I lost my Buddy on April 28th.
Technically he wasn’t really mine. Buddy was our neighborhood cat a few of us cared for when his so-called guardians ignored him. Truth be told, they didn’t deserve a unique, engaging character like Buddy.Let’s call his so-called guardians The Heartless Ones just for clarity sake, shall we? So The Heartless Ones have dogs that live indoors but their cats are generally relegated to the porch. Not allowing them inside defeats the purpose of having them, don’t you think? Buddy thought so. Therefore, he looked for greener pastures. And he found them.
Buddy went soliciting house to house seeking food as if Trick or Treating. From what I saw, he found 6 households that he frequented for meals and shelter on their porches. Buddy knew how to turn on the charm. His beautiful huge eyes were hard to resist and they served him well.
That boy was a survivor. NOTHING seemed to bother him. Dogs? Ha, I laugh in your face, he seemed to say. He always stood his ground until they walked around him. And they always did. Nobody messed with Buddy.
Lacking the attention he craved, Buddy followed people on their daily walks, visited with kids on their way to school and pretty much ventured up to anyone passing by. Everyone knew good old Buddy. Talk about a social butterfly.
Now don’t get me wrong; he wasn’t without his faults. Buddy was stubborn. Other than my ex, I’ve never met a pickier eater. I’d offer that cat 5 dishes of food yet he’d stare up at me as if to say, Are you kidding me here?
I was determined to discover his favorite meal. (Lunch meat.)
When he came to me years ago, Buddy wouldn’t step inside even with the door left open. It took over a year for that to happen. But as he aged, he finally tired of sleeping outside. So I coaxed him into the garage, offering him a cat bed. Having never had one, he ignored it to sleep on my scooter seat instead. From there Buddy graduated onto my car’s convertible roof, then inside it onto the soft leather seats where I’d find him curled up sound asleep.
Toward the end Buddy had to be nearing 20. He’d gone deaf so my next goal was to get him inside, especially at night. His last few months he finally felt comfy enough to live inside with my other 6 animals.
Buddy’s chosen spot was the back of the sofa where he’d sleep through the night. Eventually he made his way up to my bedroom, snoozing with the rest of my menagerie. I tell ya, that was a momentous occasion.
During the day Buddy liked to hang out on the driveway to greet whomever came by. Whenever The Heartless Ones walked past with their dogs, they ignored him. Not once did he attempt to follow them. Instead, he watched them pass with utter indifference, as if to say: You didn’t deserve me. And they didn’t.
Now that he’s gone, I miss that old guy. He was brave and inspirational; a testament to perseverance. Technically, he didn’t belong to anyone but still, I felt he was mine.
Along the wall heading upstairs hang photos of all the animals I’ve had in my life. When I stop to look at those sweet faces, it reminds me what each one meant to me. And more importantly, what I hopefully meant to them.Buddy’s photo holds a prominent spot on that wall. And whenever I see his beautiful face with those enormous eyes, I can’t help but smile. He had a rough beginning and a difficult middle; however, I take comfort in knowing that in the end he knew he was loved.
What a wonderful story, Janet! God bless you for loving and caring for the creatures that other people have abandonned.
PS: I had a “Buddy” named Sylvester. It would make me sad to think that his life wasn’t comfortable 100% of the time. But, it ended well.
Thanks Kate. How’s life treating you these days?
Janet, this is such a lovely piece. Brought tears to my eyes…so sad to see our beloved pets go, whether they “belonged” to us or not. He was a beautiful cat, and so lucky to have you for those last years of his life. And I love your wall of photos!! So very sweet. You are such a wonderful friend to animals – I thank you so much for that.
Barb, sorry my reply is late. Changed my password and couldn’t get into my blog! I’m glad you liked the Buddy blog. He is missed….