Saturday, July 17

Olaf

Olaf's mom's name was melodie.  i'll remember her for as long as i live.  she was gorgeous, blonde, put-together.. the sort of lady that most guys would never have to be told is out of their league, and most women sit around wishing they could hate.  she was too sweet to actually give the guys who would hit on her the scorn they deserved for even daring, and too sweet for any woman who met her to properly loathe.  i didn't know her that well, but from her relationship with olaf, i have to say that's exactly the sort of beautiful, wonderful woman she was.  i want to be her.
 
i met olaf first.  he was in severe kidney failure.  you know the kind.. the ones who get fluids sometimes three times a week, because their owners can't bear the thought that it's their time to go?  both of the cats we gave this treatment to in the 9 months i worked there were really very bitter about it.  both were (or so their owners claimed) the sweetest, most gentle, wonderful cats - at home.  the day i met olaf, i went straight up to him, in his cage at work.  he was beautiful.  you could tell he was old (20, i found out later!), and he had a wise, deep look to him.  his eyes told a story, if you know what i mean.  he knew what was going on, he knew the story of his life, and he wasn't impressed by just anybody.  i loved him instantly.  he hissed when i got within a foot and a half of the door.  spunky.
 
of course, i had full sympathy for the techs.. but over a few months, i noticed that he was really a lot of show.  he never actually got close enough to bite anyone, and he was front-declawed.  say what you will, i think that most cats sort of know they're shadow-boxing, if they've been declawed.  they're putting on a show.  he did, at least.  they never had to muzzle him, which i think says a lot.  for all the bitching about him, they never felt threatened enough to muzzle him (and one of the techs wanted to muzzle the dog who licked her hand).  
 
by default, i was the one who brought olaf back to melodie, most of the time.  i was never the one (again, mostly by chance) who brought him up to get his fluids.  maybe that's why, when i got him out of his cage, i didn't need assistance.  maybe that's why, when i walked past, he didn't hiss, he just sort of.. looked at me.  but i think i saw a bit of him that the other techs didn't really get to see.  the side that was just a cat trying to die, but knowing he couldn't.
 
i have full faith that the reason he hung on for so long was for melodie.  she adored that cat.  imagine, she was in her late thirties.. this cat had seen everything from her start of college, to her divorce.  this cat was her everything, the being that had been witness to all of that, and still loved her more than anything.  poor melodie.  letting go is so very hard.
 
i knew melodie's voice on the phone.  i had to, i was getting calls from her 4 times a week by then.. and i have a thing with voices.  but when she called in that wednesday, it took me a while to figure out who it was, and work my head around the sobbing voice on the other end.  when i did, i was instantly crying.  but i told her what she could do, when she could bring him in, and about the urns.  she was shattered.  i told her, "You know that he did this for you.  You know that this is his way of telling you it was time.  You gave him so much, Melodie, you did so much for him.  He knew that you loved him too much to ever let him go.  He gave you a gift, he made that decision, so you wouldn't have to.  He loved you." 

1 comment:

B said...

This says a lot about your character and the kind of person you are. You see things and understand things that many other people wouldnt. Most can't say the right thing or offer any kind of comfort similar to what you try to offer. That's saying a lot. I don't know many that can do that. I can't.

I think you're right about Olaf and the reason he held on for so long. I think it's total, absolute, unbiased love. I think he understood what it meant to her and for her. That is a gift.