Saying Goodbye To “Buddy”…A Loving Tribute In Tears!

As I look at the above picture of Ma’Boy Buddy, I am reminded of how happy we all were, how he loved my mother and me and how joyously he viewed life.

Buddy was always an indoor cat. He never knew what it was to be cold, wet, hungry or chased by a dog. His world was one of giving and receiving love, of being adored by all who knew or met him and most especially to my dear, sweet Momma.

My mother came to live me with in Dallas in her late sixties, so she could be close to her children, grandchildren, and soon thereafter, her great-grandchildren. She was almost seventy years of age when I brought Buddy home and into our lives. She met us at the front door and she and Buddy both had broad, beaming smiles when they first saw each other. She had never experienced the simple joy of a kitten, as she grew up on a farm and the cats there served a useful purpose, not as pets. With Buddy, she was constantly amused with his playfulness, as it appealed to her playfulness, as well.

Buddy had been with us for a few days and his magnificent personality began to show, after the initial shyness, and it was clear he was something very special. His inner beauty exceeded his physical beauty.

We were having difficulty deciding what his formal name should be and would try a different name for a day, to see if it would stick. None did. While relaxing in the living room one evening, I was playing with Buddy using his “feather on a tether” toy, which he loved. As he was developing into a marvelous athlete he would often leap as high as seven feet, catch the feather in his teeth, while performing a somersault and landing perfectly. He is still the finest athlete I have ever seen, with hind legs so powerful I couldn’t restrain him if I wanted to.

My mother was watching us and she got very serious and asked me if she could name him. Before I could answer she explained that she had never named a pet, that her siblings always named their pets and then her children after them and that she had always wanted to name a pet. I said absolutely she could, that I had no objection at all and asked if she had a name in mind. She said…Buddy. Buddy was the nick name of her only brother who died before she was born and that she had always wanted to name a pet in his honor. I then said, Buddy it is! I think it’s the perfect name for him and a fitting tribute to the brother she never knew. While we were having this discussion, our new Buddy was watching us still wanting to play and when I asked him what he thought of the name, he joyfully leaped over and started chewing on my toes, in a playful manner. I took that as a yes.

It was only a few days later, as I was in the living room, I heard a ruckus in the hallway and stepped into the doorway to see what was going on. There was my seventy year old mother, running full speed down the hall with a little fur-ball named Buddy bouncing joyfully behind her, batting her heels with his tiny paws, while she was laughing her wonderful joyful laugh.
My mother finally got to play with a young boy named Buddy.

My dear, sweet Momma left us almost four years ago.
Losing her has been hard on me, as we were very close, and I loved her dearly.
Buddy has been dying a little each day since she left and never returned. He couldn’t understand, only that his world was now absent the loving kisses, words and head scratchings he got all day long. Within five months of her passing, his health broke and he has been slipping away ever since.

And now, the veil of darkness is encroaching faster.

The magnificent athlete, the joyful playfulness, they are only a memory now, like the photograph.

Buddy couldn’t even jump on the bed this past Sunday morning.

He tried twice, a leap he made without effort just a week ago, and he gave up. He lied on the floor looking at me, his once bold, strong Siamese voice a mere squeak. I reached down and rubbed his head and noticed he was out of breath from the effort.
I sat up and watched him slowly walk away, teetering slightly and then I began to cry. I know his time with me is now very short and the memories of our years together hit me like a flood.
The way he would run when we were playing, throwing his head back, galloping and bouncing, front legs to back, with a joy that made me laugh. It was pure, simple, it was an example of how we should all live.
I love him dearly for who he is, for what he has taught me and for the love he gave and received from my mother and me.

Buddy still eats a lot and drinks water, so his will to live isn’t lost and I know he isn’t suffering. However, he is getting so weak that he has become incontinent at times, as his legs are too weak to perch on the litter box, so he misses some times and soils himself.

Buddy was so fastidious about his grooming, one of his nick names was “Mr. Clean.” Now, when he soils himself he is clearly disgusted and won’t even try to groom himself. So, several times in the past few days, I have laid him in my lap and with Wet Wipes and a warm wash cloth, I have bathed and brushed him. He’s too weak to resist, even if he wanted, but he does appreciate my grooming him and lets me know.

Until the day comes when he is either suffering or his beautiful heart stops beating, I will take care of him and do whatever it takes to keep him happy.
I’m saying Goodbye to Buddy each day now. Thanking him and loving him.

He’s Ma’boy, the son I never had and the brother my dear, sweet Momma never knew.

Letter From Your Pet In Heaven

To my dearest family,
Some things I’d like to say.
But first of all, to let you know,
That I arrived okay.

I’m writing this from the Bridge.
Here I dwell with God above.
Here there’s no more tears of sadness.
Here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy
Just because I’m out of sight.
Remember that I am with you
every morning, noon and night.

That day I had to leave you
When my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me
And He said, “I welcome you.

It’s good to have you back again,
You were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family,
They’ll be here later on.”

God gave me a list of things,
That he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list,
Was to watch and care for you.

