on being a cat … living the life of Oscar

He lives a life I can only dream of …

Oscar was found wandering the streets of Pittsburgh more than 14 years ago. Somehow, he ended up on his own. His long, beautiful cream-colored fur was matted and dirty. He couldn’t hunt or hold his own in a fight, in part because he had been declawed. He had fleas and worms. Lori, with whom I work, is a cat lover and had been watching him for a few days, trying to find a way to grab him. 

Lori took him to see a doctor, who shaved his fur and gave him medicine, noting that he would not have survived much longer. Soon, he was ready for a new home. Lori sent photos of Oscar – looking sweet and needy and like a kitten.

I agreed to adopt him – seriously, who could say no to this sweet little face!

Lori brought him down to Baltimore. I was expecting a little guy … and this is who jumped out of the bag – a little bigger than anticipated:

It was love at first sight. They estimated his age to be about 2 years old.

Our first home overlooked the park and he would spend hours in the window. We were there for a few months and then moved to Washington, DC, where he had a view of Connecticut Avenue and cars zipping by. It was a busier life, but so long as there was a window, Oscar was happy.

After a year in DC, we moved back to Baltimore when I bought my condo. Just after Christmas 2004, we moved into a wonderful old building built in 1903. The move was crazy – the movers were late and took forever to load and unload the truck. It was dark by the time everything was in the apartment. I had to leave the door open to the hall to find my lamp, as the previous occupants had not replaced the burned-out bulbs in the overhead lights. Fortunately, I was able to find a floor lamp and a plug.  In addition to being dark, it was cold – very cold. One window was stuck open and there was not much heat. Oscar and I huddled together under a pile of blankets that first night, wondering what had possessed us to move from our cozy DC apartment.

As I unpacked the next day, Oscar patrolled and sniffed all around the place. There was a nice new carpet and the walls had been freshly painted. The building staff helped to close the window and also helped get the water running and fix the toilets. Soon, the boxes were gone and the place seemed like home. By the second night, we had heat, running water, functioning bathrooms, lights and even television. On our first full day in the new place, everyone fawned over Oscar and his long, soft fur and beautiful big blue eyes.

Despite the hiccup of moving day, Oscar’s life over the past 14+ years has been pretty carefree. He has numerous places to sleep, an ample supply of treats and more toys than he knows what to do with. He sleeps most of the day, prowls around a bit at night and manages to get his way most of the time. Everyone still fawns over him … someone has to be beautiful!

4 thoughts on “on being a cat … living the life of Oscar”

  1. Lucky cat to have “found” you. We’ve only had one cat, similar to the circumstances you described. In the 3 years he lived with us we moved only once, when our daughter was 4. She followed him around, noting how he was checking everything out. As a kid i never had a pet, so it was instructional for me too. Savor that kitty!

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    1. He still does sweeps of the apartment in the morning and in the evening. He also stands guard in the apartment’s entryway while the building’s cleaning staff vacuum the carpet in the main hallway.

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