Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I've discovered writing this blog about Oscar is hard for me. I've had lots of pets I loved and was attached to, but the relationship between Oscar and I was not on the same level as the others. There's no way to even describe how much I loved him and that love was returned.

At one point we had a house fire. I made it out fine and didn't worry about Oscar because he was out roaming.Sitting in my car with paramedics checking me, I was just fine. All of a sudden there HE was! He ran through the fire trucks, hoses and firemen and ran straight into the house through the smoke. Oh dear God, NO!

I kept telling people Oscar had run into the house looking for me and nobody would believe me. As soon as everyone had left, and knowing he had run into the house, I began to get a little hysterical. Finally one of my daughters condescended to go through the house just to prove to me Oscar was not there. "MOM, No cat would run INTO a fire."

A couple of minutes she was back holding Oscar who had made it into my bedroom apparently trying to find me. He was as glad to see me as I was to see him. He had a couple of burns on his little tummy but he was fine. At that point I ended up at the hospital with a stress heart attack, but was fine the next day and the doctor could find no sign of damage.

We had bad smoke damage and had to stay in a motel for about a month while friends renovated our house. Oscar stayed at the house and guarded it for us. The house couldn't be closed up at that point but he stayed right there until I got there early every morning and would greet me.

The first night we were actually able to stay back in the house, he was one really happy little boy. He stretched out on his back in "his" place between Alan and I and just purred like crazy. I think I was purring louder than he was.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Just in case you decide you need to get a Maine Coon, let me tell you a little about them. DO NOT MAKE A HASTY DECISION! These are just not like your ordinary old house cat, or Siamese, or whatever you've had before.

First of all, don't even consider you can use a regular litter box for a coon. These cute little guys become big cats in a short period of time. Walmart carries a good selection of plastic storage boxes.  Get one of those.

Most of them love water. They have 3 different layers of fur/hair. Water will roll off of them like water on a duck's back.

Another difference is the ruff they develop around their necks. Rather like a lion and gives them a regal look. Ears are bigger and farther apart, and lots of hair in the ears. Sometimes they have the tufts on top of the ears like a lynx.

They have claws that need to be trimmed periodically. I haven't had any experience with the female of the species, but the males can be a handful. My theory is never play rough with a cat or you can make him mean. That theory worked so well on Oscar.

Hasn't worked well at all on Pepper the tiny terror. More about that later.

They need to be house cats. Good theory, but Oscar and Pepper could both rush a door before you knew what had happened.

Maine coons are clowns. Everything is a toy, even your leg if they decide to tackle you. The females usually calm down as they get older. If you've got a male, you've got a clown for life.

And if you DARE to make one mad at you, you will not have to wonder if he's gonna get you. He is. I carry a squirt bottle for such occasions.

Also if you think they're going to eat a little 3 times a day…..forget it. You leave a big bowl of food out all the time and the same with water.

When they exercise in the house, they run from one end to the other as fast as they can, and will hit whatever they jump on at top speed. It better be sturdy.

But if you've got plenty of space and a sense of humor, this could be the cat for you.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


One of my neighbors, who lived about one-half mile from me, dropped in one day.

"Punky (Oscar) is keeping us awake at night," he complained. I informed him that Oscar was kept in the house at night so it couldn't be him. "I've seen him," he said.

The man owned a beautiful white Persian female. "He gets under our bedroom window and screams like a panther," he said, "It just about scares us to death."

I told him Oscar was only out occasionally when we couldn't get him to come in. Besides I had NEVER heard him scream like that. Oscar had been "fixed" at an early age, so there was no reasonable reason for him to be stalking this man's female.

A few weeks later I was sitting at the computer, when I saw a bobcat go across our deck. He stopped at the sliding glass door and looked in. All of a sudden Oscar spotted him. Every hair on his body stood straight up, his tail tripled in size as he bounced to the glass door and let out the gawd-awfullest scream I had ever heard. When I say it scared the crap out of me, that's almost an understatement. It was absolutely bone chilling.

If you've ever heard a panther or mountain lion scream you know what I'm talking about. The bobcat knew exactly what that meant. He took off like a shot and I never saw him on my deck again.

I had no idea a Maine Coon could scream like that. I only heard him do that one other time, I knew he was getting ready to do it, and there's still no way to prepare yourself for that sound.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


To a Maine Coon, EVERYTHING is a toy. We had some tall decorative grass outside. One of his favorite games was to climb up the tree next to the grass, then leap into the grass while trying to grab one of the big fluffy seed heads on the tip of each grass blade.

The holiday season around Thanksgiving after Oscar turned 3-years-old, I began to find what appeared to be dry grass on the living room carpet. I'd let him play with it for a few days, then I'd throw it away because it would be shredded everywhere.

It was almost Christmas when the "grass" he was bringing in, was in the form of a raffia bow. You know the kind. The ones that go on the bottom of a wreath. I was horrified. Getting in my vehicle, I started driving around to see who's decorations were shredded. Only took me a few minutes to find the "toy" that Oscar kept bringing pieces home. A house down the road, still had the wreath hanging on the door hanging in shreds. Maybe they left it up because they liked watching him systematically dismantle it. I know I wasn't about to ask them.

