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Happy Birthday Oreo

It’s November 1st and I’m a little sad for two reasons.  First, Halloween is over.  It was somewhat of a mess, with Hurricane Sandy blasting through our neighborhood.  Second, it would have been my cat Oreo’s 9th birthday and I miss her.

I wasn’t sure if kids would be trick-or-treating yesterday but since school was still closed (due to the storm, scarce phone service and no transportation), I figured I should set some of my decorations back up just in case they came.  They did; about 40 of them.  But I suppose my enthusiasm disappeared as I didn’t even dress up as usual.  After the last small group rang my bell at 8:20pm, I came back inside to relax.  Then I began thinking about Oreo. 

Oreo found us…she appeared one day in the back of my outside cat’s house.  I recall hearing a little “mew, mew” on the front porch and noticed our cat, Harvette, wouldn’t go back into her house.  When I pulled back the blankets and padding in her house, I found a tiny ball of black fur with two bright green eyes staring back at me.  It was love at first sight.

After taking the kitten inside, our family discussed where it might have come from and what to do with her.  We discovered there was a pregnant black female stray seen around our neighbor’s house and this must have been one of her litter.  No other kittens were found.  The mother was spotted occasionally, but couldn’t be caught; otherwise we would have had her spayed.  In any event, several months prior, we had lost our other cat, Whiskers and after that I vowed not to replace her.  But how could we resist?

Over the course of several months, we had Oreo spayed and declawed as she was to remain our inside cat.  A couple of months later, we noticed something in her abdomen; she had a tumor, a quarter of her size.  Back to the vet to have that removed which was a success.  For almost 6 years, Oreo was our beautiful, loving pet.  Her fur was soft as silk; her disposition friendly and perky.  She was a little neurotic though, but that only intensified her personality.  Then one day, she suddenly became ill.

After the vet examined her, she said Oreo had kidney failure and would need IV injections twice daily.  She also suffered two seizures.  She was beginning to fade fast; not eating, drinking or urinating.  Even with the medicine and fluids, she only lasted a week.  One Sunday evening, while I was lying alongside Oreo with my daughter hear her head, she passed away.

If anyone has ever experienced the death of a pet, you’ll know how tramautic this was.  Some people may not take it hard, but because she became ill quickly and died so suddenly, it was heartbreaking.  We buried Oreo in the backyard next to Whiskers.  In her box we placed a flower, her favorite toy (a tiny red felt Christmas stocking)  and letters my husband and I as well as my daughter wrote to her. 

Each Halloween, when all the kids have gone home, I think of Oreo.  I remember how she used to curl up by my neck or behind my knees when I reclined on the couch or in bed.  I still see her beautiful green eyes and bent tail with tiny white tip.  She’ll always be my sweet Halloween kitty.  The following Spring, Oreo’s half brother and sister showed up on our porch.  Ike and Mike are still around, lively as ever 9 years later.  Their presence reminds me of their beautiful little sister Oreo and how I’ll always miss her.

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