My Cat: In memory of Ollie, my FurBaby. January 16th 2013
Ollie gets his priorities right!
By Loretta Livingstone
Ollie Cat, chilling in the shade!
Ollie is NOT my cat. He is owned by someone else, but he found me, loved me and decided he was going to own me! His owner is out a lot, so when Ollie is lonely he comes visiting. NB His owner knows he visits me, I'm not trying to steal him, but you try telling a cat to go home when he doesn't want to!
PS the drink is mine, not his, tho' I'm not convinced he's teetotal!
16/1/2013 Today is a very sad day, and I have renamed my lens in memory of Ollie. My FurBaby from 2003-2013 My heart is broken.
Ollie and friends/foes!
Read more about Ollie in my book Fire and Ice. See the link below. He and Buster have their own personal poems. One or two of these can be found on the lens entitled Christianity and humour, Jumping in the Puddles of life. Why have I put them there? Read the book and you will understand. He fits right in. Not all of the poems are spiritual, they reflect all aspects of life. Ollie's catquaintances include Toggy, Buster, Micetta, Hobnob, Diesel and Zorro. He didn't much care for other cats, he wanted to be an only cat. But he couldn't prevent other cats visiting the garden.
Toggy, in particular, once rescued Ollie from a fight with a much bigger cat who had him cornered and scared witless. Was Ollie grateful? Not a bit of it! But he tolerated Toggy's attempts at friendship - just about. Toggy was a fighter when pushed, sRead more about Ollie in my book Fire and Ice. See the link below. He and Buster have their own personal poems. One or two of these can be found on the lens entitled Christianity and humour, Jumping in the Puddles of life. Why have I put them there? Read the book and you will understand. He fits right in. Not all of the poems are spiritual, they reflect all aspects of life. Ollie’s catquaintances include Toggy, Buster, Micetta, Hobnob, Diesel and Zorro. He didn’t much care for other cats, he wanted to be an only cat. But he couldn’t prevent other cats visiting the garden.
Toggy, in particular, once rescued Ollie from a fight with a much bigger cat who had him cornered and scared witless. Was Ollie grateful? Not a bit of it! But he tolerated Toggy’s attempts at friendship – just about. Toggy was a fighter when pushed, so we were very grateful that he had decided to take Ollie under his wing.
Toggy considered himself a bit of a garden guardian. We were very fond of him and missed him when age took its inevitable toll.
Do Pets Go To Heaven
A beautiful book, this has comforted me so much. I highly recommend it. I doubt you'll be disappointed. Beautifully written, but scripturally sound. If you need comfort, please read it. I'm sure it will help you, in addition to being a beautiful true story. If I find more which I personally like I will add them at a later date. I am only adding this one for the time being.
Ollie is versatile in his hiding places!
Cat person, dog person,
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Which do you prefer
A Little Christmas Cat Jingle
"Now where did they put my presents?"
Jingle cat, jingle cat, jingle all the way,
oh what fun it is to run and catch a mouse today,
jingle cat, jingle cat, jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to run and catch a mouse today.
Dashing thru the snow, to catch a mouse today,
o'er the fields we go, miauing all the way.
Bells on collars ring, keeping spirits bright.
what fun it is to run about and catch a mouse tonight.
Oh jingle cat etc..... Words by Loretta Livingstone Dec 2009 (approved by her owner, Ollie)
Ollie finds the crossword rather tiring
Like all cats, Ollie prefers boxes to "proper" cat beds.
He's always happy to discover a new box!
Part of my life
Ollie has been part of my life for nearly ten years, since he discovered the previous house owners had moved out along with their dogs. He was delighted and flirted with us, from a distance. We said "Oh, isn't he gorgeous" and turned to go indoors. Faster than the speed of light he was at our feet. He wasn't going to lose his new admirers that quickly. At first we only allowed him into the back garden. He had an overwhelming fondness for cuddles. He just HAD to be cuddled. So in cooler weather I used to sit out on the patio in my coat with him clambering under my chin and wrapping his paws around me. He also liked to grip my thumb tightly with his pads (the trick is to position your thumb beneath the claws, to avoid punctures). One day the back door must have been slightly on the latch, as I was resting on the settee when in he strolled, large as life and twice as natural, with a big smile on his face, tail bolt upright (his tail was always upright when he felt confident. When he felt pure pleasure he would vibrate it) as if he was saying, "Hello. I came visiting." And that was where my life with Ollie began. By the way, the picture is a little blurry I know, but it is one of my favourites and I'm no good with photo editor things, so please live with it.
