In my several decades on this planet, I’ve lost a number of beloved people and pets. For some reason, Buddy’s death has been the hardest I can recall. Last Friday, March 29, marked the one-year anniversary of his passing, and I was a wreck. At one point, I sat on the floor next to the bookcase, rereading Gwen Cooper’s account of when she had to let her beloved Homer go and ugly-crying like I hadn’t in a long, long time.
The Cat House on the Kings is a shelter in California. TCHOK has a Facebook page with marvelous, supportive, caring members. I posted this tribute to Buddy on Friday, and hundreds of people–nearly all complete strangers–posted reactions and comments, some about Buddy and others about their own blessed senior kitties.
For anybody who’s struggling after the loss of a loved one–regardless of species, and regardless of how long it’s been and whether you think you should be “past it” by now– let this be a reminder that you’re not alone.
My sweet Buddy, who died a year ago today. He was a blind, toothless, chubby senior when I adopted him after his previous owner died. Such a love, he was. He didn’t care all that much for being held, but he always wanted to be near me, so we had beds next to the sofa, my desk, my recliner, and my favorite chair on the porch so that he and I could always be within touch of each other.
He was an enormous fan of chicken. He would steal up behind me as I was slicing a piece. (How he could hear me slicing cooked chicken, I’ll never know. He didn’t show up if I was slicing bread or pork, just chicken.) He didn’t jump up or meow or do anything to attract attention. I’d turn and nearly trip over him as he waited patiently for the piece he knew would come his way. When he developed GI issues and we couldn’t find a commercial food that helped, I began cooking for him–boiled chicken and a mix of brown and white rice, run through the food processor and scooped with an ice cream scoop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and frozen. I still have a bag labeled “B food” in the basement freezer.
Buddy didn’t care much for toys, even those with bells or other noises. He sometimes enjoyed fuzzy balls with rattles inside, but only when the spirit moved him–which tended to occur at 2 a.m., just as I was about to go to bed.
We had slightly more than three years together. Three years, two months, and seven days. Not nearly enough. There’s a special bond with those who need you more.
Sleep well, my sweet B. Mama loves you.