Shortly after our last sailing trip we said our final goodbyes to our dear old friend and sailing cat, OC. OC was 18, spent most of his days in bed, and slept curled up on my pillow every night. In between the bed and the pillow, any time I was in the kitchen he could be found with his paws on my leg asking for treats. Other occasions off the bed were generally spent figuring what I was eating and asking to share my plate with me.
OC’s fastest route to the master cabin was always through the window.
During his last sail OC spent time outside in the sun and in the breeze of the cockpit. I felt like we’d wheeled an elderly gent out of the old folks home and parked his wheelchair in the sun. OC sniffed the sea air, felt the breeze in his fur, and felt the sun warming his whiskers. He also ate most of the dog’s food when she wasn’t looking.
Many years ago a coworker at a part time job got a cat that she couldn’t take care of. She brought it into work and left it to fend for itself in the office. Not everyone likes cats so there was often no food or fresh water in the bowl and the litter box was always dirty. I already had two cats and you cannot save every stray that comes along.
I tolerated the office cat neglect for less than two weeks, and then I stole OC from the office and told the coworker I’d “hold” him until she got back on her feet. “Hold” him really meant I was keeping him and I’d sooner quit my job and disappear than give him back to her.
18 long and happy years later, my dearest old friend OC, you will be missed.