I’ve been on a bit of a blogging break and thought I’d get back into the groove with this heartwarming story. Over the last year I’ve re-learnt how pets can make such a difference to the quality of our lives – they make us more caring, more understanding and yes, more patient too…if we let them!
May you be inspired – everyday!
My sister, Angel, hated him when he first arrived. He was old, grouchy, and loud. He was not the cat she had wanted.
Angel was terminally ill, and longed for a “buddy” to keep her company. Cancer is a lonely disease, no matter how many people love and care for you, and I understood her need for a new pet.
At only 28, my baby sister didn’t have much time left, and our family wanted to give her anything — anything at all that she asked for. If there was even the most remote possibility it would put a smile on her sad and hopeless face, we would do it.
However, the cat my mother brought home for her was not a fluffy, adorable baby. He was huge. And he “argued” with everything — with the same ornery tone as Angel did.
Right away I figured them to be kindred spirits. It took Angel a little longer to make the connection. It also took “Oreo” a while. The black and white “buddy” for Angel wanted nothing to do with her, nor she with him.
“Take him back, Mom!” she ordered after only a couple of days. “He hates me and he never shuts UP!”
Mom refused, and Oreo stayed, complaining loudly all the while. But he and Angel had no choice but to get used to one another. I think when you meet someone exactly like you, you either love them or you hate them.
I first began to notice a change a couple of weeks after Angel got Oreo. Coming in every morning to spend the day with Angel, I usually found him waiting at the door, bolting past me the instant the door opened wide enough. Tossing a cranky “Yow!” at me, I gathered he reciprocated Angel’s feelings for him.
Until, the day she fell.
Her morning caregiver didn’t show, and she was so happy to have some “alone time” that she didn’t call me or anyone else to let us know. Because her brain tumor had paralyzed her entire right side, she often fell, so she could never be left alone.
I pulled up and noticed all the blinds were still shut and immediately knew something was wrong. Running to the door, heart racing, I unlocked it and the first thing I saw was the pool of blood by the door. Rushing to Angel’s room, I found her unconscious, the right side of her face and head cut and swollen. Oreo was standing right on top of her, “yelling” at me as if to say, “WHERE have you been?” His back was arched, his face intently watching her as I stumbled through her door. He was rigid and protective, and if a cat can have a “worried” expression, this one did.
Angel was never the same after that fall and her time on Earth drew to an end only a couple of months later. But her guardian feline never left her side.
Whenever I was able to get Angel into the living room for some sunshine and a new view, Oreo followed us. The second I got her seated or lying down, he climbed gracefully to his place of guardianship – wrapped around her neck. With disdain, he would glare at anyone who tried to move him, including Angel, so she just got used to having an animal wrapped around her neck at all times. I don’t think she envisioned a “buddy” as committed as this one, but I had to admit, the cat had tenacity.
As time went by, she became too weak to leave her bed. Oreo remained draped across her chest and neck, leaving only to eat and make brief visits outside. He slept continually in the same place, and we often had to shove him off Angel’s face so she could breathe. They became bonded in an inexplicable magic that I can only call a miracle, guided by God’s hand.
During Angel’s last 24 hours on earth, Oreo didn’t leave his “spot” on my sister once. He never ate, never went outside, never moved from his place. Somehow he knew her time was near and he was determined to be her protector until God took his place and brought her home.
Angel died surrounded by people who loved her, in my mother’s home, overflowing with love and earthly angels seeing my sister off. And Oreo was with her to the last breath.
I miss my sister terribly, but know she is in good hands and I will see her again. I am not the only one. When I visit our mother, Oreo always seems to be restless, lost without Angel.
Angel and Oreo ended up being true kindred spirits. What at first came in a disappointing package, in the end, was a true-blue, fiercely loyal protector and guardian angel.
An angel with an attitude. A black and white angel named Oreo.
~ Susan Farr Fahncke