Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Oreo

Saying Goodbye to Oreo. My thoughts on the death of a beloved pet.
Our Oreo kitty crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning to join her brother Dandy, their predecessor Peanut, my ghost cat Dusty, and several sweet dogs who have graced our family's lives over the past 30-plus years. This afternoon we'll lay her to rest near them, in the woods across the creek.

It was a lot harder to say goodbye than I thought it would be. Oreo's been a member of the family for a very long time; we would have celebrated her 21st birthday in August. I'm so used to her napping on the bed behind me as I work, knowing that she was always there, it's very tough to turn around and be reminded that she's gone.

It's comforting to me that Daisy (our Labrador retriever) obviously knew Oreo was not well. Yesterday Daisy checked in on her periodically, but this morning when it was clear that Oreo was fading fast, Daisy was gentle and quiet, respectfully aware that Oreo's time was short. At not quite six pounds, Oreo ruled over 75 (okay, 80) pound Daisy who tried almost daily for the last three years to get Oreo to wash her (Daisy's) ears the vigorous way Dandy used to when he was around. Oreo just wasn't much of a "dog person" and insisted on keeping Daisy in her proper place in the chain of command (at the bottom), favoring those big dog ears only on rare occasions with a gentle touch of her dainty paw. Daisy, as dogs always do, loved her anyway and kept trying.

Oreo was tiny her whole life. Her litter-mate Dandy started out smaller but grew up to be twice her weight and half again her length. When they got into the occasional tussle, though, it was clumps of Dandy's fur that I'd find after the fight. Oreo was little and scrappy; Dandy was a big, cuddly lover, definitely not a fighter. In fact, after their tussles Dandy would sit at the bottom of the stairs, meowing his apologies to Oreo for stepping out of line, begging her to let him spend time in her presence once again. Just like our human kids', it's surprising how different two sibling cats' personalities can be.

I have lots of Oreo stories and I'll share more another time. Today I have tears to dry and her sweet purr, the last gift she graced me with as we were saying our goodbyes, to cement into my memory.

While the memories are sweet and tender, saying goodbye is really, really tough.

Oreo Kitty photo (c) LifeInOut.com, all rights reserved

15 comments:

  1. These are such significant passings. I look forward to hearing more Oreo stories. I never get over the losses of any of my animals, though I still carry them in my heart and memories. Peace to you, my friend.

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  2. Thank you, Diana. Our family has such good pet memories and I'm so thankful for that.

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  3. Oh so sweet. Losing our animal family members is so hard. I think they teach us so much about love, don't you?

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  4. Absolutely, Joan, I agree. It was so sweet when I spent that hour on the couch with Oreo early in the morning. She could barely move, but her purring machine worked and communicated volumes. That was a real gift.

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  5. My heart is heavy to hear of Oreo's passing. I've read and seen pictures occasionally of Oreo and Oreo and Dandy watching TV. Although I never saw any of your pets in person, I feel that I am familiar with them through your posting and pictures. I am sorry for your loss.

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  6. Susan, I am so sad to read this news. Oreo was a special kitty, and blessed to be part of your family.

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  7. Thank you so much, Carol. Yes! Those cats watching TV pictures are some of my favorites. Thanks for remembering and for reminding me!

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  8. Thank you, Trish. We were blessed to have her.

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  9. Susan, I came upon this on your Facebook page, I am so sorry, oh how tightly our pets hold our hearts. I pray that you'll be comforted one day at a time. Hugs to you, Susan.

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  10. Thank you, Claudia! I know that you know exactly how I was feeling. We miss her, but we all agree that she had a great life.

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  11. Susan, I'm so sorry to hear about Oreo. The only cats I know of who make it to 20+ years are surrounded by loving people. She was a very blessed kitty.

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  12. She was blessed, Kim, I have to say. She chose our #2 son as her "person" and then, when he grew up and left home, she decided to adopt me, but she loved all four of us and we loved her, too. No regrets and, really, that made it a lot easier to say goodbye. Thanks so much for commenting!

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  13. Susan, you have done little Oreo proud with this!

    It tugged away at my heartstrings as I'm sure it has for all your readers.

    And the line, "Oreo just wasn't much of a “dog person” is just brilliant.

    May little Oreo live and play happily forever more with all the others 'up there' that have graced our lives and now wait for us.

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  14. Danny, your comment brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Thank you so much. Glad you understood the "dog person" reference. :) It's true; she wasn't!

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  15. […] about her, I’m really a cat person at heart. Currently we’re between cats since we lost Oreo 19 months ago. When it’s time to adopt another, I’ll […]

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