I have an herb bed and have planted two kinds of catnip in it. Another cat would come every evening, lay down on the catnip and roll around. Oscar would be so frustrated about it and would have to go outside and mark HIS yard again. He was diligent, taking as much as an hour doing his kitty work.

Oscar thought of himself as a "car cat". He loved to go, standing up on the seat with his front paws on the dash watching the cars. He never got to go for any long car rides, just running to the market type of trips. If our trip was more than a day, Oscar had to go to the kitty hotel (vet) where they spoiled him almost as bad as I did.

From the time he was a small kitty he was his "mama's" boy. Any time Mama wasn't feeling good, Oscar would stay right beside me until I was better. I was down for quite awhile when I had a knee replacement and that sweet baby stayed right with me until I was up and around. He would then go outside but would come back to check on me every 10 to 15 minutes. He'd lay down beside me, flop over on his back, and go to sleep while I rubbed his little tummy.  I loved him and I still miss him.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


From the first day Oscar came to live with us, his favorite place to sleep was on my right shoulder. It was wonderful having that little ball of fur snuggling against my face. When he got to 20 pounds it was a little crowded on my pillow. When he hit 30 pounds it was almost impossible. The only thing that saved the day night was Oscar's heavy fur coat. He would get too hot after 15 minutes and roll off my shoulder and land between my husband and me. Then he would stretch out on his back with his head on his own little pillow and go back to sleep. The good news is we had a queen size bed so we weren't too crowded.

Oscar could get to the 18 hole golf course easily by traveling over a couple of hills. I had many reports of him being seen on the course. When I'd ask what he was doing when they spotted him, the answer was always the same. "He was chasing golf balls." I'm sure the golfers had various names they called him.

I was afraid someone would mistake him for a wild cat because of the big ruff around his neck and his size. He had a menacing look about him and we live in a region where bobcats and mountain lions are seen frequently. The vet was right about one thing. Once a cat has been allowed to go outside, you can't keep them in.

We used to refer to him as Mighty Hunter. I've seen him try to jump on the backs of deer and of course, he loved chasing squirrels. He killed many chipmunks and baby rabbits. Many hours were spent herding lizards out the door. He would bring them in the house and chase them around. I'd have to catch him, shut him in another room, then herd his victims out the door.

One day he brought in a tiny, baby chipmunk. When he put in down it ran under my desk where we couldn't get it. I didn't see the little guy for a couple of weeks and had visions of him dying under my desk and starting to stink up the place.

I was working at the desk one day, when the little chipmunk came out from under it, climbed up on the edge of Oscar's water bowl. Oscar walked up slowly, laid down next to the bowl and watched the chipmunk with so pride. I could hardly believe my eyes. Oscar was raising it and thought it was his baby. Good grief. It was living on the cat food too.

When we had the carpet replaced, I warned the workers not to hurt the chipmunk that was living under my desk, but to make sure he lived outside from then on. When I returned they couldn't stop laughing. They got the little guy outside but he kept trying to get back in whenever they weren't watching. Oscar was distressed because he couldn't find his baby but he never killed another chipmunk.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


As Oscar grew, he seemed to double in size about every two weeks.  By the time he reached 18 months old, he was really getting two big and heavy for me to hold and by 4 years old he was a whopping 30 pounds.

He was a clown. Everything was a toy to him. Alan brought home one of those two story carpeted cat "apartments". He would climb onto the top "floor" and then flop out onto the floor on his back. We just rolled laughing and he continued the same thing over and over for 30 minutes. He was a silly cat.

By the time he was a year old, he could no longer fit into the apartment so he would just turn it over and roll it all over the floor. It made a great toy.

From the time we brought him home, he was mama's boy. I was home recovering from a knee replacement, Alan was working 2 jobs, so Oscar was my constant companion. I talked to him all the time. About one year old, I thought I heard him say "mama". I tried to get him to repeat it but it was a couple of months before he repeated it. After that, he used the word all the time and then began to repeat other words I used frequently. He couldn't say an "L" so when he would say "hello" it came out Hewoe.

Every morning I would get Alan up to go to work. I would step into the utility room (right outside Alan's bedroom) and holler, "Alan, get up!" One night about 3 a.m., Alan woke me up, flopping around in bed, obviously irritated. "What's your problem!" I snarled at him.

Alan said "That cat keeps calling me." Sure enough, a few minutes later I heard the cat outside the bedroom in the utility room hollering, "Ow-in UP! Ow-in UP!" I was roaring with laughter and got up so poor "Ow-in" could go back to sleep.

By the time Oscar was 4 years old he had an eleven word English vocabulary, that included yeah, no, out, and tub. Every time I would go to the bathroom, he would say "tub" because he wanted me to turn on the water so he could play. He loved water! In the summers he would play in the water whenever I would water the plants outside. He played in the pond catching frogs. And if it started raining, he insisted on going outside and running around in the rain. He was a real water-baby.