Nicknames: Oomi Boomy, Oomster, Squishy Lo Pishy, LoverBoy, Toes McGee, Jerque du Soliel
Birthday: January 7th 2005
Likes: me, Wiyaka, playing, being outside in the enclosure, Chicken!, going for walks
Favorite Toy: anything that flies or has catnip
Favorite Nap Spot: The top of the cat tower.
Favorite Food: Chicken Breast
Skills: Leaping high and opening cabinets. Making everything better.
indoors and outdoors
Arrival Story: I was looking for a companion for my Aby, Nash. I had two elderly cats and Nash was very active, but had no one to play with on his level. Every time we went to the vet's office he tried to visit with all the dogs and cats and he would give me the "Can I have one, PLEASE?" look. I knew he would need someone with lots of energy, so I researched cats with that in mind and saw the Savannah and the Chausie and really fell in love with the looks and personality descriptions. I made appoinments to see two kittens, but I only made it as far as Oomi. He was so adorable and sweet and goofy. He was with his brother and seemed to be the shy one and that was a perfect fit with Nash, who was my alpha-cat. When I brought him home, he was so shy, he couldn't go to the bathroom for the first 24 hours. I took him to the vet, where they helped him out and when he got home, he seemed to realize this was his forever home and it was good. He stopped being shy almost at once. Nash was so excited, he waited by the door where I had Oomi for the first few days and kept looking at me like, "Is that my kitten? Can he come out now?" As soon as they met, they became fast friends, partners in crime.
Bio: Things I Know About Oomi
- He loves Hide and Seek/Ambush/"Boo" games. He loves to get a little scared and run away and he loves to hide and then jump out at me, especially if I squeal.
- He loves his tummy rubbed. I had to start setting my alarm 20 minutes earlier because his morning ritual is to crawl under the covers into my arms and have his head and tummy rubbed for up to a half an hour.
- When he was smaller and he wanted to initiate a "Boo" game, he would hop toward me on his legs with his "arms" up and the devil in his eye. This looked very much like a cat version of "Booga-booga!!"
- When I come home after being gone for several hours, he greets me by standing on his hind legs and stretching his front paws up as high as possible. Then I bend down and he crawls into my arms where he perches on my outstretched elbow like a leopard in a tree, surveying his domain. From this vantage point, he frequently stretches his paws out toward some object so that I may transport his over to inspect it. Then he inclines his head toward mine, eyes have closed, and waits for the answering rub of my chin on his forehead. Then purrs and purrs.
- I am a glass-half empty person, but his glass overflows so that when he is around, mine is full too.
- He defines joi de vie. When he enters a room, it's a sunny day.
- As a kitten, he would march boldly in between my other cats or onto my lap, flop upside-down, snuggle down and make himself at home.
- He likes to dance with me. I hold him with his butt between my elbow and my hip and his chest in my hand and dance around slowly.
- During the Sydney Olympics, we picked up the Aussie cheer and changed it to his private cheer; "Oomi-Oomi-Oomi! Oy! Oy! Oy!" of course, he must be gently bounced while being cheered.
- He loves walking on a leash, his newest joy is night time walks when he can catch crickets and try to sneak up on mice.
- Oomi's claws have dark stripes running down them. His toes are exquisite.
- Oomi sleeps with one of his paws curled up like a tiny fist.
- When he is happy, he makes "happy fists" with his front feet. If he is standing when he does this, it looks like a happy dance.
- Oomi catches toys with both front paws, like a toddler holding a sippy cup.
- He cannot resist the charms of a cardboard box.
- He always wants to have a silly, fun time.
- Oomi can make a 5 foot jump from a standing start and land as if he is simply choosing to float to earth.
- He has been my rock through the death of four other cats, always managing to make me smile somehow, showing me the importance of being a little bit goofy every day.
- Catnip is his, well..catnip.
- He loves bathing kittens and his other cat pals.
- When Wiyaka baths him, he tilts his head and closes his eyes - his whole body says pleasure.
