Osiris(2)Osiris came into my life in April 2000 as one of four kittens who were found in a shed on the complex property where I lived. I was on my way to the pool when the maintenance man who found them stopped me to ask what he should do with them since there was no mother around. It’s my belief that she’d had them in the shed then got locked out so was unable to get back inside.

As luck would have it, I had a nursing mama cat named Pepper with three-week-old kittens and these babies were about the same size. I offered to take them to see if she would accept them and, again, Fate was with me. Pepper took one look at the kittens at the bottom of the stairs then looked at me as if to say, “And just why are these babies down there?” then came downstairs, picked up one of the kittens and tried carrying him upstairs. Of course, that meant having the kitten bump against the steps all the way up, so I gently took that kitten from her then picked up the other three. I carried them upstairs and put them in her nest doubling her litter in size.

Osiris was black with a crescent shaped white mark on his chest and a little white low on his belly. He was a quiet kitten who was often overlooked by others. That drew me to him as I was an intensely shy, very quiet child and am still one of those people who hang back when I’m in a crowd. My personal belief is that an animal tells you his/her name. You may be interacting with the animal and a name will pop into your mind, or something will happen that lets you know without a doubt that you found their name. For example, when my husband, Ray, and I adopted a caliby {a calico with tabby markings}, I was going through a book of baby names with the cat in question going from lap to lap as Ray and I sat side by side on the couch. I was calling out names when there was suddenly a paw on the page preventing me from turning it as I called out the name Shasta.

I went through several names with Osiris who was the last of the litter to be named then one day I was watching him and the name Osiris popped into my head and I knew that I’d found his true name.

I knew Osiris would be my cat from the beginning. He and I shared a bond, one so strong that I’ve only experienced it with one other of my many animal companions despite my love them. As I found homes for the other kittens, I kept hoping that no one would choose my baby and he must have felt the same way as he was never to be found when people came to check out the kittens! He chose to stay with me and it was obvious that he was mine as he avoided others, both felines and people.

Taylor, Darla, Osiris blog

Osiris was a remarkable cat and that showed when our Siamese mix, Willow, became pregnant. Osiris and Willow were the last of our cats to be spayed/neutered and we obviously waited a bit too long! During Willow’s pregnancy, Osiris was with her as much as possible and when she went into labor, he was right there by her side. She delivered one kitten but was having trouble birthing any others. At one point, we had to take her to an emergency vet and Osiris was beside himself when it became obvious that we were taking her somewhere.

It was determined that she had two more kittens then we were sent home. When we returned home, Osiris was in Willow’s nest curled up with the first kitten which we’d left at home as per vet orders. Willow delivered the second kitten twelve hours after the first and it was another twelve hours before the third kitten came but who was, sadly, stillborn.

Osiris stayed with Willow and the kittens. When I moved her nest from our closet floor to a crate beside our bed, Osiris slept right outside it, staying close to his mate and their babies. If she left the nest for some reason, Osiris would take her place and curl up with the kittens. I was absolutely stunned by his behavior as I’d never seen or heard of it in all my years of having cats. The kittens looked just like their parents. Artemis was a little black female and Poseidon was the boy who looked just like his mama.

Unfortunately, there came a time when Osiris and I were separated. The complex where we lived was going through an upheaval with frequent switches in managers. One came through who decided there was a strict one pet policy. We were well over that.

We were forced to either give up some of our cats or be evicted in three days. Sadly, Osiris was one of the ones who had to go as the one other cat with whom I shared a bond, a female tuxedo Norwegian Forest Cat named Kahlua, had to stay with me. I was absolutely heartbroken but a friend took all the cats until something else could be done. I did tell my friend that Osiris and Willow needed to stay together but her husband gave Willow away separately.

I got a call from my friend almost a year later and was told that she still had Osiris but they were now living with another couple and their young son liked to terrorize the animals.

Osiris had taken a turn for the worse, staying in a big armoire and not taking care of himself. Thankfully, we had yet another new manager who told me to “bring that baby home” when I told her the situation. Osiris was back with me a few hours later.

I could see how downtrodden he’d become when he was in my friend’s arms but as soon as he saw me his whole demeanor changed. I just broke down and cried because he’d obviously forgiven me for letting him down.

I wasn’t sure how he and Kahlua would do together as Kahlua was a bit selfish when it came to me but she soon accepted Osiris back into her life. As for Osiris, the only signs I saw of his time away were his being even more timid and the fact that he would not even consider allowing my husband or daughter to touch him. He finally accepted my daughter after several months but it was a few years before Ray could pet Osiris with any regularity. Ray actually posted on Facebook the first time he was allowed to pet Osiris!

Osiris slept on my lap every night until Shasta, my little caliby, decided that’s where she needed to be so Osiris moved to my pillow and curled up around my head. He was my companion, my friend, and he always helped when I was feeling down or anxious.

In January of 2016, Osiris became sick and over a period of three to four days he went downhill fast. The vet told me it was sudden kidney failure and there was nothing he could do.

Osiris' Urn on Kahlua StandI said goodbye to Osiris at 1:35 pm on January 26th when he passed away in my arms. The suddenness of his death really got to me but I’m not sure it would have better if it had been a long affair. I had him cremated and when I received his urn, , I also received wildflower seeds with a lovely verse on the packet and some of his fur in a small bag. I keep his picture in a special frame in a spot where I see it as I’m on the computer or reading all day. My heart broke when I lost Osiris but I know his spirit is with me so it was really “Until we meet again,” rather than goodbye.

Darla 6-5-17

Darla Taylor has been married to her soulmate, Ray, for 19 years and they live in San Antonio, Texas. Taylor has two children and 6 grandchildren with one more on the way. She is currently owned by four rescue cats and takes care of two of her apartment complex’s community cats. She loves animals and is an avid reader with an eclectic taste in books.