Omar is an all-black Siamese with green eyes, which makes him an Oriental. He was born on the 19th February 1996, and two kittens from that litter had been sold together to a couple. That we only found out later, as when we first heard about him (in July 1998), they were both at a cat rescue centre in Odense! We heard of them secondhand; that there were two Siamese; and we went to see them just out of interest, as we had wanted to visit that centre for some time, but when we got there, we were told that he was an Ebony, and the other was a Havana, but was so sick that it had been put to sleep the day before.
The story given to us was that the couple who bought the pair had not wanted to keep them so gave them to a cat rescue center on Sjælland, who did not know how to handle them, so sent them to the Odense one! They were equally unsure what to do with them, and were going to pass them on to yet another one! Between them they were very glad that we had turned up that day, and pressed us to take Omar, as he himself was obviously sick and frightened.
So the next day, 13th July, I collected him and took him straight home. He avoided the trauma of going to yet another cattery, but was still a very shocked cat. He apparently had not eaten for the days he was in the Odense cattery, and he was not at all interested in food with us - not surprising then that his sibling also got so sick!
Thus the only thing to do was to give him my personal and almost undivided attention. I spent hours with him in the guestroom away from the others to just get him used to the new sounds and smells, and to reassure him that he was safe at last. Then the real problem had to be tackled, just to get him to eat anything at all.
We tried him with everything that we could think of, and at last got him to nibble at something. The next time I tried, he wouldn't eat that, so I had to try something new. We went through the whole gamut of tasty cat treats; pilchard, chicken, white fish, different brands and so on but all to little avail. Four times a day I took him into the guestroom for peace and quiet and sat with him beside me on the sofabed while I took little pieces from the dish and fed them to him by hand. In the end, I spent about half an hour at a time, four times a day, for three months, before he recovered his appetite and would eat a full meal in a normal way.
Now he is a happy, healthy cat who has to be restrained from clearing out the dish of every other cat! I found early on that he gets wind and if left unattended, is quite likely to sick everything up again! So for every meal I still watch over him to make sure that he does not thieve, and then I have to burp him like a baby! The whole thing now takes about five minutes, twice a day, and we are all a lot happier!!!
He is so full of high spirits that he often just runs all the way through the house and back several times at top speed just for the fun of it. If someone else joins in, then that is a bonus. He loves Athos and looked after him from the first, and the two of them are frequently found curled up tightly together. When we got Zozie, she also found Omar to be the perfect parental substitute, and if he doesn't have Athos, then he will get Zozie, or Zozie as well. Peter and Omar don't get on well, and it took a big fight one day to teach them that they have to tolerate each other - they now have their own private language when they meet, and carefully walk round each other!
Once we started showing Oliver, we wondered about taking Omar, but in many of the Danish shows, the two breeds are shown on different days. It wasn't until we got Athos, who is quite shy at shows, that we arranged to go to a particular club's show where all breeds are shown on the same day, and so Athos could have his special friend with him. By then Omar was 6 years old, and could be entered in the Veteran class as well. So he went in the basic class for 10 month old and up beginners, and in the veteran where he won the Best In Show! At that show we had met his breeders for the very first time and they were thrilled to see his win, but almost crying at the same time about his story.
Since Zozie came Omar has had a very devoted friend - when they want a rest, then they are always to be found together as you can see here. Myrtle calls it "black on black on black"! Omar is so loved by the younger cats (as well as Zozie and Athos) that he often has three or four curled up round him.
Now it is five years later and yesterday his early bad health
caught up with him. Today, the 3rd April 2007, Omar's
body finally gave up on him, and this final illness took him
to see his vet, Kirsten, for the last time. Some years ago I
started getting his vets bill headed "Omar II".
When I said that "we only have one Omar", Kirsten
told me that the veterinary clinic's database does not
have enough pages for all his entries, so she had to start a
complete new one, hence the cat number 2!
His friends have all said goodbye, so tonight I will bury him in our garden. A while ago I wrote a little poem that I thought captured his spirit - click on the link to find it here BIS Veteran.