He liked to laugh
Ollie also had a sense of humour. I looked out of the window once, and saw him with his owner's small dog. The dog had plainly lost Ollie and was searching for him in a way that clearly said "Where the heck did he go? He was here just now." From my vantage point I could see Ollie, hiding (it was crystal clear that he was hiding as he was plainly waiting for Barney to come round the corner of the hedge) behind a hedge. As Barney popped his nose round the hedge Ollie sort of sprang up, which really made Barney jump. It was quite clearly a game to him as I've also seen him play it with a kitten once too.
I was crouched down, balanced on my toes, gardening one day, totally oblivious to Ollie. Suddenly I felt two soft paws on my shoulder blades, which made me tumble over. When I looked round, ther was Ollie halfway down the garden with his best 'butter wouldn't melt' expression, nonchalantly chewing his nails. Every inch of him was saying "Whatever made you tumble like that? Wasn't me! I was way down here". Not long ago, he did the same to my husband. It was good to know that, despite his frailty and advancing age, he still had his unique sense of humour. He also liked to sneak up and leap onto the settee just behind our heads when we weren't looking. Unless he was in mountaineering cat mode, when he would grapple his way up from the floor, over the arm as if he was tackling Mt Everest.
Ollie and the hedgehog
We used to have a hedgehog living in our garden shed. She was plainly female as she produced two litters. We named her Barbie as she was rather fond of corralling plastic bags into her nest. One balmy summer evening Barbie was heading towards the dish of water that I keep near a dividing wall. Out of sight, we could see Ollie advancing on the same water from behind the wall. They both materialised in front of each other at exactly the same time. They each mirrored each others actions. Each one screeched to a halt, jumped as if they'd been shot, and fled back the way they came! Ollie wasn't normally afraid of hedgehogs, in fact I think he liked to watch out for them, but this one had caught him totally by surprise! I wish I had been able to take a photo, but it was all over much too quickly.
Ollie's last day
Yesterday (16/1/2013) early in the morning (we always keep Ollie in overnight if it's cold as his owner goes to bed early and Ollie will not stay home) we let Ollie out to go home for his breakfast. The morning routine is that it's usual for my husband to give Ollie his early morning cuddle (tho I did the day before, how glad I am about that) then pop him out. Off he skips home only to materialise on our front doorstep, or on our picnic table in the back garden, a little later. Then we let him in and there he stays unless he fancies garden time or a stroll about the neighbourhood, until it's time to go home the next day. If it's snowy he sometimes stays indoors til his Dad comes home from work, and appears around 7pm. Sure enough, around midday I popped my head out and just round the corner was my furbaby. He trotted in, but his appetite has been so poor recently, and I couldn't get him to eat anything, so I decided to go to the shops to tempt him with some smoked salmon. On the way home his Dad caught me and said that he was going to take Ollie to the vets. We've been concerned as he is getting very old and his belly is swollen. His Dad had hoped that the vet might be able to do something, but didn't expect it. He gave me half an hour's notice. I rushed home, called my husband, so he could come and say goodbye, then dashed upstairs with the smoked salmon and a dish of creamy milk. He has eaten very little lately and I sometimes end up with about ten dishes on the floor to tempt him. It wasn't going to be a problem today. He ate the whole packet, with great relish, stopping for a short breather half way through. I arranged his front paws on my lap, where he sat and sang for about 10 minutes, but he has trouble staying comfy in any position for long, so then he hopped off. We petted him some more and he ate the last scraps of salmon. His owner called, in tears, as was I. And, sadly, there was nothing the vet could do. Ollie is no more. His owner came back later to tell me the news, we had a hug and a little reminisce. He thanked me for taking such good care of Ollie. I do regret that I had been caught up in other stuff in the morning and hadn't given him a lot of time for cuddles, but at the time I had no idea that I only had a couple of hours left. It's very easy to be wise in hindsight.
I am so sad. I have no children and my doctor tells me I am allergic to cats, so I have lost the only furbaby I will ever have. But anyway, Ollie is not really replaceable. He was so loving and funny. Even on one of the only 2 occasions he brought me a "present" he presented it beautifully. A small dead mouse, curled up in a little circular top he'd found. I know that the pain won't last forever. But I have found a beautiful book, on the Amazon link further up the page, which has brought me so much comfort that I wanted to share it with you. I feel comforted to think I will see Ollie again, and he will live in my heart forever. I am so glad he decided to own me.
The Story Continues
Ollie may have gone from our home, although never from our hearts, but the story continues. Do keep reading to find out what happens next.
