Unconditional Love

misc. pets, eyes, cig pack 005

I didn’t know my life was going to change the day I went to my grandparent’s farm to celebrate Mother’s Day with my grandma. One of my grandparent’s cats had kittens that morning, so we took turns peeking into the barn to see the newborn babies—there were three—two gray and one black.

The next month, I went back to my grandparent’s farm to spend time with my grandpa for Father’s Day. After playing with the kittens for a while, I told my grandpa that I’d like a cat, and maybe I’d take one of the kittens when they were a little older. I told him I liked the runt of the litter, the black one. He assured me that the mother was not a great nurturer, and her kittens always died, so if I didn’t take the kitten with me that day, she wouldn’t survive.

I took a deep breath and made the decision to become a pet owner, a mother. I didn’t have a car, so I snuck her onto the Greyhound bus with me and headed home. I named her Buddy, because she was already my little buddy. The next day I took her to the vet to make sure she was healthy, she wasn’t. She had ear mites and upper respiratory infection. I nursed her back to health and she grew into a large, healthy, happy cat—my best friend with tons of personality.

Buddy was born on Mother’s Day and I took her home with me on Father’s Day… already a very special cat. 🙂 She was born on a farm and probably wouldn’t have survived, but not only has she survived, she has thrived. She has traveled to, and lived in, other countries with me and actually has her own passport. She has been somewhat of a snowbird living in Florida or Grand Cayman during most winters. She has stayed in some beautiful hotels, and she even prefers to fly private. 🙂 Crazy cat! Before my grandparents passed away, my grandpa always used to tell people about the farm cat that became a world traveler….

Ok… the tears have started.

My baby, my buddy, my best friend of 18 years is now in kidney failure and it’s killing me. She has lost half of her body weight and there is nothing I can do but watch her health fail and keep her as happy and comfortable as I can. I will try the Fluid Therapy, but I will not allow her to be in pain. So, in the months ahead I’ll have some tough decisions, and I will make peace with this transition in our lives. It’s hard to imagine my life without her. So many wonderful memories. Our traveling days together are over, and I’m going to stay home with her until she’s ready for her final trip… to heaven.

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45 thoughts on “Unconditional Love

  1. I’m crying already. I have an older cat, he has also been my buddy through tough times, I have his picture on my blog under a poem Ode to my Cat (he’s the striped one). He is losing weight but doing well. I know his day will come too, but I do not want to experience it. The only comfort I have in it is knowing that we will all make the trip one day and that it’s a peaceful one. If there is “another side”, we will most certainly see our friends and loved ones again!

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  2. So sorry to hear about Buddy. I lost my cat, Jackie, in 2011 while I was in the hospital for knee surgery, and my cat, Stormy, passed away about 6 months after my husband. My mom’s cat, Boo Boo, lived to be 18. And my friend just lost his dog after almost ten years. Buddy’s a beauty and you’ll have lots of great memories. My thoughts are with you.

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  3. I have a black cat still, but last June, we lost our friend Willie who was nineteen and a half. It was the longest relationship with a boy I’ve had! He was an amazing coon cat, up to 18 pounds at his best. I still look for him, think about how he would help me weed and he’s not here now, etc. He added so much richness to my life… his being gone doesn’t eliminate that — it only means there will be no more new antics and crazy Willie stories… xoxo

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  4. I’m crying too. I remember my sweet 16 year old dog daughter and buddy. She also died from kidney failure. It is hard to lose them. My dog was old and it was her time but it was still very hard. Hope she will have an easy time and wishing you a lot of love and support

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  5. I’m so sorry to read about buddy. I think you and she have shared some amazing times together and although they will be painful at first you will have so many wonderful memories of her as well the knowledge that you did the very best you could for her and was there for her when she needed you.

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    • I hope I make good decisions in the coming months… I don’t care about my pain, just don’t want her to be in pain. I have a great vet, I know she’ll help me and Buddy through this… Crying again…

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  6. This has me in tears – so sad 😦 The worse thing about pets is that they’re not going to be around for ever, I dread the day my cat Spike passes. 18 is a good age for a cat to live to though x

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  7. A beautiful tribute to your Buddy. She must be very special if she was able to travel with you! How lucky you were to have each other for so long!!
    I will be sad too when my Theo’s time comes. I hope the warm memories help you through the difficult time.

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  8. You are so caring, a wonderful pet mother to Buddy. She is a beautiful cat. It is so hard on us when they transition to the other side…and I do believe they will be there waiting for us to join them someday. All our dogs are gone, and 3 of our 4 cats are around 18 years old now. Remember the wonderful companion that brought you such joy! (((hugs)))

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  9. Buddy has been having a taste of heaven already, since you have been an angel of mercy to her. My heart goes out to you. No matter how long we have loved a pet–it always hurts when it’s time to say goodbye.

    Blessings of peace ~ Wendy ❀

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  10. I feel for you. I went through this twice in the last couple of years with two of my dogs, and it’s so hard to watch them at the end. The decisions will be tough, but your heart will tell you what to do. No animal should be forced to live in pain just so it can stay with the owner a few more days or months.

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    • Thank you for this comment. I trust that I will do the right thing… I will be there for her, I will do the right thing for her, I will not let her down… because she has always been there for me. She is the best cat, and she deserves a peaceful journey to heaven.

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  11. Unconditional love.
    She gave it and now you’re returning it even more than in all your years together.
    Unconditional love.
    It has a price but personally, I think its worth it and more.
    My thoughts are with you and Buddy on this hard part, this rough road in your journey together.

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  12. Such a sad post. I have had the same feelings with each of our pets. Our last two – Elijah Moon the cat and Angel the dog who thinks she’s human – are currently in good health, but you know when you choose an animal to share your life that someday you’ll have to say good-by. I wish Buddy a peaceful journey.

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  13. I feel your pain. I lost my cat last year. We had to put him to sleep at then end. I held him in my arms, which he never let me do before, and he went to sleep. It happened so quickly. I thought he’d drift off but one minute his eyes were open and then he was gone. It was the best thing.
    I didn’t want another cat to replace him so I bought a dog. My Maltese helped me grieve.
    I hope both of you can say goodbye in peace.
    Susanne

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    • So hard to say goodbye to our furry family members… 😦 I’ve been so sad for about a month… watching her failing health. I hope I know when it’s the right time to let her go.

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  14. They leave such a huge hole. My condolences. I lost my most recent dog in August and it is still hard. We will be getting another soon (not soon enough for me) and hopefully some of the hole will be patched. You never really do get over losing a pet, but it does help learn how to deal with loss. And life is full of that.

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