And when you lie in bed at night
The day’s chores put to flight,
God and I are closest to you…
In the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth,
And all those loving years,
Because you are only human,
They are bound to bring you tears.

But do not be afraid to cry:
It does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers,
Unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you
All that God has planned.
If I were to tell you,
You wouldn’t understand.

But one thing is for certain,
Though my life on earth is o’er.
I’m closer to you now,
Than I ever was before.

There are rocky roads ahead of you
And many hills to climb;
But together we can do it
By taking one day at a time.

It was always my philosophy
And I’d like it for you too;
That as you give unto the world,
The world will give to you.

If you can help somebody
Who’s in sorrow and pain,
Then you can say to God at night…
“My day was not in vain.”

And now I am contented…
That my life was worthwhile.
Knowing as I passed along
I made somebody smile.

God says: “If you meet somebody
Who is sad and feeling low;
Just lend a hand to pick him up,
As on your way you go.

When you’re walking down the street
With me on your mind;
I’m walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind.

And when it’s time for you to go…
from that body to be free.
Remember you’re not going…
you’re coming here to me.”

24 Responses

  1. N2L: It’s always hard to watch a loved one make the last walk down that dark path which leads to…..who knows? And that pain is none the lesser because that loved one has four legs.

    If God is indeed merciful, then there is a place in Heaven for Buddy, where the mice are slow and the catnip plentiful and dogs are not allowed. You and Buddy are in my prayers.


  2. Thanks, MoR.
    Buddy has never seen a mouse, but he would know what to do with it. Run and play.
    He has a uniquely marked coat, and on the top of his head is a gray marking that I have always called God’s thumbprint. If he gets lots of head scratchings in Heaven, he will be happy.

  3. Oh, dang. That breaks my heart.

  4. me too. so sorry n2l

  5. It is so hard to lose a pet, or watch one grow old and begin to slip away. We haven’t had a cat in years, and I always enjoyed them growing up. Siamese are our favorites — something about their bold personalities.

    I know pets go to heaven and we have a whole slew of ’em up there waiting for us. God bless you and Buddy as you spend the precious remaining time together you have left with him.

  6. Hey, y’all.
    All of us have been down this road, or will.
    I just thought I better try and get this down now, as I don’t think I will be able to, when the end comes.
    He has been so very special to me, and my family.
    I just got through giving him a bath, and we all know how much strong-willed kittes love baths. After his bath, I wrapped him in a towel, and sat him on the floor with me, in the living room, and he just laid there while I used the hair-dryer and brush on him. I might not be around as much for a while, depending on how things go, as I will spend all my time with him, when I’m not working
    He is preparing for a journey, and I know some one very special will be there to see him.

  7. At 8:13p.m. Buddy died.
    I will never be the same.

  8. Oh, dang. I am so sorry.

  9. I’m sure he’s getting some loving head scratches right now.
    Real sorry for your loss.

  10. My sympathies go out to you n2l. I know how much you loved him……

  11. Thanks y’all.
    I’ll check by soon.
    Just don’t give a shit about much right now.

  12. n2l

    Don’t know if you ever come back to this thread anymore but you have my sympathies for your loss.

  13. n2l

    That was very touching.
    I have an 18 year old Persian that is nearing her end. She is pretty much totally blind, I had to get steps so she can get on the bed, she cant smell very well either.
    I lost my dad 3 years ago and we were very close, he was my boss, we worked together everyday. That same year he passed away 2 guys from my church died within 6 months of being told they have cancer and 2 guys that worked in my industry also died from cancer within a year of my dad. Then my best friend from high school died in a car wreck.

  14. bar,
    I still tear up when I see this post.
    It’s always difficult to lose some one that you love.
    The pain never ends, it just eases somewhat.
    We all have to say goodbye to some we love, and life goes on, whether we like the new life, or not.

  15. nsl

    I couldn’t read that and not cry. And you are right, that is life and it continues on.

  16. Very good post and you have me tearing up also. Buddy and your mom are in a better place waiting for you. They say time heals all wounds but it just dulls a little. Take care my friend in cyberspace.

  17. Jasmine
    March 15, 1991 – December 2, 2009

  18. Dang, bar.
    I am so sorry for the loss of your loving friend.
    Believe me, I know how badly it hurts.

    • Thanks n2l & nuke.
      Yeah, Jas had an 18 year run, not bad for the runt. She outlived the entire litter.
      Nobody could manipulate me better then her. I realize now she owned me, not the other way around.

      Good memories.

      • Some of the finest people I’ve ever known were cats.
        They are also excellent trainers, with the patience of Job.

  19. That’s a hard one, bar. Jas was 18? A nice run.
    My sympathies.

    We lost Taco the wonder dog a month ago. You never met a dog that hated the mailman, and the UPS man like this one.
    Yup. good memories.

    • Double dang!
      Nuke, I didn’t know.
      I know you loved that lil old hound dog.
      My sympathies to you and your family.

  20. Indeed there has, nuke.
    Sometimes it just piles on.

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