When Buster was a kitten he used to join Ollie and me as we sat in the sun. I sat in the garden lounger and the cats sat in chairs either side of me. Ollie was a little miffed if Buster took the chair he preferred sitting in. Buster was only tiny but I learnt very early on that he did NOT like being stroked. Ollie tolerated him and I even saw him playing peek-a-boo with him later. Buster grew up to be somewhat aggressive towards people. He has, on occasion, chased me round the patio hissing at me, and once sunk his claws into my ankle in an entirely unprovoked attack. However, Buster liked our garden and was plainly here to stay. If I wanted to be allowed to sit in my own garden without wearing boots I needed to befriend him.
This was going to be scary. We noticed that if people raised their voices at him he was more likely to go for them than if they were calm. Most of the men in the neighbourhood feared Buster. Not for what he's done - though a few people who had tried to stroke him had nasty bites to show for it. They feared him for what he looked like he would do. That scary hiss was most definitely a statement of intent!
So the first thing was to stay really calm. If he looked like starting a fight with another cat we told him firmly to STOP, also telling the other cat the same. Buster didn't really fight other cats (though my neighbours will tell you differently). Something about Buster made other cats deliberately provoke him. We had noticed him trying to ignore them, but they were persistent. Sometimes just being firm would work. Once or twice I turned the hose on them. Buster would occasionally try to swat Ollie, who sometimes gave back as good as he got and sometimes turned into a quivering heap. By now, the mere threat of the hose was enough. Buster didn't appear to hold a grudge for this, so it seems that he recognised the benefit of fights being stopped.
Over time he became less threatening.
Buster's story is still being written. As things change I will add modules. To read more of his story please continue to read down the page.
The New, Calmer Version
Buster was beginning to realise that we could at least be allies. He could lay in our garden in peace. He didn't often bother Ollie, although I have to say that Ollie was none too pleased with this turn of events.
We felt that Buster needed to feel that he was cared for too. Yes he does have owners, one came to collect him once when he hurt his paw and couldn't jump out of our garden. Apparently moving Buster was not a job to be taken lightly (although I have seen one young girl cuddle him once, in his own garden) - his owner arrive with enormous leather gauntlets! Buster greeted him with evident delight, pleased that he had joined him......until his owner went to pick him up. I'm afraid Buster had to limp home by himself!
We started rewarding Buster with a small handful of biscuits when he behaved well. This seemed to work well.
Buster now joined Ollie and I on a regular basis. Since Ollie only had a small appetite and needed biscuits throughout the day, this presented another problem. Each time Ollie wanted biscuits Buster had to have them too. Then he just wanted them anyway. Had we created a further problem?
Telling him that there were no more biscuits seemed to work as long as I stayed in my chair. The second I was out of it more biscuits were required. Bear in mind we were still pretty scared of Buster at this point.
Buster, however, was continuing to consolidate his position as 2nd Cat!
Your cat/dog animal stories/poems
Feel free to add your dog/cat/animal stories poems in my guest book, although I am having trouble finding the comments people leave at the mo. I am advised by email, I go to edit and there don't seem to be any comments to approve. I will work this out one day I'm sure, so please don't feel I didn't appreciate your comments - I may just not have been able to find it. Please bear with me and kep the comments coming, I love to read them on my emails even if I can't find them on my lens.
Buster Wants A Fuss
Ok, now we have Buster sunning himself with me and Ollie, and sometimes the two cats would share the picnic table together. Buster was always a little more mellow in summer. Ollie tolerated him, and I tried not to move too much!
Sitting in my sunlounger one day - fortunately with Ollie NOT on my lap, I noticed Buster eyeing me from the picnic table. I must have had a sixth sense about him as, just as he launched himself at me, I shifted sharply to the side. We ended up wedged tightly together in a somewhat unstable plastic lounger! Luckily my husband was on hand to haul me gently out.
After this Buster started to put his head under our hands as we dropped his biscuits. Eventually I plucked up courage to stroke him. I am now allowed one stroke from the head to the tip of the tail - but he only gets his stroke when the sharp end is happily occupied with biscuits. It has become a ritual.
After this incident Buster started to take much more of an interest when Ollie sat in my lap. We would both sit there frozen with fear in case he decided to join us. I am not a large woman, there is room for one only on my lap!
To my and Ollie's profound relief Buster seemed to realise this.
Since Ollie passed on, Buster has become determined to be our cat. I suspect this summer will become the one where he sits in my lap. As long as I am undamaged I will keep you updated.
Would YOU be brave enough to give Buster a fuss?
How brave are you? Would you be able to give poor Buster a stroke?
Would you stroke Buster?
And He's In!
