Saturday, May 24, 2014
Saying Goodbye to Oreo
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