Saying Goodbye to Buddy « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowSaying Goodbye to Buddy

Saying Goodbye to Buddy
Published on Saturday, October 3, 2009 by

About 13 years ago I agreed to take in a cat that was soon to be homeless.  His owner was sick and unable to care for him.  I’m more of a dog than a cat person, but was excited at the new member of our pet family.   His name was Buddy, and at that time he was estimated to be about five years old.

Buddy was the coolest cat I’ve ever met.   He loved to be outside chillin’.  There is no other word for what he was doing.  Fearless of all dogs, Buddy was known to walk right up to German Shepherds and other big dogs being walked down our street.  The dogs were often so surprised at his presence and cool cat attitude that they almost seemed to nod to him as they walked by.  Yup, that was my Buddy.

Fast forward 13 years later, Buddy is… was… about 18.  And over the past year, Buddy was getting thin.  He ate well, acted completely healthy and… well… he still pulled stuffed animals out of my daughter’s room for a little bit of romantic entertaining when he was able to get away with it.  (I swear the cat would light up a cigarette once we were all in bed.)

Two days ago Buddy walked up to me and I knew.  I just knew.  Buddy was dying of old age.  Overnight he went from my totally cool and healthy Buddy to a very tired, wobbly and thin cat.  He went downhill – FAST.  So fast that I even made an appointment for yesterday to have him put down.  I did NOT want him to suffer.

But then I was vetoed.  By the kids, my mom and my friend.  They reminded me, “Buddy is not sick.  He is dying.  It is nature.  Let him stay at home and die.  He is not suffering.  He would hate going to the vet.  It would stress him out and make things end badly.  Just let him die at home.”

I simply can’t go in to the details.  It is too hard.  But to sum it all up, it has been a day and a half of second guessing, changing my mind, mourning, second guessing and listening to talk talk talk about life, death, dignity and second guessing again.  Sitting and telling Buddy it is OK to go… no wait, I can’t get in to it.

Today at about 5:45 Buddy died.  I was on my way to church with the kids while my oldest stayed home to be with Buddy.  Just before I went in my son called me in tears.  Buddy had died in his arms.  (as I stop typing to choke back the tears… again)  This is something my son will have to carry with him forever.  I told him that he should feel comforted that Buddy waited until it was just the two of them.  The trust that Buddy had in David to wait and die in his arms alone…. more tears.

I’ve had to put down both a dog and a cat.  They were in pain and I was able to end it.  Letting Buddy die naturally was amazingly hard.  In the last 48 hours I’ve seen life turn to death the way nature designed it to happen.  What I’ve seen is gut wrenching.  But Buddy died the way he would have chosen to die.  No cold tables and needles.  Just the family around him as he slowly and quietly left his body.

So Rainbow Bridge is now home to one totally cool and chillin’ cat.  I will see him again, for sure.  But in the meantime, this is a sad, somber and lonely household.  This “I like cats a lot in OTHER people’s homes” person is so blessed to have had such a great cat for so long.

Please.  If you have a cat, go give him or her a nice scritch behind the ears for me.   And if you don’t have a cat, then give your other pet a snuggle.  Enjoy your pets while you have them.  Because I have found that 13 years sure goes by fast.

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  • I feel sorry. But I feel happy by the thought that, the cat got to live the good & lovable moments of its life with a family like yours.

    I know how we feel as I have also undergone this grief. I had my doggy “BRUNO”, which was a German Shepherd. I was a college going girl when I got it from my music teachers place. As my teacher was old, she found it difficult to take care of it. since I was close to Bruno, she happily let me take the dog. Since then it was with us & after my marriage, it was with mom, my dad & brother.

    But Bruno fell sick after 12 yrs. It turned form a playful, caring, watching Bruno to a tired, sick, & thin Bruno. Oh!very hard to see them in that condition. All I think is that if I feel so I can express how I feel, but they, how would they? May be they would want to do the same, may be they do in their own way, but still…. I feel helpless….

