I lost a very dear friend and loving pet yesterday. Some of you may have known Ozzy through my blogs, from Flickr or Facebook, or on my avatar. He's 1/3 of CreativeCritters, after all. He turned 13 this summer, and I rescued him when he was barely weaned. He brought me so much love, comfort, and happiness in those 13 years, and I, in turn gave him lots of love, a warm, safe, interesting home, and all the catnip he ever wanted. He had been a lively and healthy cat for most of his life, but in the last few months he started losing weight and having difficulty eating. I did everything I could to keep him going, including giving him Milk Thistle (thank you so much, Ugabugabowls, for sending that) daily, and feeding him baby food through a syringe. This weekend he wasn't even able to keep the baby food down. He came up to me in the kitchen and told me he was tired, and all he wanted to do was be near me. I knew the end was very near- I could see it in his eyes. Ozzy and I have been "speaking" to each other for 13 years- we understand each other so very well. So I spent as much time as I possibly could with my fuzzy man this weekend. I was amazed he found the strength to give me a few sweet little purrs as I held him and gently stroked his frail body. I held him so his head lay right over my heart, just like I would do when he was a kitten. I have no children, but I do have very strong maternal instincts, and those have been turned to my pets, much to their benefit (and mine). Our other cat, Cedric, knew that Ozzy was sick. He sat on the chair above my head, looking down on his big brother, with such intense worry in his eyes. Cedric loved his big brother from the start, and they've always been friends. Right before Ozzy took his final breath, Cedric touched his nose to Ozzy's fur. I'm so glad he had the chance to say goodbye too. Ozzy's death was surrounded by love, as was his life. We're all feeling a great emptiness in our lives today, and Ozzy will never be forgotten. I'm making a special grave marker for Ozzy right now. It should be finished by Christmas Eve. I also plan to make a stuffed Ozzy, so I have something to hug and cuddle. Cedric likes to be petted, but he's not a lap cat like Ozzy was. Eventually we'll get another kitten, as much for Cedric as for me. Then he can be the big brother, and teach a new fuzzy what Ozzy taught him. This a Ozzy and Cedric cuddling.
And I want to thank everyone who has offered their condolences and more. It really helps to know that others care, and understand the pain of losing a beloved family member. At least I know Ozzy is waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge with all my other pets.
-Michelle of CreativeCritters