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A Pebble in the Stream

During the course of your life, you probably don't often know ahead of time that a particular day will hold any meaning. Then, something occurs that marks that day forever. It could be a surprise marriage proposal or the sudden passing of a dear friend. You didn't expect either one and now each year, on that day, you'll think about those events all over again.

August 16, 2006 was the day after my Mother died and the day I took her cat, Bob Dole, home with me. I didn't intend on keeping him. I had six cats at the time and felt that was my limit. I had plenty of family members with just one cat or none, who could have taken him, but no one stepped forward. As Bob's many medical issues came to light, I realized I wouldn't feel comfortable with him living anywhere but with me. Who would care that his teeth were bad or that he had become diabetic? And also, Bob was my last link to my Mother. He needed to stay with me.

Bob in 2006.jpg
©2006 Robin A.F. Olson. The day Bob arrived.

I remember bringing Bob home from the Vet. We had to have in shaved down. His coat was badly matted. He seemed sad. He really did. He lived in my foster room, what ended up being for three months. I wanted him to be healthy and ready to meet my cats and have them be ready to meet him. The introductions were done slowly, a bit at a time and when Bob left the foster room, he never looked back. He became the Ambassador of my home, the first one to greet a visitor and “The Boss” of the other cats.

Day 12. Home at Last.jpg
©2008 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob in 2008 after being in intensive care for 12 days.

In May of 2008, I had a bad scare. Bob's health deteriorated. He was hospitalized for two weeks. I did everything I could to find out what was wrong. The diagnosis was pancreatitis, but because it's tough to diagnose without doing exploratory surgery, we never found out for sure what it was. My friend, Jennifer, got me an appointment with an animal communicator in hopes that Bob would tell us something. All I found out was that Bob wanted to come home if that could happen, but he was okay with dying. He wasn't afraid, but he was in a lot of pain.

It's almost December 20, 2010. That will be a day I mark in my book as the day Bob had his surgery. It will be the day we find out more about this 5cm mass that envelopes his right liver lobe. We'll find out if tomorrow is Bob's last day on Earth, or if that day is fast approaching. We find out if Bob has another life left of his nine-that perhaps, we'll be lucky and the mass will be removed and Bob will feel better than he has in a long time.

bob on deck copy.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Bob this past summer.

I want to prepare myself for what is to come. I want to be able to control things. I want to tell myself if I am positive in my thinking or if I pray or if I hope or if I make some sort of bargain, that I can make Bob be OKAY, but I know I can't. Being a Buddhist reminds me to not cling to anything, that a life is like a pebble in a stream, bouncing along, getting stuck against other pebbles, then getting unstuck for a time and moving along, then getting stuck again and so on. There's something beautiful and bittersweet about letting go and just moving along with the flow of life. But I wish I was better practiced at doing so, because I want to make a bargain. I want Bob to be all right, but in the end it's already happened. What's going on inside Bob's body has been going on for some time. Tomorrow we mark the day of knowing, at last, what it is, if it can be removed or if it means the end of the road for one very special, very lovely orange tomcat named, Bob.


Bob's surgery is tomorrow, Monday, at some time in the afternoon. I'll know at noon (EST) what the exact time will be. By this time tomorrow, I'll have the answers whether I like it or not.

Prayers, good vibes, whatever you got, is welcome...bring it on, for Bob.

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My prayers are with you to give you strength tomorrow. Bob, we love you.

You are giving him the most love and best care anyone could. That is all that can be asked. Hopefully, Bob has a lot of time left.

Bob will be in my thoughts all day tomorrow, Robin. I can only imagine how you're feeling. If you get a chance to tell us when you find out when the surgery will be, please do -- we'll put out the call for the most tremendous pawcircle, along with my just really knowing when to think the most good things about him.

I hope all goes well tomorrow. Bob is an awesome (and handsome!) cat, and you are an amazing mom to him. I hope he's got another life in his 9 left to live. Tomorrow me, Pimp and Moo are TEAM BOB all day!

