Oliver

Oliver has since departed from his place at my feet. He has left such a hole in my life that I am still unsure if it can be refilled. Perhaps one day. For now, I continue to spot him out of the corner of my eye, I still open the front door carefully in case he’s waiting impatiently on the other side, I feel his body against my feet when I’m lying in bed and I still wake up in the middle of the night hearing him meow or scratch for attention.

Rest in peace, babe. I hope you are keeping the angels awake with your incessant snoring, scratching, and meowing. If you annoy them as much as you annoyed me, maybe they’ll send you back to me.

* * *

You can’t get to know me without knowing about the VIP in my life: Oliver

I don’t see why I feel the need to dedicate a whole page to my grouchy old cat, but here it is anyway.

At 14 years old, Oliver is an indoor only, overweight, orange and white king with 2 inch thick fur as soft as a rabbit’s coat. He had adopted me as his own from the very first day, sleeping next to me and waking me up for 4am play-times. We played variant forms of tag and hide-and-seek, as well as other kitty-related games.

Now, he remains dependent on me, following me around from room to room like an ever-present shadow. When no one is around, he relaxes his guard slightly and curls up in my lap – something he is doing right now as I type this, actually. He was never much of a lap-cat, but in his old age he has become more demanding for affection. His greatest attribute is that he’s affectionate with kisses, licking me constantly whenever I get close. He still has his occasional spurts of energy, but he certainly doesn’t play tag the way he used to. His purr remains deep and rich, shaking his whole body when he really gets going. But it’s his snoring at night, when he’s curled up at my feet, that really lulls me to sleep.

Alright, so I admit he’s not perfect. He doesn’t like most of my friends, grumbling whenever I have guests over. He used to try bullying me around, he still does once in a while, but it never works. He grunts and whines constantly, but that’s also what makes him a great conversationalist (and yes, I do respond to him when he talks). He also has a habit of scratching at certain doors in the house and meowing for attention, but usually I can distract him from that behavior (usually, but not always unfortunately).

Despite his imperfections, or maybe because of them, he’s my boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m coming to terms with a lot as I write this, particularly his age and the fact that I wont be living with him for his final years. I would prefer it this way, staying with my parents will mean he’ll get more care and attention, but I hate the idea of him not understanding why I’ve disappeared suddenly. It’s surprisingly painful, breaking my heart more than I had expected. Nevertheless, there is no way around it at this time, and I pray that he will live his final years in blissful comfort and repose that every cat deserves.

I know no greater proof for the existence of a benevolent God, no greater Heaven than holding a purring cat. Those who hunger for love need look no further. God has put opportunities to love and care all around us.

– Nan Sea Love

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