Our Beloved Oreo
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

FROM Christine Roth Akiyoshi
Facebook posting, January 5, 2022

Oreo was pampered in every way, loved unconditionally and made an impression on everyone who was lucky enough to interact with. We love you Oreo and will forever hold you in our hearts.

Cat Oreo

Today, we are saying goodbye to our beloved cat, Oreo. He was recently diagnosed with aggressive cancer when we discovered a tumor in his mouth. He had some other health issues in early November, but this one can’t be resolved. We have been showering him with love in the days leading up to now.

Oreo was taken in by my mom many years ago. She loved to brag about him and called him “Little Shit” in the most affectionate way. She believed that he could become a support animal (we believe it too) because he has such a wonderful demeanor. He never met a stranger, loved everyone and was loved by them in return, and was constantly starved for affection. When I would visit my mom, I would wake up to find him sitting on my chest staring at me, waiting for a spoonful of wet food and some pets.

When my mom died in August of 2020, we knew it was the right decision to bring him from Virginia to California. While we cared for my mom, we moved him into the hotel room with us and he was starved for affection. At night, we couldn’t have our hands on top of the blankets because he would incessantly rub his face all over them. It was a long trip on the plane from VA to CA, but he was a trooper. When we arrived with him in Napa, he immediately inspected every corner of the house and back yard and realized that his world had opened up in a big way. He now had a house with a yard, two other cat playmates and three people who loved to dote on him daily. Family and friends who came to visit would find a tuxedo cat in their lap pretty quickly. He became more independent and wasn’t so starved for affection because he was lavished with it.

Cat Oreo

There are some things that make him unique to me out of all of the cats that I have ever had. He has the cutest way of chirping instead of meowing. He loves to communicate through his chirps, especially when wet food is involved. He uses all of his body to communicate as well and I have never known a cat who was so good at using his front paws to do things. (For a while, I was trying to see if he was left or right handed but I think he used both equally.) Oreo has the LONGEST legs and loves to curl up in a ball when he sleeps but his legs stick out of the ball because of the length. When you pick up Oreo and put his front paws over your shoulder, he actually grips onto your arm and shoulder like he is a child being carried. It is like a wonderful warm and fuzzy hug.

One not so great habit is that he likes to spray even though he is neutered. He would go into the backyard several times a day to do “his business” but of course there were many times when he sprayed in the house. He preferred to spray a beautiful (and expensive!) hand painted cabinet in the foyer on a regular basis. He occasionally liked to use the bookcase in the living room and other times, he just backed up on the couch or chair in the living room. I personally never caught him in the act indoors. When he did it outside, he would back up against a bush, potted plant or our lemongrass plant (!) and once started would lift his back legs one at a time. Initially it was strange behavior to me but later, I looked forward to his spray dance. I never got mad when he sprayed in the house…I knew it was just his nature and after all, he was marking the territory because he had a long-standing feud with the neighbor’s cat (more on that later).

Laurence and Oreo began a bromance almost immediately. Laurence took him out to the back yard in the early morning hours and I would often find Laurence carrying Oreo around the house. Laurence bought a footrest for under his desk in his office and Oreo took his mid-day naps there. Some mornings, Laurence would find Oreo sleeping on his office chair when he awoke. Oreo also had a bed in the corner of Laurence’s office and often took naps there as well. Laurence even allowed Oreo to sleep on his pillow in bed! None of our other cats are afforded such a luxury.

The neighbor’s cat would sometimes come into our back yard. Our other cats seem to be okay with this and there were never fights, but Oreo and Manny had a strong dislike and got into several tussles. This was incredibly stressful to me and I am sure to the neighbors due to my screaming. We would keep an eye out for Manny to make sure we could scare him off, but there were several times when he got into the yard without us noticing and I was screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs while trying to break up a brawl. Oreo wanted to protect us from Manny. There were times too when Oreo would get in a tussle with Neko, one of our other cats. He would chase her and pin her down and she howled like she was being killed (drama queen). She was the queen of the castle before Oreo came along and Neko often liked to pick on Yuki (who also screamed like she was being murdered). When Oreo came into our home and heard Yuki crying out because her and Neko were in a tussle, he would rush to break things up. I always joked that he had a crush on Yuki but I don’t think that the affection went both ways. They tolerated each other but they never snuggled.

The final thing that I want to mention about his behavior is his desire for “play time”. When he lived with my mom, he had a stuffed animal that he liked to hump on a regular basis. Weird behavior for a neutered cat for sure. When he moved with us, we bought a toy that had a fleece string on it that he loved to have “play time” with. I did have the vet check to ensure he was neutered, and he was, but he had a few behaviors that had me believing that they may have missed something. When he had play time, this was the only time that he let out big meows, especially if you tried to pull the toy away. What a crazy cat!

We were so fortunate to have him in our lives for the year and a half since my mom died and he was treated like the true king that he is. He was pampered in every way, loved unconditionally and made an impression on everyone who was lucky enough to interact with. We love you Oreo and will forever hold you in our hearts.

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