Labor Day 2002 I spend 2 nights on the floor with my 18 yr old tom cat Camo - holding him and hugging him and telling him it was ok to go - and he did the next morning before I could take him to the vet. I'll be forever grateful for that. He was our special buddy, the cat who turned my husband from a cat hater (according to him) to a cat lover. Three month later I lost my little 6 month old little orange Binky to some freak condition right after her spay surgery. Robin, believe me, I know your pain and anxiety about what is to come or not - eventually it will, but I sincerely hope Bob will have a few more years with you. My thoughts will be with Bob and you tomorrow.

I'm sending good vibes, thoughts, prayers and best wishes your way for a most wonderful Christmas Miracle.

We'll be keeping Bob and you in our prayers and thoughts. I hope the update tells us he's had a successful surgery and his nine lives will be continuing for a while longer.

I will send you both loving thoughts and healing prayers. Blessings on you both.

What a beautiful cat Bob is, especially when his hair grew back. I will say a prayer for Bob tonight, and hope he has a life or 2 left Sounds like he's been through a lot, but also he is a fighter!! With all your love and his determination things will work out fine. Good Luck, Bob!

Across the miles we send lots of love to you and Bob!

Love Petey, Jack, Spunky, Tabitha, Madison LaRue and Momma


I pray that Bob will be ok,and that you have many wonderful years still ahead!! Bob is a very lucky kitty,because he has someone that truly loves him,and that is a beautiful thought..He also is a very handsome boy..Please keep us updated on his status..I will be praying for the both of you..Get Well Soon Bob....

May Bob come through his surgery well, may you have some more time together, and even if it turns out that you don't, may you find some comfort in the knowledge that you gave Bob the best love and care you possibly could. No cat could ask for a better caretaker than Bob has found in you.

I'll keep tabs on Facebook and will send Reiki to Bob (and you) during his surgery.

Thinking of you and Bob today.

in my thoughts and prayers today.
((Hugs)) to you and Sam.

I'm thinking of you and Bob through this very difficult time. My cats Gypsy (who is battling pancreatitis himself) and Tasha are purring and purraying for Bob to come through this,


Karen (Mum) plus Gypsy & Tasha

one way or the other. He knows you love him enough to do right by him, and that gives him the strength to do what he has to do.

I pray he will come through the surgery with flying colors and spend many more years in your arms.


I couldn't of said it any better and totally agree with you. We will keep Bob (and you Robin) in our thoughts & prayers

We like the idea of Team Bob. We will purr for him all day today.

Love Bob!!! We dedicate our prayers today to Bob. You and Bob will be in our thoughts today all day!

WE will purr for Bob. We know the right decisions will be made, no matter how hard or happy! Bob has had a wonderful 4 years with you. He was grieving for your Mom and you gave him hope. When my Mom passed in May, her kitty, Mac, was going down hill fast. He would not eat or play. He hid all the time. He was so sad because he had lose My Dad and then My Mom. I had always told Mom I would give him a home. He came home with me in June. He has gained a pound, eats every thing in front of him , even begs for his supper ah hour early! He is a loving cuddle kitty ans has started playing ans chasing with my two cats.

Mac and Bob have lot in common. They both lost their special Mom but found happiness in their new homes.

Your story reminds me of my fight to save Cassius, who was very sick for a long time and who probably would have liked to go a little sooner, before the tumor in his head got quite so large. Hindsight being 20-20, I now know that we should have let him go when he stopped eating instead of force-feeding him for the next two weeks. I would have liked to have spared him that end time. But he knew we loved him and cared for him the best we could, and he was so very happy just to be our cat, having gone from feral to lap cat over the course of his second year. He knew what was coming when it was time for his final trip to the vet - he ran from me for the first time. Then he resigned himself and turned around and walked back to me. We cried so much. But it was the right thing to do - I only wish I had done it a little sooner.

I am a day behind - Bob may be in surgery by now - but we are sending tons of purrs and prayers for him to be ok!

Thinking of you and Bob Dole on this rainy Monday and sending hope-filled thoughts your way...

Our best wish tonight, for your family, and for Bob at this very moment.
We´re with you, all the way long, even when we´re very far (Mexico City).
Agua de mar, and big Meow family (12 kittens & Meow´s Dad)
*lots of hugs...ready to use when u need them.

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