Six years ago, Heather made out her Christmas list at the age of 9. Everything on the list was "LIVE"! There was a bunny, a kitten, fish, a puppy and numerous other "critters"! My brother in law and sister in law called to say that they wanted to get her a kitten. Chris and I talked it over and decided that it was a good idea. They couldn't come at Christmas, but came in January. The kitten was to be a surprise and Heather was thrilled! When they opened the carrier they brought him in, out stepped a deep blueish gray kitten with eyes the color of gold coins. Under his chin at the top of his chest, was a dot of white and when he ran it looked like a tiny white bell swinging back and forth. He was a little skiddish around all of us, but went straight to Heather's lap. She was a good Mama to "Oscar", as he would come to be known. Our son always called him George and Heather would get mad, but he only called him that to make her squawk!
Oscar grew and we realized that he was hard of hearing and even though he was happy, never purred. He never went far from home and was usually found curled up in the loft of our garage on an old blanket, on snowy or rainy days. On warm sunny days he would curl up in our willow rocker on the porch. When Heather would come home from school, he would come running with a meow of welcome to her. He would usually want to be picked up for a minute and he would put his paws around your neck for a "kitty hug". Oscar was not a demanding cat or a "persnickety" kind of cat. He was gentle and loved to be held, but was also content to be let in and lay under an old cupboard watching the action of family feet going by.
We pray for the protection of our animals out here in the country. We have often said that our outdoor kittys are disposeable. Sad but true! If a cat doesn't come home, it is usually assumed that a coyote found them while they were out hunting. Oscar was different in that we had him for 6 years and we depended on seeing him every day. Once in a great while he would go off for the day, but he was always home at night.
On Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, my husband woke from a nap and asked if I had seen Oscar lately. I commented that he was probably in the garage sleeping since it was really cold and icy that weekend. He wasn't though. He had fallen into our pool and drowned. We were all devastated. We had put a cover over the pool, but we had heavy winds through the field behind the house and the cover had blown off. Our poor Oscar! Telling Heather was the hardest part. She was heartsick and cried for several days if his name was mentioned.
Now we have aching hearts that he is gone. In the coming months, we will look for another kitten to love, but there will never be one as sweet and loyal as our Oscar Cat. He could never be replaced, he was the BEST!