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Ozzy the cat

About 7 1/2 years ago, I was living in Chicago and working in a photo studio as an assistant – just beginning my career as a photographer. One day, we got a call from a client asking if any of us wanted to adopt a cat. I’d been thinking about it and told her I might be interested. She asked, “well, what about 2 cats?!” I didn’t really want to become a cat-lady ;), but she told me about what beautiful pure-bred bengals they were, told me how her Mom was sick and couldn’t care for them anymore, and she convinced me that I would love them :) Ozzy & Harriett have been my roommates, best buddies, and a big part of my life ever since.

Ozzy & Harriett

Ozzy The Cat

Late last year, Ozzy got sick. He got down to 5.5 lbs, started losing his vision, and just didn’t seem right. Over the last few months, the vet has run all sorts of tests, and finally diagnosed him with FIP in January. FIP is a viral infection he’s probably had since birth, but only now has come out. It’s terminal and there’s really nothing that can be done except keep the cat as comfortable as possible. It’s been rather horrible watching him get sicker and sicker, and always wondering what would happen next and when he might die. And trying to feed him has been incredibly stressful because he neurologically just couldn’t seem to make his mouth work right half the time. It’s really been a difficult time for both of us.

Ozzy The Cat

Ozzy the Cat

Ozzy the Cat

So, after a few months of fighting it off, the disease seemed to catch up with him this week. His eye sight got significantly worse, his legs didn’t seem to be working right, and he just seemed sad. Every once in a while, he’d just look up at me and cry :( I was praying and praying that God would just take him and that I wouldn’t have to put him to sleep – but in the end, Ozzy needed me to do what was best for him. So, yesterday I took him to the vet, and we put him down :'( It was incredibly sad, but also a bit of a relief. I’m glad he’s not suffering anymore, and I’m glad I got to say goodbye and spend some time with him before he died, I’m glad he knew he was loved. But, I am really going to miss having him around. Ever since I started working from home full-time, Ozzy has been by my side every moment I’ve been home – which is a lot. I realized today that I’ve spent more time with him over the last few years than any other person. And now, he’s just not over on the other side of the room sleeping while I work. He’s gone. And for such a little guy, he’s left quite a vacuum…

Ozzy the Cat

Ozzy the Cat
previous 2 photos were taken by my friend Cynthia a couple weeks ago

I’m not the only one who’s going to miss Ozzy. Poor little Harriett has spent her whole life with him. She’s become more detached in the last few months as he got sick and a little grumpy, but they were still close. I tried to get her to say goodbye, but she didn’t really get what was going on. She seems to know something is wrong, but I don’t know if she realizes Ozzy is gone.

Ozzy the Cat

These were taken yesterday before our appointment.

Ozzy the Cat

and this is the last photo I’ll ever take of Ozzy. He slept under that blanket all day, and I just laid there and petted him. Poor little guy…

Ozzy the Cat

Ozzy, I love you buddy! I’ll miss you so so much! xoxo

Categories: Personal
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Shang says:

Krista – what a beautiful, poignant post about such a wonderful cat. Ozzy was clearly loved and I bet he understood why you had to do what you had to do. God bless you both!

George says:

Wow! you’re such a great photog and an excellent blogger. I don’t even LIKE cats and reading that post got my a little choked up! Ozzy was a good cat though. . . . you know, as cats go.

Ruby Slippers says:

I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve had to put so many of my pets to sleep over the years (they rarely die; they just get sicker and sicker), so I know how it feels. I remember when I had to put my 18-year-old cat, Socks, to sleep in 2003. I’d had him since I was six, so it was quite the wrench. My sister is a vet; I have no idea how she can stand doing it so often.

You have some beautiful pictures of Ozzy. The one on the stairs is my favourite! Be strong and God Bless.

jessica says:

aww so sorry to hear the news… let the babies cheer up their green kiki!

Grazier Photography says:

Oh Krista, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I know how much you love Ozzy and Harriet. You’ve been a wonderful cat-mom to Ozzy. Your pictures of them are beautiful. Love, Enna

Deb says:

Such a lovely tribute! I've had regrets about not adopting them myself but not after reading this. Through serendipity O&H found the perfect home.

Anonymous says:

The “sick” woman in your intro was my mother, and I knew these cats in Switzerland, their original home. Thanks for the rich life you gave them, and thanks for the dignified tribute.

Krista Photography says:

Thanks everyone! It’s been a hard week, but Harriett has been a dear and has stayed by my side and been a real comfort.

Deb, thank you so much for the gift you gave me in these little cats! They’ve truly been a blessing to me and I’m so grateful. Please thank your Mom for me too!!

Liz Wertz says:

Oh sweet kitty. I am so sorry, Krista. The photos and your story made me cry. How beautiful.

Anonymous says:

This is from Deb’s mom. I am so sorry for your and Harriett’s loss. I am glad Ozzy had you to care for him and hopefully, as time passes, you will have many fun moments to look back on. Thank you for sharing the last moments you had with Ozzy. The picutres you have shared with us are truly beautiful!

Kyla Davis says:

Those are awesome pictures and a great tribute to your buddy! We’ll miss you Ozzy!! I love you sister! ~Kyla

Tabitha says:

Oh sweet little kitty. I am so sorry for your loss Krista. The images are just beautiful and are now priceless ;)

sarah mae says:

Oh, sad. I know him being sick was hard for you, and I can’t imagine how difficult the decision was to put him down. But like others have said, this was such a beautiful tribute. I’m so sorry.

Meg says:

Krista, these photos and the story are so touching! Everything is so intimate and honest. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Sarah says:

This brought tears to my eyes…I’m sorry about your sweet, beautiful kitty friend.

J says:

My heart breaks for you and Ozzy.

paige elizabeth says:

Tears are just streaming down my cheeks. What a beautiful kitty and such wonderful photos of him. I’m so sorry for your loss but heaven knows they do stay with us.

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