Category Archives: Oscar

A New Kitten = Trumps Everything

I would like to discuss Donald Trump.

Actually no, I’d much rather talk about our new kitten.

We didn’t think we would get another one.

The wonderful Oscar was with us for nearly 15 years, travelling around the world with us.
Part of the family. Until last October. You can read about that very ordinary Thursday here.
Oscar was always going to be a very hard act to follow. My wife and I resisted for a year.
We just couldn’t do it, but we have.

Lilli the kitten arrived a few weeks ago, very coincidentally on the same date Oscar died.
She has rather large paws to fill, though she is not a replacement and of course she is her own cat. She is quickly proving that. Apparently she was the “shy, reserved one”. Hardly.

It’s a long time since we had a kitten in the house, you forget what it’s like…

*Having to look down when you carry a cup of coffee as she likes to wrap herself around / sprint between your feet like a little silent furry ninja.

*The intense interest in anything happening in the kitchen. The reaching up, pawing at legs in an attempt to get some of whatever is on offer. “It’s yoghurt. You’re a cat, you don’t eat yoghurt.”

*Seemingly dematerialising then rematerialising in another room like a Star Trek episode. Sometimes it’s like there are three of them.

*The rescuing of cat toys from under lounges. I keep being “dragged” away from working to extricate a trapped cat toy from the very middle of under the lounge. A pitiful squeak – Lilli appears to squeak rather than miaow, sounding in desperate need of WD40. The squeak leads me to a rather forlorn little thing peering anxiously at the dark abyss under the lounge / chair / bed, basically anything that is the perfect size for a cat toy. The foil crunchy shiny mice / ball things being the toy du jour.

*The amusement of looking at her discovering herself in the mirror.

*The psychotic sprinting after she uses her kitty litter tray. I’ve always thought it would be amusing if humans did that.

*The pushing the boundaries – using the dining table as a shortcut, delicately pirouetting around photos on the sideboard. That is being strongly discouraged as we speak. A stern “No”, distracting her with said crunchy shiny mice / ball things. Then she turns THAT face on, and is back on the dining table. Repeat.

*The overall outrageous cuteness of a young kitten, the tractor-esque purring, the random sleeping in what are extremely uncomfortable locations, when there are at least 47 far more comfortable spots.

*The general craziness of rampaging through the house for no apparent reason. Seeing an imaginary something on the ground, then taking off with a very strange un-kitten like sound.

*The ignoring of expensive cat toys, happy to spend half an hour in an empty carboard box.

*You forget how small and low to the ground kittens are compared to adult cats. There are numerous unsuccessful attempts daily of Donald Trump style pussy-grabbing.

I wrote about Oscar sitting in my wife’s his chair while I working, Lilli has now discovered the same chair, she looks quite at home. It’s nice having that chair occupied. That Coldplay song isn’t quite as sad.

Welcome Lilli, it’s wonderful to hear the crazed scampering of paws in our home.
Oscar was quite the furry ratbag, and you’re shaping up extremely well in that department…

©Steve Williams 2016

*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post Australia: This New Arrival Trumps Everything

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When you lose something you can’t replace

F*** you Coldplay and James Blunt. You and your bloody emotional lyrics.

Last week we said goodbye to Oscar who was part of our family for just shy
of fifteen years. Three quarter Persian, one-quarter ratbag. Named after Wilde, O.

Oscar was a wonderful cat — suitably mischievous, perplexing and delightfully odd.
*non-cat people click away now.

All my wife wanted was a little bundle of fur that would sit on her lap. No chance.
Oscar would get tantalisingly close, but always ensured he was at least a cushion-length away.
That was possible revenge for us moving him around the world from Asia to Europe.

He was more dog than cat, he would follow you around, then steal my wife’s office chair next to me while I was writing. A pointy-eared, furry muse.

Oscar had already traded in about twelve of his nine lives, and then a few months ago
we discovered lumps on his front left leg. Vet. Tumours.
They were aggressive, with amputation the only option.

So Oscar became a “tri-pawed”, up and about two hours after surgery, home in a few days, hopping up and down the stairs with ridiculous ease a day or two later. Remarkable.

Tumours being the bastards they are, returned. X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, “successful” surgery, but temporary. Enough now. Sans one leg and pre-surgery full-body Brazilians,
Oscar was literally half the cat he used to be. We decided no more. We would let it play out.

The final act. Oscar hadn’t been eating properly, not himself, slight cough, but no pain,
so to the vet. The bastards had come back big time. X-rays gave him a maximum of two weeks.
He had been through enough, why put him through more?

So it was a heartbreaking, yet simple decision.
I was with him, then carried his empty cat box home.

Attempting to work that night, the stairs quiet, the office chair next to me strangely empty,
then hearing Coldplay: “And the tears come streaming down your face / when you lose something you can’t replace… and I will try to fix you.”

Thanks Chris Martin. If that wasn’t enough, then James bloody Blunt…
“As strong as you were / tender as you go, I’m watching you breathing for the last time…
l’ll carry you home…”

Visions of an exceedingly cute, tiny kitten in my hand all those years ago, carrying a very sick,
yet purring Oscar onto “that” table in the vet’s surgery, then walking home with his empty box.
I was a mess.

Oscar, thank you for almost fifteen years of unconditional* love, light and rampant ratbaggery. Vale. X

*conditions apply

©Steve Williams 2015

*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post Australia: When You Lose Something You Can’t Replace