Oswald died early this morning. Anyone who knows us knows that we have been in love with that cat since he first found us 12+ years ago.
When Jeff and I were first married, I used to wait for him to come home from work by sitting on the stoop of our apartment building. One day, out of nowhere, this neighborhood stray just walked up to me out of the clear blue and sat on my lap. This was my first introduction to Oswald.
I didn’t want to adopt a cat – I really, really didn’t. First off, our landlord didn’t allow it, but secondly I just didn’t really want the responsibility. But still, here was this cat every evening, showing up and wanting nothing more than to sit on my lap and chill out. As summer turned to autumn and it started getting colder out, I stopped waiting for Jeff every evening but that didn’t stop Oswald – he figured out which apartment we lived in and came by the window and cried to be let in. And so, that’s how we adopted him or he adopted us, depending on how you look at it.
Two years later (in 1999), once he was fully “our” cat, I noticed something was wrong with one of his eyes. I took him to the vet right away only to be told a variety of contradictory things – it was cancer, it was herpes, it was feline HIV… all of which he came back with clean tests for, and yet the doctors kept insisting that he had only months to live. We refused to have him put to sleep as they suggested, and instead took him home and took care of him the best we could. I never, ever, ever thought he’d last another ten years, but so he did.
Oswald would sit on my lap when I would draw; he’d sleep between me and Jeff with his head on my pillow. I can’t really imagine how it’s going to be without him. I am very, very grateful that he when peacefully and quickly at the end, and that he seemed to be in no pain. I just don’t know what I’m going to do without him.