On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, we helped our big Foldie boy, Onslo, over the Rainbow Bridge.
Onslo came to us at barely eight weeks old after I read Peter Gethers' book about Norton, the Scottish Fold cat. From the beginning he was such a good boy. He adored our first Scottie, Celtic Pride, and learned a lot from him like climbing the steps to get onto the bed and watching out the windows for chipmunks to jump up onto the window feeder. Often, he and Celtie would be playing and even though Onz needed to use the litter box he would wait until the last minute and then race to his litter box which we kept in the pantry often at the other end of the house from where they were playing. Apparently, he couldn’t stand to lose even one moment with his BFF. He also came running when he heard Celtie at the water bowl, and, though his little kitten head got wet, he would try to squeeze his head into the water bowl with that big Scottie head. If that didn’t work he would walk around and hang on Celtie’s tail. All of which Celtie tolerated with amazing patience.
When Celtie died, it was tough on Onslo, but he was welcoming to our subsequent Scotties, Frosty and Tarquin, and really was more dog-like than cat-like having been raised with Scottish Terriers. He often helped the Scotties stand guard at the front door and one of his favorite things was to join in Cookie Hunts which we did now and then for the Scotties. We “hid” pieces of kibble around the living room and then turned them loose to find them. Onslo was much slower than the Scotties but he always got one or two pieces which he would happily chomp on. "Yum, dog kibble."
But, like many cats, he loved catnip and was always the first on hand when I would dole it out. He also loved a little Santa statue that had been a department store window holiday decoration many years ago and was a bit the worse for wear. No other cat or dog paid the slightest attention to the Santa, but Onslo spent time during the holidays cuddled up to him and seemed to miss him when we laid him away with the rest of the decorations. Those who know us, know the special name we have for Onslo's Santa.
He welcomed Daisy, our second Scottish Fold, when she joined us and they often played together in the evenings. Like most Folds, he lay about belly up, as did Daisy, and one had to be careful walking through the house to look out for Foldie bodies.
However, he really loved what I call “Mommy Alone Time”. He would come into my office and ask to play volleyball. This game consisted of my rolling up little pieces of paper into balls and lobbing them at him. He would leap in the air and smash them back to me. Sometimes, he would hide behind a box, rush out, and then leap for the ball. He would also, at times, try to catch my attention in the living room or kitchen and give me what my mother called, “The Glad Eye”. Once he knew I saw him, he would gallop away expecting me to chase him. Normally he was a pretty dignified boy so these bouts of silliness were even funnier than they might be with another cat.
He also loved to "help" me change the sheets. He would wait quietly on the steps leading up to the bed until the bottom sheet was on. Then I would billow out the top sheet, and he would slip under. I always thought he was checking things out to make sure there were no monsters hiding there.
Onz liked to hang out atop the dryer and in his later years we fed him there as he ate a different diet from the others due to his diabetes. Scott fashioned a little table for him so he didn't have to bend his head down to eat. This also gave him a superior position as was fitting for the "head cat".
Onz had Feline Herpes which manifests as an upper respiratory problem. We treated it successfully for years, but, when two years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes, we had to switch to another lysine med without any sugar products, and it was not terribly effective. He also had arthritis in his hind legs which caused him to slow down. Over the years Onz had suffered a number of serious health issues including multiple breaks to one front leg and a nasty reaction to Clavamox. Each time we were afraid we had reached the end but each time he rallied. However, on Wednesday (12/14), it was obvious that he was uncomfortable and not doing at all well.
We called the vet and took him right up. We were all afraid it was ketoacidosis, but instead a large mass was found in his abdomen. It was almost certainly cancer, and he was not a candidate for surgery. We made the painful but loving decision to help him over the Rainbow Bridge. He passed peacefully with Scott and me stroking him and telling him what a wonderful boy he was.
“Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”