Sunday, 18 September 2011

Oskar's Buddy Maynard - A little story...

...about Oskar's buddy Maynard from Santa Cruz, California
and Jill's lovely Country Garden

It all began with my post in March
"Finds - Old Farmers Linen"
 when I received a mail from Jill, one of my readers,
who was not only intrigued by the linen but also by the pictures of Oskar.

In her words:
"First I love your blog spot....look at it all the time!"
"I also have a cat that looks like yours and his name is Maynard."


Jill was looking for a nice piece of linen, kind of rustic one and in an oatmeal color.
 At that time I was just back from my trip to Germany and had not sorted out all the linen find.
Also a lot of spring garden work was on my list and Jill sent a picture of Maynard and told me:

"No rush on the sheets, the garden is more important, at least for me!...
...And Maynard sends his hello to Oskar :) "

Told Oskar about Maynard, he was very pleased....purr-purr...
and sent with the next email his French greetings over the ocean!

As we both love the nature, our gardens, our animal friends, we exchanged mails and pictures,
and apart from the linen, talked about gardening, the weather and....the cats.

Jill told me:

"On my little 1/2 an acre I planted rows and rows of lavender and rosemary....

....and roses."

"The previous owner planted 500 Cedar trees around the entire property
and they are huge and beautiful and smell wonderful after a rain!"

"I can no longer let Maynard roam because we have too many coyotes...."

" he looks at Oskar's pictures..."

"...and wishes it were him out there in the trees!  :)"

"Maynard is very exited to have an European buddy!....

"...I can not get over how much they look alike."


 When I sent photos of some linen pieces,
Jill selected this 19th Century hemp sheet, telling me

"The linen is actually for my Highness....Maynard.
He loves linen sheets, I don't know why but no matter where I have one spread out
 Or folded, he's on it." (Ha-ha - just like Oskar!)

"I want to drape it over the bottom half of the bed.
So, this one has the right size and the French look I want in the bedroom
and Maynard will be allowed to lay on it.  :)"

The sale was done, the parcel sent off to Santa Cruz with a greeting card from Oskar
and I got this lovely mail from Jill:

"I received the beautiful sheet in today's mail.
I am so excited, it is so perfect.  I have always wanted one like this,
not only for how pretty they are but for the history and thinking of the woman who made it.
As soon as I got it I washed it and when it was dry I was folding it in front
of the fire in the fireplace as we were getting hail and it's cold  (it was first week in April),
and as soon as it was folded Maynard got on top and curled up and went to sleep.
Guess he knows to who this sheet  belongs to!" 
Just like Oskar...
..... the linen lover!

"And Maynard is so proud of his friend Oskar
that he had me put the card with his picture on it by his bed.  :)"

Everybody was happy!

Then, just a few days later, I received a mail from Jill:

"I am going to ask Oskar to send Maynard some good wishes.....
I took him to the vet for a small bump on his cheek and they kept him
and did surgery to remove the bump and we will know in 2 days time if it is cancer.
My poor baby!  He is only seven years old.
He has big pink stitches down the left side of his face and is walking like a drunk sailor!"

"Here is a picture of Maynard after his surgery, he is very pooped!!
The vet just called, and Maynard does have cancer.  The lump they removed showed
they could not get it all, that it has gone into his facial muscle.
I am heartbroken beyond words.
But the vet said that it is very slow growing and he could live 5 or 6 more years even.
They said it is from him being in the sun too much.  So I am going to put my hope
in him getting better and pamper him until then."

I was nearly in tears, so sad. Sat down with Oskar, told him about his Californian friend...
...and he looked rather concerned and went very quiet.
No 'purring' as usual when I told him about Maynard.

I mentioned to Jill that Oskar has only natural food and no tin stuff!  That he loves Broccoli, some carrots etc, 
recommended this to Jill and she told me that 
"Maynard does not eat from a tin either.  He gets organic cat food made from a company
in Santa Barbara and it is so good people can eat it. 
  He also gets veggies from my garden that I grow
and he LOVES blueberries  :)"

"So tell Oskar he still has his little American buddy!
He says to tell you his linen has made him feel much better!"

Jill's vegetable garden

I wrote to Jill, telling her how upset we were, trying to lift her up, told her little stories about Oskar,
talked about her wonderful country garden and that it looks like an oldfashion German "Bauerngarten",
and I had such a touching letter from her:

"I feel better today, I know I can't change what's happened
and I certainly can't spend the next 2 - 5 years sad!
I spoke more with the vet and she said that it is not from being outside,
she does not know how this type of tumor starts in dogs and cats.
I did not think being outside could cause it, animals have lived outside for ever!
She said Maynard could live without pain for a long time.
I also lost past cats and dogs to cancer and I did know when "it was time",
and Maynard talks all the time to me, so I know he will tell me when he has had enough."

"I thought the older I got the easier it would be to lose a pet,  I'd be wiser and calmer,
but it seems to be the opposite.  I have loved pets from an early age too.
I always thought animals loved better then people. 
They love whole hearted and without any conditions.
Maynard has given me such happiness and if anything I am learning
through him why living each day to the fullest is so important."

"He is laying on my lap right now purring away,
every now and then he paws the keys and I have to erase what he has written  :)"

"I told Maynard you told Oskar and he doesn't want any fuss made over him!"

"I wish I could let him outside again but the neighbor lost her cat.
Troubles to a coyote as she was going out the cat door.
I did screen in a large area for Maynard and planted a small tree and grass,
with his own little brick patio and lots of shelves to climb up on and lay in the sun.
He spends all day out there and I have a potting bench in it,

so I spend time with him starting my vegetable seeds for the garden.
Every now and then he catches a lizard and some gophers,
so life is still good!"

