Ten years ago, a small scraggly cat sat waiting for a home at the Long Beach Animal Shelter. His name was Oscar. He was not what you would call a “gorgeous” cat. In fact, some might call him a “homely” cat. He was charcoal grey and skinny with a distinctive overbite and one fang hanging out of the right side of his mouth. There was something in his eyes though; something “special”.
One day a young couple, named Steve and Karen, came in to the shelter looking for a furry companion. They both noticed the special gleam in the sad little cat’s eyes. It didn’t take them long before they had chosen Oscar to go home with them.
Oscar settled in to his new home wonderfully. Oscar made Steve and Karen realize the wonderful relationship one can have with a feline friend and, so, they began rescuing other kittens they found in the neighborhood that needed homes and adopting them out to forever families. They found this was not an easy task but Oscar gave them the strength and tenacity to help those less fortunate cats whose fate was life in a shelter or, even worse, a life on the streets.
Oscar never complained when the family grew to include other furry felines. He welcomed them with serene contentment.
One day, Steve and Karen noticed Oscar was walking a bit strangely. After a few minutes of this, he fell over on this side. He then got up and continued walking as if nothing had happened. It was strange behavior and neither Steve nor Karen knew what to think of it. Then it happened again . . . and again.
They took Oscar to their local veterinarian who diagnosed him with a heart arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). They were told that this could result in cardiac arrest and sudden death. Steve and Karen’s heart’s dropped. What would they do without their loving Oscar!
An appointment with Dr. George Kramer, a veterinary cardiologist, confirmed the life threatening diagnosis and the young couple were forced to face two scary options. They could allow nature to take its course, but Oscar’s heart could permanently seize one day and they could lose the love of their very special friend. Or, they could follow Dr. Kramer’s suggestion and subject Oscar to heart surgery, which carried its own set of risks.
What if Oscar didn’t survive the surgery?? They had been together for ten years now . . . were Steve and Karen ready to say good-bye to their faithful companion?
They made the decision that they would have for any other member of their family. They chose to give Oscar a chance at a longer and more fulfilling life by having a pacemaker surgically implanted. The day after Oscar was brought home he sat on the windowsill, as usual, grooming himself, just as if nothing had happened. The shaved fur and outline of the pacemaker were the only visible signs that he had surgery.
The cat who had changed a young couple’s life forever was healing and healthy; ready to give more inspiration in the rescue of his feline friends.
Oh, and . . . that “thing” they saw there in Oscar’s eyes………it was LOVE. Pure and simple.