Tough Cookies

This isn’t known to too many people, but my brothers and I kind of owned a cat.

I say kind of because this cat, Oreo, was a farm cat that we brought home to the city.  He was a wild cat that did its own thing and, typical of a cat really, listened to no one but itself.

Either way, this cat was a part of my life since I was 11 or so, and I remember him as he was a kitten.  He grew fur on him that was black all over, save for a line of white down the middle of his nose that went all along his belly, and little patches of white on his paws.  He looked like an Oreo cookie… so that’s why he’s named Oreo.

So I kind of owned this cat called Oreo, and he was the best cat ever.  He was such an awesome cat that he led the posse of cats in my neighbourhood and had a girlfriend that lived under our porch.  He was friendly, strong, kinda fat, smart as all get out…

His purring shook the floor.

My brothers Seb and Jub both loved this cat, but Seb was especially fond of Oreo.  I mean, Seb has always loved cats, but Oreo was especially important to him.

Oreo was diagnosed with the cat version of AIDS several years ago, and his teeth weren’t in the best shape of all time.  He was still the strong cat he always was, but his days were limited.

This illness is what eventually caused him to mess up one of my Dad’s carpets, which made Dad angry.  So Dad decided to take Oreo back to the farm, where he started off, and keep Oreo there.  This worked for awhile, with a neighbour coming to feed him once in a while, and Oreo stayed in his new home (A fairly large, heated barn) contentedly.

However, Oreo was one of those cats who tended not to stay in an enclosed space for too long.  One night, our neighbour had forgotten to close the door to the barn… and Oreo disappeared.

This happened about 6 months ago.

Fast forward to now: I’m moving firewood from a pile to a trailer in a barn about 25 meters away.  My brother Jub and myself were operating a tractor so we could move this firewood easily enough.  The dog, Steely, was following us, sniffing things and enjoying himself.  The weather is fantastic, with almost no clouds outside and a warm sun washing over the property.  Trees swayed to and fro with the breeze, and crickets were chirping.  It was beautiful (and still is!).

We maneuver the tractor into a barn where we store equipment, and where the trailer we were loading was being sheltered.  Steely begins running around, sniffing and searching for… whatever it is that dogs look for when they’re excited.  Jub powers off the engine, and we begin loading firewood.

Steely is fixated on a corner of the barn where we have several piles of bricks stored.  He begins whining, and circling the pile.

He tends to do this with squirrels, raccoons, and anything small and edible.  So I go on thinking “It’s just another racoon.”

Meow.

… Wait, what.  Raccoons don’t meow.

Meow.

I drop my firewood and immediately begin following the meowing.

Meow.

I meow back the best I can, and I get a response! I keep playing marco polo with this cat, and eventually I see him hiding between two stacks of bricks.

It’s a black, long haired cat.  It’s hard to see, but it’s awfully skinny and lean, but its great big, bright green eyes and easy to see in the shadows.

He also happens to have a line of white fur that leads from his nose through his belly, and little patches of white on his paws.  This cat… was my Oreo.

For the next 2 hours, I fed him dog kibble, cuddled him, and hugged him.  I didn’t care where he’d been, what he’d done, or anything… all I cared about was that my Oreo was still alive.

I even got him re-aquainted with the dog! Steely eventually saw that Oreo was NOT a raccoon, and began licking Oreo’s ears, sniffing his butt, and hopefully Oreo will eventually start to trust Steely again.

That is the Toughest Oreo ever.

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