Last updated: September 05. 2014 8:52AM - 204 Views
By - eparnell@civitasmedia.com - 803-276-0625

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When someone asks you if you’re a “cat person” or a “dog person,” chances are it doesn’t take you that long to respond with either or, or neither. Everyone has something they like about one more than the other. Well, for myself, I’m a cat person.

Not that I dislike dogs by any means, but growing up I was slightly afraid of them, especially those that found pleasure jumping up to me. Cats, however, are very chill animals. They know just when you need them without being overwhelming or “hyper.” I had a few dogs growing up, but nothing compares to my precious cat Oreo, whom I found 15 years ago.

When I was 9 years old, my family was in the process of building/completing our home when a stray cat wandered over to what is now our garage and seemed to stick around. It took a little convincing of my father, but my brother (who was 4 at the time) convinced my parents that this cat should be ours. After all, no one had claimed her after a good amount of time.

I can still remember us sitting at the dinner table throwing out potential names for our new pet. My brother wanted to name her “Blackie.” Then again, he was 4, and she was mostly black with a white belly. “How about Oreo!” I can still remember saying.

He agreed and the rest is history.

Oreo was already an adult cat when we found her 15 years ago, so no one in my family is quite sure how old she actually was, which is why my heart shattered into what felt like a million pieces last week when we had to make the decision to put her to sleep.

Slow signs were coming about that let my family know Oreo was no longer in the best of shape or health. She was moving slower with her old age, slowly losing her appetite and eventually got to where she was too weak to stand on her own. The vet called it kidney failure. It was one of the hardest decisions I think I’ve had to make.

I can still see her running down the driveway as my car pulled in to greet me. Although most times she knew directly where to plop down so you couldn’t get your car around her. Oreo usually accompanied me to the mailbox to get the mail and woke most of the house in the mornings when she was ready for breakfast.

Although frustrating when you were running late for work and she ran into the house while you tried to find her hiding spots, not a day has gone by recently where I haven’t hoped to see her run across the yard up to the door. She was a wonderful pet and one I will always remember fondly. Give your pets a squeeze tonight as they truly are “man’s best friend.”

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