Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life goes on...

Today I finally ventured out after several days of hibernating and hiding from the snow.

I held my girls group, met a client at his psychiatric appointment and basically tried to get my life back in order after losing Buddy Love.

It seems strange not to hear his trill or meeps after over 21 years of living with him.
I keep looking for his black and white figure to stroll through the living room, heading to drink water out of his little blue glass we always kept on the edge of the tub just for him.

The other animals are mourning in their way. Kizzie has taken to sleeping beside Jake the insane clown puppy, obviously indicating she has lost her mind to grief!

Mo actually is handling it better than I thought. Buddy raised Mo from an 8 week old kitten for 15 years. They washed each others' faces and ears, slept side by side, ate side by side and were the most bonded of any of my cats. Mo has wandered around calling a few times, and today I found him sleeping in Buddy's fleece chair. I think Mo knew Buddy was dying. The last few weeks, he stayed by Buddy's side more, sat by him while Buddy ate and followed Bud to the litter boxes. I believe Mo was watching over Buddy and helping him ease out of this life...

The morning I took Buddy to the vet, I didn't know we would be euthanizing him. I think I was just in denial. But after talking with the vet, I knew in my heart what we had to do. Bob showed up while the doc was running a short kidney function test, thus sparing me making the decision alone. In spite to the pain I was feeling, I knew Buddy was ready to go. He was tired. He was struggling to stay alive, he had just stopped eating the day before.

I have an unspoken rule with my sick cats, the day they don't eat their sardines is the day I know its over...

Buddy came to me one Christmas in Brooklyn. He was just a year old and had been living on the streets. My friend Bernadette asked me if I wanted a cat, telling me there was a handsome one hanging out on her porch but he was skittish. If we could catch him she told me I could have him. We walked over together and there he was, sitting in a sunbeam.

"That's him" she said and at that moment he looked at me, trotted over and began twining around my ankles... this skittish cat picked me. I took him home after Bernadette shoved him in a box. He hid under the bed and I crawled under after him. He cuddled up next to me and began to purr; a purr that I fell asleep to almost every night for 21 years.

Buddy traveled to Charleston SC with me and the hubster when we worked the Spoleto festival. At first he liked living on the beach, until fleas took over the house, specifically the ugly shag carpeting. Then he and his first cat friend, Ms. Uh Huh started living on tops of the cabinets. It was several months before we could get Buddy to walk on carpeting again. He would walk the edges or leap from one piece of furniture to another. He learned that biting things lived in carpet and did not like it at all...

Buddy loved women with English accents. Our upstairs neighbor in Brooklyn was from England and he was totally smitten. Buddy Love would spend hours rubbing his cheek on her toes. If I couldn't find him, I would call Laurie and ask if she had Buddy. Inevitably he would be hanging out with her gazing adoringly at her feet.

Buddy had a quietness and steadiness that hid his daring appetite. Buddy once stole a Tandoori chicken leg from my plate when I went to get a refill of my drink. My BB2 fed him pepper cheese and Buddy loved it. Buddy also ate pinto beans once, that was the night we deemed him King of the purr and poot. He loved shrimp, sardines, tuna; but most of all, Buddy loved milk. He would meep for yogurt, ice cream, half and half. Anything we ate with milk in it would find Buddy sitting at our elbow nudging us gently to remind us to leave a bit for him.

Buddy was the most accepting of any animal I brought home. He was the best greeter we ever had. He would just look at me as if to say, "OK, it can stay, just remember who was here first!"

There are many more memories of Buddy that I will share at some point. But for now, these are enough.

All one needs to know is that we were blessed for over 20 years by unconditional love. Buddy was a rare creature; nonjudgmental, loving, peaceful, kind and calm. I would be quite a person if I were half as noble as Buddy Love...

1 comment:

Tami said...

A lifetime of 22 years is a long time for a cat. Still, it feels not long enough when the time comes to let go. Buddy was had a good life, though, with caring people and many critter-friends. He got better care than most, and was loved, which more important than anything. Cats connect on a deep level with those who care about them, and Buddy had an abundance of love.

I am sorry I did not get to say goodbye-but sometimes that may be best.

I remember when I made the decision about Elmo... I did not know it would happen either, when I took him in that day- I was living in a state of panic though- and the fluid kept building in his lungs- I knew I had to be strong. I was afraid to even drive alone, but I had no choice on such short notice. The doctor said it was he was at risk of a lot of pain if I pushed him to live. I made a decision in a state of panic. I did not get to say goodbye the way I'd have liked to.

I know how hard it was for all, but I am glad that Buddy had such a long life. He was a good cat, and lucky to have such a good home for so long. He had love, and that made a huge difference. I'm glad you weren't alone in your decison. Even when you know it's the right thing, it's hard to do it alone. Buddy is no longer suffering, and maybe even chasing butterflies with Elmo. They were both social cats, after all, and now Buddy can roam outdoors at last-just as Elmo loved to do.
I will be so glad to see our beloved critters someday. Heaven will not be heaven without them.