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When You Lose Something You Can't Replace

16/10/2015 9:27 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST
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Steve Williams

F*** you, Coldplay and James Blunt. You and your bloody emotional lyrics.

Last week we said goodbye to Oscar, who was part of our family for just shy of 15 years. Three quarter Persian, one-quarter ratbag. Named after Wilde, O.

Oscar was a wonderful cat -- suitably mischievous, perplexing and delightfully odd.

*Non-cat people, click away now.

All my wife wanted was a little bundle of fur that would sit on her lap. No chance. Oscar would get tantalisingly close, but always ensured he was at least a cushion-length away. That was possible revenge for us moving him around the world from Asia to Europe.

He was more dog than cat, he would follow you around, then steal my wife's office chair next to me while I was writing. A pointy-eared, furry muse.

Oscar had already traded in about 12 of his nine lives, and then a few months ago we discovered lumps on his front left leg. Vet. Tumours.

They were aggressive, with amputation the only option. So Oscar became a "tri-pawed", up and about two hours after surgery, home in a few days, hopping up and down the stairs with ridiculous ease a day or two later. Remarkable.

Tumours being the bastards they are, returned. X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, "successful" surgery, but temporary. Enough now. Sans one leg and pre-surgery full-body Brazilians, Oscar was literally half the cat he used to be. We decided no more. We would let it play out.

The final act. Oscar hadn't been eating properly, not himself, slight cough, but no pain, so to the vet. The bastards had come back big time. X-rays gave him a maximum of two weeks.

He had been through enough, why put him through more? So it was a heartbreaking, yet simple decision.

I was with him, then carried his empty cat box home.

Attempting to work that night, the stairs quiet, the office chair next to me strangely empty, then hearing Coldplay: "And the tears come streaming down your face / when you lose something you can't replace... and I will try to fix you."

Thanks, Chris Martin. If that wasn't enough, then James bloody Blunt... "As strong as you were / tender as you go, I'm watching you breathing for the last time...l'll carry you home..."

Visions of an exceedingly cute, tiny kitten in my hand all those years ago, carrying a very sick, yet still purring Oscar onto "that" table in the vet's surgery, then walking home with his empty box. I was a mess.

Oscar, thank you for almost 15 years of unconditional* love, light and rampant ratbaggery. Vale. X

*Conditions apply

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