So this post isn’t going to be funny or clever or smart or any other adjective I’m sure you all associate with me. This post is going to be a bit sad, but that’s mostly because I’m a bit sad.
One week ago, my cat Oliver died. It was both really surprising and also not surprising. He was sick for a long time, but I think we were all a bit in denial about how sick. We were talking about the pros and cons of putting a 12 year old cat through surgery, but we didn’t expect him to die before we even made the decision.
We got Oliver and his sister Willow in the spring of 2002. The past year of my life had been awful, honestly. My cat Tribble had died in a horrible way, a really close family friend died on September 11th, my dad had a heart attack (he’s fine), and also…being 12 and in 7th grade is just naturally the worst.
Then, my parents decided we could get another cat. My brother found these kittens online, and he, my sister, and my mom went to the shelter. My dad and I were on the way home from my soccer game (now that I’m thinking back on it, I think we actually got the kittens before my dad’s heart attack, but that was still traumatic, so. Semantics.) My mom called my dad and surprise! They couldn’t decide on one kitten, so we got two!
And they were the cutest little kittens in the world. Our other cat, Toby, wasn’t really so into them, but she got over it (not really. I think she still hates them). It took a while for us to name them, but somehow we ended up with Oliver and Willow.
They immediately became my favorite things in the world. I invited my friends over to see them. We had an after party for my Bat Mitzvah at my house, and I showed the new babies off to everyone. I was so excited by them.
Oliver was the sweetest cat I’ve ever met. He was also a total mess. He was partially blind and I also think he had some sort of eating disorder. He used to sleep with his head in the food bowl so he could wake up and start eating without moving. We affectionately called him “Fat Boy” and our “special cat.”
My mom was his favorite, probably because she usually fed him. Even though he would wake my parents up every morning at 6 am screaming and banging into their bedroom door until someone fed him, all was forgiven when he would climb into her lap on the couch every night.
Anyone who has ever had a pet knows how hard it is to lose one. It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have animals. It’s been a week since he died. But every morning when I get up for work, I still step over the spot where he would always be sleeping so I wouldn’t step on him in the dark. It’s just a natural instinct.
I know that it will be easier with time. But he was in my life for almost 12 years. About half of my life. He was such a sweet and special cat. And I really miss him.