He's been casing the joint for months, but every time he finds a way in his greed has let him down. He simply can't resist the rattle of a box of biscuits, and where do we eat biscuits? You guessed it....in the garden! So up 'til now it's been really easy to remove him. But not today! As you see, he has successfully resisted his stomach and has made himself comfortable. He sang me a little song, which was very nice, but what I want to know is ....... WHO'S GOING TO PUT HIM OUT TONIGHT? I do NOT want to trip over him in the middle of the night, thank you.
And no! I may stroke him, but I have a feeling any attempt to lift him will be met with fierce resistance! So it won't be me. I guess we'll just have to hope he gets hungry...........
A Bit Of A Setback
Things have been going really well with Buster, he's progressed to sitting on my lap, and purring, head-butting me to make me stroke him, and cuddling up to me. He appears to be far more relaxed about this than I. Unfortunately the other day we had a bad setback. He decided he had asked me enough times for biscuits and it was time to teach me a lesson. He attacked me, clawing my legs badly. I have been trying not to feed him too much to encourage him to return to his owners. Because of my allergy, and also his uncertain temperament, we do not want to have to have him in at night. Ollie was sweet and gentle, Buster is NOT! The thought of tripping over him at the top of the stairs in the dark, or having him hop onto the bed in the night is not something I want to contemplate! We have realised that he is hungry and think he must have packed his furry suitcases when his owners acquired two dogs. He appears to be living in our shed, and also using my neighbours cat flap. So now we keep a bowl of biscuits permanently in the garden - to the delight of every wandering cat in the area. Oh yummy, a free breakfast bar!
This is working, sort of! But Buster had already acquired a taste for a particular cat treat, and expects it at least twice a day - more if possible. We are hoping the clawing will not begin again. And getting rather worried about the winter. We can only hope that it will be mild this year.
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Buster Makes A New Friend.
Buster has always enjoyed small furry things. He once kidnapped a neighbour's hamster. His owners found it, unharmed, in their own garden. No-one knows whether he got it to keep their hamster company, as a gift because he thought if they had one it would please them to be given another, or whether he wanted a small furry pet too. He has now made friends with a new local kitten. He lets it steal his milk and biscuits, he occasionally gives it a little chase and, of course, corrects it when it sits in his spot. He saw it on a neighbouring shed today, and went to join it. Yes, Buster is fond of kittens.
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Buster makes an overnight stop.
I have been thankful for this mild winter. Buster doesn't mind the rain and, so far, has been happy to ask to go out in the evenings - although he expects more cat treats once outside, a reward for being a good cat. He also believes that each time he comes in, or goes out, or comes in, or goes out, etc he should have more treats. I have created a monster! I deal with this by reducing the number of treats he gets if he plays the in, out, in, out, in, out card, and making him wait to come back in - though this will backfire once he remembers that we have a perfectly good upstairs window. We have a tightly fitting cat mesh on the window, but he is a solid cat, and has discovered he can open it by inserting his rear end tightly between the window and the mesh and wriggling and shoving until it bursts open.
However the most recent storm provoked a flat refusal to go out. He wanted to go, he tried every door, just in case the weather was better at one of them, and we think he must have been crossing his furry legs as we provided him with a litter tray, just in case. Bedtime came - he was still not budging and, truth to tell, the wind was howling so much we would have worried about him all night, although he usually gets into my neighbours cat flap and spends the night with her. We didn't know how he would react to being shut in the hall, and didn't want to leave him in our living room overnight. There was NO WAY he was sharing a bedroom with us. I went to bed, waiting for my husband to decide how to get him out of the living room and into the hall. Time passed. Eventually my husband came to bed, collected a duvet, and spent the night on one settee, whilst Buster snoozed happily on the other, and I was left alone, upstairs. And what night was this? February 14th. Yup! Buster had a lovely Valentine's day - and night. He was most appreciative of the company, although my husband, not surprisingly, had a very fitful night's sleep as Buster kept asking to go out, seeing the wind was still high, and changing his mind. We are now hoping and praying for no repeat performance.
On the plus side, his temperament is improving constantly and he appears to be very fond of us - although we now know only to stroke him when he asks, and to watch for his mood to change. He has stopped trying to bite us now, when he's had enough, and merely warns us by a flash of his teeth, safely distant from our hands. It is good to know he trusts us. And it is good to know that we are making his life happy. As someone who has a cat allergy, it is very satisfying to have the best of both worlds.
BEFORE YOU GO - Please help animal shelters get free food - it will cost you nothing.
Ollie and Buster and their friends would like to show you this fantastic site where you can click a link every day. It's completely free, and each click provides a meal for an animal in a shelter. Please spare a couple of seconds to help. Visit often, and click frequently. Your clicks will help save precious lives.
- Animal rescue site
Your click really counts