The Cat and the Hat(rack)

Oct 11, 2014 | 1 comment


Goodbye to Osa

Goodbye to Osa

We said “goodbye” to Osa yesterday and deposited her with toys, food, flea medicine, and carrier at the Animal Shelter in Long Beach. I have to confess that I feel no regrets at all – just a lot of relief. I’m a tad sorry that we couldn’t fulfill Gordon’s dying request that we take her but after seven months, we felt we had given her all we could. It was not a match made in heaven you might say.

Besides the fact that she didn’t like to be touched, avoided at all costs being picked up, and never once would let us pet or cuddle her, she had some other non-redeeming features. Like she didn’t bury what she left in the litter box. We could put up with that – never mind that it made a joke of the claim “odor-free” kitty litter. But right when we began rejoicing that she was getting used to the outside world, we found that she was using our porch for her “litter box.”   I guess if you don’t know about the burying part, any surface, hard or soft, will do.



I also began noticing clumps of chicken feathers here and there in the yard and the girls were becoming increasingly skittish. Nyel and I decided that the cat and the chickens could take turns free-ranging – on Osa’s days out, we’d leave the girls in their pen.

Thursday was to be Osa’s first in-the-house day and she was not a bit happy about it. She complained from first light until mid-morning, refusing to eat her food and following me everywhere with incessant demands.   Then there was a silent period. Too silent. When I went to investigate, I found Osa sitting (defiantly?) by the hatrack where she had scratched an area on the front to tatters.

Osa's Handiwork

Osa’s Handiwork

The hatrack has been a part of my life always. Ditto my mother and her siblings. It was part of my grandparents’ first furniture after their wedding in 1897 and it came up to Oysterville from California in 1902. It’s a lovely bamboo and wicker piece that has survived my grandparents’ seven children, numerous cousins, countless friends, and pets for going on six generations now. It took Osa to ruin it.

Nyel and I talked it over… and over and over. We couldn’t really find a single redeeming feature for Osa and so yesterday she and I went for our final ride together. Ours is a ‘no-kill’ shelter. I’m unclear what they do with animals that may not be adoptable. Or maybe they have access to a cat whisperer who will make some headway with Osa.

The Animal Shelter

The Animal Shelter

They told me they had Osa’s quarters all ready for her and whisked her away. Maybe, eventually, she will get to join the play group of cats and kittens that were in the big viewing room off the lobby. I watched for a few minutes – all sizes and colors of cats, lolling lazily, tumbling with one another, playing a game with one of the volunteers. I hope Osa can find some friends among them soon. But I’m not sure she knows how.

In retrospect, I remember Gordon saying many times (and with affection and humor, the way he often made such pronouncements, “Osa is a terrible cat!” I’m sorry that we didn’t pay more attention.

1 Comment

  1. Louise Labby Carroll

    I suspect Gordon would have understood your decision. You both gave it your all. You did what was best for you both…and Osa, tough though it may have been.


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