Otto the Attitudinous has his final resting place. We found this turned wood vessel at a local art faire. I think it suits Otto quite well. Besides being the same color as our dearly departed furball, the artist told us it was a difficult piece to fabricate. That suits Otto even more, as he was quite the contrarian cat. Rest in Peace, Otto.
This morning we took Otto on his last trip to the vet. He is now pain free. Otto graced (some might say controlled) our lives for sixteen wonderful years. He was always there to meow an opinion, knowing full well that all household decisions depended on his likes and dislikes.
Otto was a red head. Red headed cats are different. They have attitude, and Otto did, much more than such a small furry creature could contain. Neither other cats, nor dogs, nor people 10 times his size fazed him. He was red. He was fluffy. He was Otto.
There is an emptiness to the house, but we know he is now at peace. He survived much longer than anyone, us, or the vet expected. 9 months with cancer – that’s a long time by the cat chronograph. Farewell Otto.
What we originally thought was a bite on his tongue – as older cats sometimes do when they lose fine muscle control around their jaw, is not. It’s a tumor. We’ve decided not to pursue any heroic measures. Keep him comfortable, safe and well fed for however many sunny afternoons he has remaining.
We’ve had Mr. Attitudinous for over 16 years, ever since he was a small bundle of orange fluff, and he came home with us from the Humane Society. He walked in, jumped up on the bed, rolled over on his back and went to sleep. There was no doubt in his furry brain that he was home for good. This is Prince Charming’s cat. Let there be no mistake who Otto’s human is. They are inseparable.
The door of the fridge is once again a pharmacy, a little of this, a squirt of that. Once a day for this preparation. Twice a day for another. I am thankful we have a compounding pharmacy nearby, and they can make up Otto’s medications in liquid form.
So, dear readers, if posts seem a bit sporadic, or sometimes less than upbeat, or covered in cat spit from a strong shake of the head, well, you’ll know why.
Otto is also part of the reason why my mojo took a vacation. Otto got sick. 4 different medicines, twice a day, and special food sick. The vet thought infection, and we originally suspected pneumonia, but his lungs were clear. At the ripe young age of 15, something was bound to happen.
Unfortunately Otto’s illness also happened the same week Prince Charming had a business trip. He only takes one a year, and this was truly bad timing. We had the talk about Otto. When would enough be enough? I persevered with the medications, painkillers and food. I woke up every morning, wondering… Would today be the day?
In an effort to get him to eat, I mixed up his food: Science Diet A/D, Royal Canin A/D, broiled chicken from the deli, canned tuna. The fridge looked like a test kitchen at Purina, with all the opened cans. Eventually, it was Friskies Mixed Grill and canned tuna juice he’d eat, with a periodic nibble of dry food. And yogurt every couple days, to keep the intestinal flora going.
Long short story: Otto made it! He perked up once he was off the antibiotics, and got even better when Prince Charming came home. I know this is just one episode of probably more to come, but we’re thankful to still have the fuzzy menace with us.
Otto, of course, is now demanding tuna juice with every meal, and multiple trips outside to sniff the breeze. He’s the only cat allowed out of doors, and always under supervision.