    And one fine morning my mom called me up crying that our Bruno had breathed his last breath. My brother was totally insane then. He did not eat & always cried cursing himself that he could not save him. Even to this day, it becomes very hard to control our emotions, (tears in my eyes….)

    I empathize you, & pray to dear Lord to bless you with the courage to hold yourself.

    And may God bless our dears’ souls’.

    Lots of Love & Condolences,

    Ash……
    (http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

  • And by the way, just few days back, we had a new member at mom’s home. There was this cat that has been welcomed home, which came meandering. Now it is a part of a family. My brother says, it is Bruno, who is back, in the form of a cat.

    We all love it, very cute, pink lipped…… I’ve posted them….. You can see her…. Ya this time Bruno has not only changed his Family, but also his gender….. 😉

    Ash…..
    (http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

  • (TEARS!!!!)) (((HUGS))) i type this as three furbabies are in my lap, on my neck and chest.. I am petting and scratching for you my dear friend. I know how hard this is. but I THINK YOU MADE TH BEST DECISION AT HOME. My kids still secretly resent they never got a chance to say goodbye to our family friend because I thought it would save them the heart ache.. you made the right chose my friend.
    cherie

  • Lin

    Oh, Katherine, that is a beautiful tribute to Buddy! I’m so very sorry for the loss of your friend. Losing a cat is devastating, and especially a cat that was beyond a pet–he was a “lifetime” cat–one that you will never forget.

    You gave Buddy the most incredible gift, the ability to die at home peacefully and in the arms of who he felt comfortable with. You son doesn’t need to “live” with that forever, Buddy gave him an honor of trusting him so that he could pass with someone he loved and trusted so. He may be too young to understand that now, but he will in time.

    I lost my Henry a year ago (he looked amazingly like Buddy!), so I know how your heart is broken and it takes a very, very long time to stop crying. I’m still crying over my Hen. I’ll say a prayer for Buddy and for you, his family, who is grieving so.

    Go back to my post on last Friday–you’ll see that you do heal, although it takes a long time. And if a certain kitty just happens to appear in the meantime, grab him/her up–your cat angel, Buddy may be sending you a little something to help you heal.

    Love to you all, Katherine. God bless Buddy.

  • Thank you, for your story. I went to the internet just now to research letting pets die naturally. Your story was the first I saw – and it is virtually my SAME story. Our mucho cool hombre, SLY is now 20 years old. He has been more like a faithful dog, than a feline; all 4 kids have a story about him. These kids have never known an life without this cat.
    Like your Buddy, Sly has withered. I expect it to happen any minute. But, here is what is really cool – 2 weeks ago he went outside to sit in the sun (his favorite activity this past year..and he hadn’t been out in 2 weeks). He disappeared. We couldn’t find him ANYWHERE! We searched the neighborhood, under bushes, etc. He was nowhere. This isn’t how we wanted him to meet his demise. We were all heart sick. A little boy in the neighborhood said he saw him walking himself down to the Bayou behind the house (a full 1/2 block away). We couldn’t imagine him even walking that far, he was so feeble. But, we figured he was doing what animals have done for thousands of years when it it their time. We respected hi decision.
    Yesterday, I saw a sign saying someone had found my cat. They had had him for 2 weeks…found him near death at the waters’ edge. Took him to the vet – who told them he was around 7 and starving to death!! So, for 2 weeks they have nursed him and loved him and hoped that his family would find him. By a miracle we did!! He is home, in his bed surrounded by his family.
    I debated taking him in to put him down this morning…just like you…but after reading your story, I won’t do it. You’re right. He came home to us after being lost by a shear miracle of God…he deserves to be with us when he leaves us for Rainbow Bridge.
    Like you…I am crying as I write this. He has been a faithful ole man.
    On a lighter note….Sly’s life partner, Savanna, died last year at home (she was 17). Up until the week she died (of a stroke) he would “have his way” with her. We called it the “Raping Hour” because every night at about 8 PM the caterwallin’ would start, and he would “dance with his darlin” until she couldn’t take it any more. He was neutered, by the way. No Junk in his Trunk.
    Thanks for sharing! Your story blessed me.
    Kat

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