“Friends come into our lives and friends leave our lives. But friends never leave our hearts. And best friends always get to stay in the best places in our hearts.” ― John M. Simmons, The Marvelous Journey Home
Letting go is never easy, whether it is people or pets. It is especially hard when the pet or person is young, because they have not lived their life to its full potential. That is the case with my cat, Oscar. Oscar was almost six years old and had been a member of our family for a little over three years when we had to make the hard decision to let him go.
Oscar was adopted from Purrfect Friends Cat Rescue in April 2011, a few weeks after I lost my very special cat, Jonson. Oscar was rescued by Purrfect Friends after his previous family had moved, leaving Oscar to fend for himself in the middle of winter. He was a friendly cat and I was drawn to his mittens and boots, as they reminded me of Jonson, a fluffy orange cat with mittens and boots of his own. Oscar quickly settled in as part of our family. He was a playful cat and was as happy playing with a ballpoint pen as he was a catnip mouse.
Oscar had been sick for a while—long before we knew how sick—and recently began declining rather quickly, culminating in our decision to end any suffering. For the most part, he was a very happy kitty, until about the last two weeks when he was obviously having a harder time getting around, although he would have occasional bursts of speed where he moved faster than I did.
Sometimes, we don't see what is right in front of us, except in retrospect. While I had noticed that Oscar had lost a little weight, I didn't think much of it until I discovered the lump on his underside near his right hind leg. When I took him to the vet, I was told that there was not much that could be done with such an aggressive tumor. So, knowing that his time was limited, determined to do the best I could for as long as possible. We had about two and a half more months with Oscar. Not enough, but more than I expected at the time.
This situation is the prime example of how important it is to not only pay close attention to any changes in our pets, no matter their age, but especially if they are older. It is also a reminder of how important it is to capture memories of those pets, as their time with us is already so limited. That is why Suzi Pix Photography offers Joy Sessions, sessions for older or terminally ill pets. These special sessions are called Silver Paw Legacy Sessions and are offered at a discounted fee; they are also scheduled on short or emergency notice.
While Oscar was not as photographed as Mr. Bojangles, I do have some lovely images to remember him.
“Shall not his worth a poem fill,
Who never thought, nor uttered ill;
Who, by his master, when caressed,
Warmly his gratitude expressed;
And never failed his thanks to purr
Whene'er he stroaked his sable furr?”
from “An Elegy on The Death of Dr Johnson's Favorite Cat” by Percival Stockdale, 1764