May 27, 2020

Goodbye, Buddy

We said goodbye to Buddy today. You may remember that about two months ago, Buddy suddenly started staggering and falling over. The vet diagnosed it as inner ear infection, but two weeks of medication made no difference.   We think he had a stroke because a couple of weeks later, he had another one while he walking in front of me.  He didn't seem to be in any pain, but from then on, his head was cocked at a quizzical angle and he couldn't close one eye when he slept and it was his good eye too. Between that and the cataract in his other eye, he could barely see. And between barely being able to see, and not being able to walk a straight line, he had a hard time finding his way and often got trapped under a chair without being able to find his way out. I won't trouble you with all his other symptoms, but we finally opined that he also had cancer in his mouth, throat, or nose. Still, he didn't seem to be in any pain, and wanted to be held and petted all the time. But lately, he has seemed to be restless or uncomfortable, and this week became incontinent. It was time, probably past time.

Buddy came into our lives around 2007. I don't know how he showed up in our neighborhood, probably dumped by someone who didn't want a male cat marking their yard and fighting with the other cats. The first time I got a glimpse of him in the bushes by our house, he was skinny and covered with cuts and bites. I didn't want him either but couldn't chase him off and couldn't catch him. You can read the story about how that changed and he came to live with us here. Over time, he filled out, calmed down, and devotedly settled into our lives. He preferred being outside, but when we moved, he became a fairly content inside cat. He never scratched the furniture and never had an accident in the house, until recently.

As we said our goodbyes to Buddy, I remembered going for my long walks with him trailing along behind me, of teaching him how to jump (unwillingly) through a hoop, how he would jump into our laps if we snapped our fingers, and how well he seemed to understand what we were saying. He was the smartest pet we have ever known, and that includes all the dogs we've had, as well-trained as they were.

I've gathered some of my favorite pictures here. Rest in peace, Buddy The Cat.