I was clearing out a huge collection of toys from my desk (the accumulation of several years of gifts). Most were little fast food extras, that sort of thing. I had about 40 of them and was preparing for a garage sale and trying to decide if I wanted to keep any. As usual, Oomi appointed himself my helper. I was sitting on the floor sorting the toys and putting the garage sale items in a box. Oomi could never resist toys. He looked at the box as if to say “cool, toys!” and casually started digging around in the box with his paw, looking through the toys, picking up some, pushing others out of the way. One by one, he starts digging toys out of the box and starts playing with them; three in particular seemed to catch his eye; a small transformer, a toy car and two wind-up pterodactyls on wheels. I said, “Oomi, no, those are going away. You have plenty of toys already.” (Which was true, he had an obscene amount of toys.) Then I put them back into the box and went back to sorting. A minute later, I see a little brown striped paw, digging around in the box. One by one he starts pulling out toys, including… a small transformer, a toy car and the wind-up pterodactyls on wheels. “Oomi, I have to get rid of stuff. We can’t keep all these toys.” I put the toys back. At this point, he looked a bit pouty and walked a short distance away. Ten minutes later he’s back, happily digging through the box in that cheerful Oomi way. “OK”, I said, “You can have one. Go ahead. Pick it out.” He looks at me, digs in the box and pulls out the transformer, then starts digging again. “Oomi.” He stops. “OK. Which ones do you want?” He starts digging. “Not all of them!” He stops briefly, and then pulls out the toy car. I start to put the top on the box and he puts his paw in, stopping me. Admitting defeat, I hold the top open. He reaches in and retrieves both the wind-up pterodactyls on wheels, paws around a bit more and sits back, finished.
Did he understand every word? Who knows? But he got the gist of it. He always did. My wild, crazy boy who knew that toys are important.
The flowers on your grave are just starting to come up again. Soon, they will bloom. Today it’s been a year since I lost you, but I you are always with me and you always will be.
It's hard to believe it has been four days since Oomi left. Each day brings me forward in time, toward healing, but I don't want that. I don’t want to heal. I don’t want to be comforted. I want to stay here in this protective bubble of pain. Here, I am still in that place where he is everywhere and even irrational moments, like not wanting to scoop the cat litter because his mark is still there, keep me insulated from his passing. Even though he is no longer here, I felt his presence so keenly. His reality is protected and still warm on my skin. It hurts, but I still have him so vibrantly in my head and my heart. Every step I take toward resuming my life takes me away from him. Getting in my car, I realize the last time I was in it was with him and I remember. The last time I sat on the couch, was when I was still holding him in my arms while he left this life. The last time I used this pan was to boil him chicken in the hopes he would eat something. And taking the car somewhere, sitting on the couch, washing the pan, washing his food dish, his washcloth that he adopted and liked to beat up…it all takes him away, bit by bit. Takes me forward into healing and my new life without him and I don’t want to go.
Each morning I wake up without him takes me further into the world. And in that world there are endless reminders, mail that arrives that was written when he was still here. Toys he last played with, still sitting in the places he left them, his mark still on them. Bedding that must be changed that was slept on by him. And each time I touch these things, it erases that feeling that he is still here. It carries me into that furture without him. Well meaning people who think they have my best interests will suggest, diplomatically or clumsily, that it’s time to move on, or that I did everything I could and that I gave him a good life and should be comforted by that. As if I could be, as if that will make this emptied out feeling go away. As if that would fill my arms with his soft warm fur or fill my senses with his wonderful sweet earthly smell.
I don’t want to be told I’ll get over it. That I’ll get better. That the pain will lessen in time. I know that and I don’t want it. I want my boy. I know I can’t have him, but my heart doesn’t care. My arms don’t care. I want to hold him again. I want him to make it better. That’s what he did, it was his gift.
In time, I know I will be able to appreciate that gift and that it was shared with me. But for now, I just wish it could still be mine.