So late last fall, I made the decision that my boys needed a pet. I wasn’t sure whether we would go for a dog or a cat but I thought it was time. My husband wasn’t thrilled about it but I think he went along with it, assuming that my ADHD would kick in and I would be off to the next project. Wrong! One night while scouring local rescue websites for the perfect kitten, I stumbled upon a photo of a beautiful Russian Blue mix whose name was Olaf. I immediately completed an application to adopt him. The next morning, I was contacted by the rescue and told I was first in line to be considered for Olaf’s adoption. I was told that I would need to wait a few weeks that turned into a month because of complications with Olaf’s neutering surgery.
A few weeks after the application, my boys and I went to visit Olaf at his foster mother’s home. Seeing Olaf in person confirmed to me that he would be the perfect kitten for us. A week or so after that visit, we brought Olaf home. He was very talkative and playful but would retreat when he’d had enough. He chased the red laser dots on the floor and jumped to reach a feather or piece of yarn, whatever we dangled in front of him. He used his litter boxes like he was supposed to and only had two accidents, which may not have been accidents, but more like, “this is what you get for not cleaning my boxes how I like.” He seemed perfect, maybe too perfect.
Olaf spent the next three and a half months being doted upon by five humans, including the youngest boy who was not sure why we wanted a kitten and my husband who was doubtful that it was good timing to get a pet. The only lap that Olaf willingly sat in was my husband’s; not sure why other than my husband did not always pick Olaf up and carrying him around like the rest of us. Maybe it was some odd gentleman’s agreement they had. Olaf chose to sleep in my eldest son’s room at night and more recently, in my youngest son’s room. He woke us up by 5:30 a.m. to be fed and 12 hours later, he always reminded us that it was his dinnertime. I have joked that you can always tell what time of day it is based upon where Olaf is. He put himself on a schedule of sorts. Seating in a window in the master bedroom during most of the day; the kitchen window while my husband prepared dinner; my eldest son’s room after dinner and for homework and bedtime.
Forward to the last week or so and this perfect little guy has drastically changed. Olaf has fallen ill and has been to the veterinarian three times in the last week. His most recent visit was today. I took him to a different vet for a second opinion. I knew Olaf was ill but I was not prepared to hear that regardless of the diagnosis, he would not survive. The vet said that the most humane thing to do would be to let Olaf go. Otherwise, he would probably suffer a painful death on his own. This news sucked the life out of me as I was hoping a new medication would perk this little guy up. No such luck. So now as I type this, I am debating whether or not I should wait for the official diagnosis or go ahead and make the appointment to send Olaf over the Rainbow Bridge. I do not want this sweet guy to suffer at all.
My kids are an emotional wreck. I keep trying to explain to them that we gave this little guy a great life for the three and a half months we had him. Maybe we have made up for the crappy beginning of his life. This is hard for all three of my kids but especially my eldest. This was supposed to be his cat and now he will be leaving us soon. This is the part of parenthood that I was not prepared for; I thought it would be years before Olaf would leave. But no, it may be days. I know in time it will get easier but right now, it hurts so badly.
So, if you don’t mind send up some prayers or kind thoughts for all of us. Thank you!