Saturday, January 6, 2018

Good-bye, Buddy

Christmas of 2003 my parents gifted me a cat. I was struggling after moving to a new state and my anxiety and depression seemed uncontrollable. My parents knew the therapeutic benefit of fur-babies, as our previous family cat had passed away only a year prior. We went to Pet-smart to adopt and I fell in love with a tiny calico. I named her Missy.

Tiny kitten! My hand is busted up because I got dizzy and fell.
Photo from 2003, before diagnosis.
My parents had an additional surprise. They already determined that if I picked out a kitten, they would adopt a second one to keep the first company. My mom fell in love with another kitten from the same litter as my calico. She named him Buddy.

Buddy. Photo from 2003.
Although the two were inseparable, it became obvious that Buddy was the sweeter cat. While Missy was an excellent hunter of insects, Buddy cared more about the comforting of humans. He would greet every visitor and could always tell when someone was having a bad day.

Siblings. Photo from 2003.
He quickly became the preferred cat to our visitors due to his calming effect. He was always ready to play, and he was not afraid to have a conversation with you.

Photo from 2003.
In fact, he had a nightly ritual with my mom. He would follow my mom around the house incessantly yelling at her. He would not stop his verbal harassment until she sat down. Once she acquiesced, he would instantaneously jump up onto her lap, curl up, and fall asleep. This allowed both of them to relax and unwind from the day.

This was their routine for many years. Photo from 2014.
In 2012, at the age of nine, Buddy came to live with me and my Olive Thief while the diva calico remained with my parents. The two boys bonded quickly and it filled my heart with joy to see them together.

The sweet boys. Photo from 2013.
Before I moved to Malaysia in 2014, I returned Buddy to his sister Missy.

Siblings in a box. Photo from 2008.
Recently, my parents noticed Buddy slowing down. Something was wrong.

Photo from July 2017, when I visited my parents.
Then the growth on his head appeared.

Photo from July 2017, before the growth was obvious.
The verdict of the biopsy was not good. Buddy had an extremely slow growing cancer that finally broke through his sinus cavities. Although the lump appeared overnight, it was most likely growing for over five years. There was nothing to do except make him comfortable while simultaneously preparing to say goodbye.

Photo from 2013.
The final goodbye came on January 2nd, 2018.

Photo from 2008.
Buddy, thank you for your fourteen years of companionship. I will miss our conversations in which you loudly yell at me because there are not enough ice cubes in your water bowl. I will also miss your incessant need to cuddle and purr loudly, reminding me that everything is going to work out fine. Glitch seems to have inherited that trait of yours. For that, I am incredibly thankful.

Photo from 2008.
Good-bye, Buddy.
You were an amazing cat.

These next few photos from 2008 made me smile. My hope is that they will also put a smile on your face, dear readers. They capture Buddy quite well.

Just relaxing.
WHY YOU DO THAT?!!!!
I KILL IT!

I KILL IT DEAD!
Come at me again! I'm ready!
Bonus: Two Arizona kitties enjoying the heat of the fire during a Seattle summer.

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