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Tuesday, May 18

A Prayer for Oliver

Dear Friends, For the past few months, I have poured my heart into this blog. For the past few days, my heart has been hurting. My seven-year-old tabby cat, Oliver, hasn't been having his normal bathroom habits for the past few weeks, and after multiple trips to the vet, they decided to do blood work on him. Yesterday morning as I was pulling into the parking lot at work, I got the call. His blood work was fine except for one thing - his calcium was elevated. That doesn't sound too bad, right? In reality it means my worst fear - 98 percent of the time, it's cancer. Of course, there is that two percent chance that it's something else, but I am beside myself with fear and worry. This is my baby, not my cat. This cannot be his reality. The vet was kind - he said mistakes can be made, and he wanted to check his blood again. Oliver, my sister and I went to the vet yesterday afternoon, and we'll go back tomorrow morning for x-rays. I waited with a sick stomach all day for the call that never came, and for some reason, I was relieved. I think I prefer to hear all of the answers tomorrow at the vet. Please, dear friends, pray for my baby. He has been a blessing since the day he came into my life, and I am brokenhearted at the thought of losing him. Seven years ago in April, a stray cat appeared outside our house. He was hurt, so we went to Petsmart to get a carrier for him so we could take him to the vet. This cat, Victor, is now my mom's cat. While we were at Petsmart, we walked by the pets who were up for adoption, and there was a cat and a kitten sharing one of the cages. Usually, this would be a cute scene, but the cat was terrorizing the kitten. He wouldn't let him eat or drink, and he was growling at the tiny thing. We rushed to one of the store clerks, and asked that they relocate the kitten. I'll never forget what the guy said, "I'm sorry, ladies. We're overbooked, and there isn't another cage for this kitten. You'll have to take him home with you." Any other day, we would have said no, but for some reason, this little eight-week-old tabby stole our hearts. We went home with two carriers that night, and a tiny mewing kitten. On that night in April 2003, I became a pet parent for the first time in my life. From day one, he decided we were together. Oliver, tiny as he was, wanted to be close to me, usually on my chest nudging me with his head. He gave me ringworm on my neck from all of that nudging, but I didn't really care. Five months later, I lost my grandma to terminal cancer and I moved to Oxford to attend Ole Miss. There were many nights that I held Oliver and just cried. He was my roommate, my only friend in a new city. After that first month, he became the favorite pet of all of my friends. They all loved Oliver the "dog-cat." This cat has never been like most cats. He doesn't really have a cat bone in his body. He loves everyone. I still remember the first time Jonathan met Oliver. We'd been in Oxford about a month, and he came over to install a peephole in my front door (for some reason, this sounds really scandalous - it wasn't). Oliver ran by the door, and Jonathan said, "Do you have a cat?" A few months later after our first date, Jonathan was asleep, and Oliver was on his chest, checking him out. I was so worried that Oliver would wake him up, but Ollie just looked at him and then at me as if to say, "I think we should keep him." It took some time for Jonathan and Oliver to become best friends, but they are today. Oliver will snuggle up on Jonathan's chest, or he'll lay beside him with his paw on his arm. Those are his signature moves. He wants to be close to us all of the time. He will lay beside us and purr for hours. Last night as I cried myself to sleep, Oliver crawled up from his spot at my feet and laid on my pillow. He just purred and purred as if to say, "It's going to be alright." Tonight we're going to do all of Oliver's favorite things: play with his pink ball and mouse toy, put some catnip on his bed and snuggle on the couch. This week has been a cruel reminder that we don't know what tomorrow will bring. We must enjoy every moment - every single beautiful moment - and we must be grateful every day for the health of our family and friends. Tonight I pray that tomorrow will bring good news, but of course, I know we have to be ready for the worst. Please be sure to hug your family and your pets tonight, and please pray for us. We are grateful for every one of you. Love, Crystel

2 comments:

  1. Oh Crystel, this breaks my heart a little bit for you. Hang in there, pal.

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  2. I hope he turns out alright! We have cats too, 4 actually, and my cat, Tommy, is my baby too. I don't know how I would feel if something happened to him. Will keep you and Oliver in my prayers!

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