Big Ozzy

by Mary
(High Point , NC)

Big Ozzy on the  day  that he got a life.

Big Ozzy on the day that he got a life.

In 2005 I found my hearts passion. (Cat Rescue)

After rescueing a kitten from a dumpster, I found that cat rescue was what I was born to do.
I began seeking rescue groups that needed volunteers.
I found one cat rescue that needed help badly and I signed up.
I would go 3 days a week and help clean and feed and cuddle kittys that was awaiting adoption at this rescue.
It was the beginning of the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.
I was not as educated on cat rescue back then as I am now and I didn't know at that time that some rescues are not what we call "NO KILL".
This particular rescue did claim to be a no kill group but that term was dependent on various things such as health condition and adoptability.
One morning I came in to clean the cages and cuddle the cats when I seen a new cat in a cage on the floor.
He immediatly caught my eye as he was a HUGE cat!!!!!!
He was solid black and resembled a bear cub.
His name was "OZZY".
He seemed so depressed which concerned me.
There was a sign on his cage saying "Do not take out of cage".

Cats are usually kept caged until they have seen the vet and been cleared medically so I knew he was a new intake but he just had the saddest eyes and I could not resist the desire to open his cage and give him a pat on the head and a chin scratch.

Bless his heart, he was starved for affection and he kept grabbing my hand and pulling it back toward him when I would try to pull back to close the cage.
My heart was breaking as I wanted to take him out of that cage so bad and give him big hugs and kisses but I knew proceedure had to be followed until he seen the vet which was scheduled later that day.
As I closed his cage I whispered to him "I promise we will cuddle and play tomorrow when I come back."
I thought about Ozzy all that night and couldnt wait to see him the next morning.
When I went in the next day Ozzy was not in his cage.
I called the director to inquire on his whereabouts and was told his story.

Ozzy had belonged to a college girl who adopted him when he was 8 weeks old. She lived in a small dorm room on campus which did not allow pets but she kept him in her bathroom to keep him hidden.
For almost 3 years he lived his life in a small 4x4 bathroom.
Never was allowed to come out into her room to play and be a normal cat but instead his first 3 years of life consisted of eating and sleeping in that small bathroom and no room to run and play or exercise. Therefore he gained a huge amount of weight.
When she graduated, she moved home to her mothers house and her mother had a cat who did not get along with Ozzy.
So, once again, he was put in a small bathroom at her mothers house where he lived another year. He was then 4 years old and weighed almost 40 pounds!!!!!!!
If you know anything about cats at all then you know that obese cats run a high risk of diabetes and other medical problems.
They also have problems grooming themself because of their girth.
Back to Ozzy's story.

After a year in the bathroom at her mothers house the girl met a young man who she planned to marry.
The young man insisted that the cat was not going to be a part of his home as he was not a cat lover.
So, as the story often goes in these cases, Ozzy was taken to a
rescue and surrendered because he was not going to fit into their plans and his quality of life was obviously not important to her and never had been.
It breaks my heart to think that poor cat lived 4 long years of his life in a small bathroom with no ability to experiance a TRUE CAT LIFE and I am certain he lacked love and affection.
It showed in his eyes when I seen him that first day that he was just "exhisting", eating, sleeping yet now in a small cage and nobody to show him love.

The director informed me that upon being checked by the vet they found Ozzy had a large lemon size tumor on his right hip and it would have to be removed surgically.
The rescue approved the surgery and this is where he was the second day that I came in and found his cage empty.

Ozzy survived the surgery and was returned to the rescue to recover. (Again , in a small cage)
I would go in and help him out and walk him around and give him lots of love and cuddles and he recovered nicely.
He was my side by side companion everyday that I went to volunteer and I thought about him on my days I was not there and wondered if someone was showing him the much needed love he had missed in his life.

After 3 months at the rescue I was told the bad news.
They had decided to have him put down as he was considered to be " Un-Adoptable".
They said his weight posed great future medical possibilities and he run a risk of developing more fatty tumors which would also be expensive. Upon hearing this news, all interested adopters passed him by as a financial risk.
They was going to euthanize him the next day as they felt his quality of life was gone.
I was FURIOUS!!!
How dare a RESCUE say a cat needs to die because he is fat?
God help those who call themself a cat rescue and think like that!
I went home absolutly livid at the thought that this poor cat who had NEVER been allowed a normal life was going to be put to death because he was fat.
I couldnt eat my dinner that night as it was killing me inside thinking of the life this poor cat had been forced to live.
Finally,I said "Thats it" Im going to adopt him myself.
I called the director at home and told her I wanted to adopt Ozzy and I wanted to do it that night!
I didnt want that cat to spend one more night in captivity.
She went through all the reasons as to why I should re-consider but I was firm and told her that I dont care what it cost, I was coming to bring him home.
I went that night, paid 85.00 adoption fee and got him and his papers and off to the car we went.
I was crying tears of joy because I felt that finally in his sad life, he was finally feeling what LIFE was indeed.
I couldnt bare to keep him caged in the car as I knew he was confused enough so I risked it all by allowing him to ride in the passenger seat next to me on the drive home.
Most cats hate to ride in a car but he was a real trooper.
He starred at me the whole time we was riding as if to say " thank you for saving my life."
I bought him home and introduced him to his kitty mates (Smokey, Baby and Peppy).
After they all sniffed each other out and hissed a few times they all settled into a nice acceptance of family bonding.
Within 1 hour of being in his new home Ozzy had made himself at home and found his favorite chair (a rocking chair).
That was 4 years ago and my sweet BIG OZZY is still with me and doing GREAT!
He is 9 years old and I have worked with him "slowly" on his weight and I am proud to report that today he weighs 25 pounds and doing wonderful. (A 15 pound loss)
He has a normal life that he shares with all his kitty adoptive family members and myself.
He is a wonderful cat that got a bad deal in his early life and now is treated like a king.
He is spoiled rotten and a lapfull of joy.
Who say's being fat means you have no life?
Ozzy can tell you from personal experiance, LIFE is all about those who love you and those whom you love.
His life is precious to me and always will be as long as he lives.
I love you Big Ozzy!

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