The Story of O(scar)Written by M. Nikole Hunn
The Story of O (scar)
I don't really know his name. I felt an intense need to give him one, though, so I named him Oscar. In my head, anyway. I never got to call him that, at least while he was alive. My mind often wanders to thoughts of him in those small moments of day that creep up on me - those tiny moments when my mind isn't really focusing on anything at all. No thoughts of car payments or code fragments or who I was supposed to call but forgot. I see him briefly. That fluffy, lifeless, ginger-colored mass lying by side of road.
It was just a normal day. I was out walking my dog along one of many semi-busy suburban streets that litter my neighborhood. Traffic was whizzing by at usual 40 miles an hour, drivers looking to get home in time for dinner or to make it to store or whatever it is they look to do in such a hurry. None of them paid me any attention. It was just your garden-variety summer afternoon, hazy sun, buzzing insects, and all.
As we walked down street, my dog became a bit more animated. She craned her head and pulled at her leash a bit, interested in something about 15 feet up road. Approaching area, I noticed first flies. There weren't many, but flies aren't exactly noted for hanging around side of road unless there is something there to interest them. Steeling myself against site of some unfortunate raccoon or possum, I kept walking. But it wasn't a raccoon. Or a possum. There, lying in shaded grass to right of sidewalk, partially hidden by branches of a bush poking through an adjoining fence, was a fluffy, almost fat, ginger striped cat.
I just stood there, looking at that cat, my dog sitting behind me, oddly subdued, as if she knew this was a solemn thing not to be taken lightly. He was a big boy. I don't even know for sure that he actually was a boy, but my mind won't let me think of him in any other way for some reason, so he's a boy to me. His fur was glossy and relatively clean; this had been someone's pet. Someone had either let their cat out or he'd escaped for a bit of short-lived freedom. I stood there, thinking of how he must have tried to crawl home, perhaps looking for his family to comfort him in his time of need. He was too far from road to have been flung there with so little damage and position of his lifeless body spoke of an animal that had tried to walk, but had fallen over on his side and stayed that way. There were no marks on him aside from a little trickle of blood from corner of his mouth. Internal injuries killed this lovely boy, I'd say. He was on opposite side of sidewalk from traffic and near a fence - was that his home? Did some child cry for him somewhere?
More Issues with Food and Family PetsWritten by JR Rogers
Recently, I went back to discussing food issues in some detail. It is important to understand that we do have ways of helping out pets not only with their diets, but with preventing things from happening long term.
Obesity in Pets and Ways to Deal with It We have discussed this before. Obesity is an issue for both humans and pets when talking about arthritis. Overweight pets are not only more prone to developing arthritis, those who have joint related issues experience greater difficulties when obesity is present.
Simple Solutions When pets are young, and I refer to those under age of one, we put them at greater risk of obesity through our own actions. I think that most of us are likely to feed them more and to provide "treats" because this seems to satisfy both pet and us. I mean, who can refuse food to a cute little dog or cat?
They are all little "beggars" at this stage. This is also time when their bodies are more prone to developing fat cells. Now, part of this is our own fault because we are more likely to "give in" when they are seeking food. Of course by doing so, we are setting in motion a long-term problem.
We Control Future Here This pattern of feeding too much in early years gives rise to long-term obesity. It is not found in animals that are living in wild. They tend to be lean and this leads us to conclusion that it is domestic pets that suffer greatest risk here.
Unfortunately, if we are over feeding our pets when they are young, we tend to continue this pattern. Even as they grow beyond this first year or so of life, we just keep giving in to their demands. Of course, obesity leaves pets more prone to developing medical conditions; and for our purposes, it makes development and management of arthritis more difficult.