagnosed with asthma. It took years to figure out how to best treat it and get him on an inhaler routine. Before then, I'd watched him have asthma attack after asthma attack. The oral medicine he was on didn't do enough to help him day-to-day. It broke my heart, but Oz was a little fighter. He hung on and when I got the inhalers, he was able to breathe a little easier.

He had all sorts of weird ailments over the years, including having his cornea scratched twice because he loved to rub his face on cardboard boxes a little too much. Nothing compared to the ordeal we went through last year with his hyperesthesia though. It came out of the blue and was a long, hard road. Oz was never quite the same after that.

This past weekend I noticed he was having trouble going to the bathroom. After finding him in a ball on the bathroom floor growling in pain, I rushed him to the emergency vet, where an x-ray showed his bladder was full of stones. Surgery was his only option. They emptied his bladder and I brought him home to weigh my options. After a lot of thinking, I decided to put Oz's life before my own desires. I didn't want to let him to go, but I also didn't want him to be in pain or suffer any longer. He'd been through a lot in his nine years and I wanted to give him a peaceful ending.



That was the single hardest decision I have ever made. I worried I would feel regret, but days later, I know I did the right thing for him. My heart is broken and a piece of me went with him. I will grieve for him for a long time, but I know he is resting peacefully now. When the veterinarian started administering the injections, he looked up at me and then buried his face in my arm. I howled as he slipped away in my arms, turning to me for comfort in his final moments.

I never thought a cat could teach me so much or make me feel love like this. Oz was my four-legged child. He taught me compassion and patience, to persevere and not give up on those you love. He taught me that even when you feel like you have nothing, you have love to give. Oz loved me unconditionally and always knew when I needed a kitty in my lap to pet for comfort. He was so special. I lost a very dear soul in my life, but he will always live on in my heart.

Mommy will love and remember you forever, baby boy. Rest in peace. 

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