What I Learned About Being Who You Are Created To Be From Oscar, My Maine Coon Cat

On July 11 I had to do what many responsible pet owners have to do.  I had to have one of my cats, Oscar (Oscar Theodore--always known as Oscar) put down.  He was diagnosed with a malignant tumor, and he had rapidly gone from his full, healthy wait of 26 pounds to 18 pounds.

Oscar was the perfect specimen of a brown tabby Maine Coon.  The intern veterinarian and the fourth year veterinarian student along with the teaching veterinarian and team that diagnosed him at the University of Georgia Small Animal Teaching Hospital confirmed this fact.  He was gorgeous, handsome and a cat lover's cat.  I have posted two of my favorite photos of him for you to see.

Oscar, and his sister Chloe were given to me by my husband when I graduated from seminary in May 2001.  They were 12 weeks old when they came to live with us, and they were the first purebred cats we ever owned.  All of our previous cats had been adopted from the humane society or given to us, and they were all indoor and outdoor cats,  We loved them all, and Oscar and Chloe have always been our favorites.

Oscar bonded with me and became "my cat", and Chloe bonded with my husband and became his cat.  They were friendly and loving to both of us, and they chose their favorite person.

Oscar would "misbehave" and sulk when I was not at home to be with him in the evenings or when I was gone out of town.  His routine was to follow me around the house wherever I went and to lay down on the couch beside me or on the ottoman when I set down.  Twenty-six pounds of cat did not fit easily in my lap, and he would get heavy quickly.

My friend C. Kay, said that they are dogs in cat costumes.  Maine Coons are known as the Golden Retrievers of the cat family.  They are long haired, have a top coat and under coat, tufts of fur on the points of their ears and fur squishing out of their paws.  They are beautiful creatures from God, and Oscar knew that completely.

Here are the important things about being who God created you to be that I learned from Oscar:
  1. Be yourself--at all times--no matter what happens.
  2. Be confident in being who you are--own it, claim it and enjoy it.
  3. Being yourself may require that you take a stand and defend your position--especially when your cousin Kasey, female Standard Poodle, comes for visits and wants to "play" by chasing you and barking at you.
  4. Being cautious and afraid of new things is okay as you carefully observe things and people that are new to your environment from a distance before you come close.  If the object or person appears safe, then approach and become comfortable and friendly.  When it's clear the object or person is a threat or could be harmful--vacate the premises, run for cover, hide and get away as quickly as possible.  Don't return until the threat is long gone.
  5. Realize that not everyone is going to like you, and this is not your problem--it's their problem as they will not get to fully know you once they decide they don't like you.  Move on knowing that there are more people to meet who will love you for who you are and will accept you.  No need to waste time on people who don't like you.
  6. When you know someone loves you, trust them, accept them and constantly demonstrate that you love them, too, through your actions and through spending as much time as possible in their presence.
  7. Eat, drink water, take naps, keep well groomed, play, show your affection and love, eat, drink water, take naps, keep well groomed, play, show your affection and love--repeat throughout the day in no particular order.
  8. Only speak when you have something that needs to be said.
  9. Love the one you're with unconditionally.
  10. Know that you are God's unique creation and that God delights in you being you.
Chloe and I continue on without Oscar.  We miss him, and we are glad that we still have each other to love and to continue to practice what we learned from Oscar.  Here's Chloe:


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