"I have 200 rambling roses along the outside of the garden."

"Some are so large they have grown up into the cedar trees, so when they are in bloom
it is a beautiful sight to see blush colored roses in the dark green of the trees.
They only bloom once a year but it is worth it to see them all in bloom at the same time,
every where I look are roses!  :)

"I love to walk around the garden in the early morning with a cup of coffee,
my dog Hogan (a very excitable Australian shepherd)
and we look to see what new has bloomed while we were sleeping the night before."

A few days later:

"I do have good news about Maynard....the vet said that the cancer is so slow growing
he can probably live a normal cat life of 13 or so years!"
"He is doing very well.  His stitches have been removed and he is very glad
he no longer had anything pink on his face!  :)"

"I am happier then I can express in words.  This little man fills my life... :) 
We can not imagine life here without Maynard bossing us around!" 
"He likes to control the whole household!"

sounds like Oskar! see below:


4 weeks later in May:

"Maynard was so happy to get to see Oskar (of whom I've send greetings with an up-to-date photo)
and thanks him for the picture.
He was laying on my lap while I read the e-mail to him and showed him Oskar's picture.
He wants Oskar to know he is doing well and feeling slower but much better!
As long as I brush him (he loves to be brushed) at least five times a day,
then he is very happy indeed!"

Maynard - who looks just a bit more 'elegant' then...


 But - they're both very alike!

Jill's garden in May:

"The garden is beautiful with all the roses and lavender blooming."

"The vegetables are starting to grow, but I do miss having Maynard
laying in and under the squash blossoms watching me water!"

"He does have a girlfriend, who showed up one day in my garden. She is wild,
so it has taken me awhile to get close to her, but she now lives with us
and is madly in love with Maynard."

"It is so sweet to see them curled up asleep together."


In July:

"All is well with Maynard, he is much slower than he used to be, but he still rules over us all.
Maynard and his girl friend Charlie are still very much in love
and he wants to introduce her now to his buddy Oskar"

"Charlie was born outside with six other kittens to a feral mother.  The woman up the street
trapped the mother and all the kittens, took them to the vet and had them fixed,
then she returns them back where she found them.
I believe she found us because she followed Maynard home one day.
It took one year of feeding her outside before she would let me briefly pet her,
she would come into the yard early in the morning and wait for me to let Maynard out
and then off the two of them would go for the day.
Maynard would come in in the evening hours and Charlie would just sit at the back of the garden,
then one day she came in with Maynard and stayed in!
I would get up and let them both out and in the evening they would both come in together
and they have not been apart since.  It is a love story!"


September News from Jill and Maynard:
"Maynard is doing very well.  I know when he is happy because he will drag (in his teeth)
an old brush over to me so that I may stop what I am doing and brush him.....
and he has been dragging that brush over to me daily.
It is so cute to see, I have it on the floor next to his bed and he will drag it over to me,
drop it and look up at me as if he is saying...."well here I am...brush me".  :)"

"He will be thrilled to be included in a post together with his European buddy Oskar
and wants to let him know he is still number one  :)"


...Oskar sends his love to Santa Cruz!


  1. O no!!!!
    What an amazing, lovely, heartwarming cat - love - story!!!

    Wir hatten auch 16 Jahre eine kleine schwarze Katzendame.

    ♥ Franka

  2. Such a charming tale of feline friendship. We recently lost our darling Starla...she looked a lot like Oskar and Maynard too. Here is a link to a post I did about her in happier days:

    Hope to hear more kitty tales!

  3. *sniffle* I am in love.
    We have six former strays who are like children to me. Recently, I took my angel, Shenanigan, to the vet for what I thought was a bad tooth. She had bone cancer that invaded her jaw. She was suffering. I reluctantly chose to have her put to sleep. It bereaves me to this moment. I miss her with my whole heart.
    What a poignant story you have shared replete with lovely photos.
    Thank you!

  4. That is so cool! And friends across the ocean~

    We feed our dog only human food- chicken, brown rice, yogurt, carrots, etc. After losing too many dogs to cancer and their smells due to what we are convinced was the dog food and its preservatives, we made up our minds- no purchased dog food. We haven't regretted our decision for a second.

  5. LOL. Best post ever!
    I love your cat and your white picket fence. Adorable!

    Belly B :)

  6. How cute! Love Jill's garden and I can't get over how much Maynard and Oskar look a like. I'm glad Maynard is feeling better made even sweeter by the fact he now has a lovely female friend.

  7. What a wonderful post! Gave me a good smile before I am off to bed. :D

  8. What a lovely story and wonderful photos of the two gorgeous felines. M x
    PS: I have been trying to follow you but Blogger won't let me at the moment!

  9. What a heartwarming story...precious images of these beautiful cats ~

  10. What a charming story of friendship across the sea. I am happy to hear that Maynard is feeling better and has a dear little sweetheart. I am quite certain Oskar's good wishes have been a great help and blessing to Maynard.
    Karin, I have been absent from blogging for the last two weeks and have just started catching up tonight. I have spent the last two hours reading and re-reading your lovely posts with your exquisite photos. You have made it a perfect evening. I am hoping to post again in another day or two.
    Sending you love and warm wishes.

  11. Love every bit of this- all of it- I too have fussy cats that like linen and French Burlap- especially with stripes- alas- they have only a small porch here in Santa Monica- do you sell the French Linen Burlap Sheets with the Blue or Red Stripe? and the solid ones? if so, may I get some sizes and prices? Thanks - love your blog -thanks to Suzanne de Cornelia for linking it on French Heart- Danielle Charney- email is: ( 2 long gone cats of mine )