Tuesday, August 30, 2016

remembering Buddy

1999 - August 22, 2016
June 15, 2011
Buddy came home to live with us in June 2011. He was 12 years old and had been surrendered to a cat shelter after his aging human was no longer able to take care of him. We visited the shelter that day with no intention of taking home a cat, we only wanted to check out their new location. We thought we might just pop into one of the cat colony rooms to "visit" with the cats! And then this happened...

June 15, 2011
And this...

June 15, 2011
Not one for making rash decisions, we had to think on this. So, we went to grab some dinner and then came back for another visit, this time in a private room.

June 15, 2011
June 15, 2011
Well, next thing you know we had a bundle of joy riding home with us!

June 15, 2011
Buddy settled right in at his new home.
June 15, 2011
June 16, 2011

June 29, 2011

July 10, 2011

Oct 1, 2011
Dec 7, 2011
Buddy came to us knowing how to competently navigate the world. Nothing seemed to phase him or be too much for him to master. Not even the evil suck monster scared him, in fact he seemed to enjoy that it scared all the other cats, so he got to be an only cat for a time! Cat doors, yep, no problem, no hesitation, like he's done this a million times.
Jan 17, 2012
Buddy was a master snuggler. His favorite thing above all was having his tummy rubbed. I could rub his tummy for hours and both of us would be quite happy!
Jan 19, 2012
Jan 28, 2012
Buddy never really cared much for Oliver. He would get all worked up every time Oliver made his presence known, but over time, Buddy came to just ignore him.
Feb 18, 2012
Buddy was such a junk food kitty! We tried all sorts of expensive wet foods but he refused any of them. It was only Friskies or Fancy Feast for this junk food kitty!
Feb 25, 2012
One of Buddy's favorite places to hang out was on the stove, guaranteed to be warm.
Apr 8, 2012
Buddy didn't play much with the other cats, the exception was Nahum. He enjoyed a good tussle with Nahum, who was always extra gentle with him. I was happy to see them tussle a few days before we let him go, it was a moment of him feeling good.
Apr 11, 2012

May 18, 2012
 Buddy worshiped the sun! Nothing better than napping in the sun!
May 19, 2012
 He also had a thing for the nip.
May 21, 2012

Jul 27, 2012

Jan 17, 2014

May 2, 2014

Jun 14, 2014
Being a senior when he got him, Buddy always had arthritis in his back legs. As a result, he knew not to try any crazy jumping. All year around, he always had access to three heated spots - the top of the stove, which was first come first serve. It's a popular place and frequently occupied by some kitty. He also had a small heating pad in the rocking chair. Amazingly, this spot was only for him, none of the other kitties ever took a turn, somehow they knew this spot always needed to be available for the Budster.
Nov 14, 2014
 The third heated spot was a heating pad on the trunk, again a first come, first serve spot.
Dec 9, 2014
Being a senior, he got special privileges. (Who can argue with an old man?!) He liked to keep me company as I ate lunch. Whenever I ate a frozen Amy's Mac & Cheese, he would go crazy for the cheese sauce. He always got to lick the bowl clean after I was done! Sometimes he had a hard time waiting until I was done and would get a head start!
Jul 29, 2015
Buddy's cuddle-style was to melt into me and purr, purr, purr. Max, my first cat, knew how to become a purring pile of kitty putty too. Buddy also came knowing this amazing skill.
Sep 26, 2015
As Buddy aged, his kidneys began failing. Not long after, his thyroid started to go. And then more recently his heart. Being a skinny senior and a finicky eater, I was always concerned about him getting enough to eat. He exploited my worry by demanding to be fed whenever he wanted. Being his dutiful staff, I always obliged. It was not uncommon for him to get five or six feedings a night!
Jan 7, 2016
Certainly the thing I'll remember most about the Budster is the non-stop tummy rubs. As soon as I sat down, he came right over, climbed in my lap and assumed the position. He did this at our very first meeting at the shelter and every day we enjoyed together. Even on his last day, he climbed in my lap for a few tummy rubs.

Mar 27, 2016
Buddy was a delightful gift. He brought me much joy and delight and I know he loved being here. He was my constant companion and as such, not having him here creates quite the void in my heart. It's quieter and so much more lonely here without my cuddle-Buddy.
Jul 28, 2016
I love you my Buddy. Run free now in your young, healthy body. My dear friend Sarah will take good care of you and will give you as many tummy rubs as you want. Say hello to Max and Lassie and I look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for bringing me such joy and delight for these past five years. I will always love you my precious Tummy Rub Monster.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Buddy forever

This badge is a lovely gift from Ann at Zoolarty
Buddy peacefully crossed over the rainbow bridge on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday night when I returned home from dropping off Laura in Vancouver (a 3 hour drive), I was excited to see Buddy more perky. Sadly, it didn't last. I slept on the couch that night hoping to get some middle of the night Buddy cuddles, but that didn't happen. When I got up to check on him, he was looking pretty miserable again. I counted his breaths to see how he was doing and it seemed normal (high 30's). A few minutes before I had to leave for work, I thought I would count his breaths one more time and I counted 80 breaths a minute - I freaked. The cardiologist had said if the rate got up to 50 to get him to the vet right away. Thank God I checked him one more time.

I bundled him up and ran over to the vet (literally right across the alleyway from me) and they got him in immediately. When the vet tech took his temperature she thought for sure it was inaccurate and checked it a second time, but it was still 94 degrees. The vet did an exam and immediately put him in a heated oxygen chamber while we talked. She said we could do more extensive diagnostic work but based on his constellation of medical issues, whatever treatment we might do most likely would only extend his life a very short period. She went on to say that his very low temperature and low heart rate are signs that he's ready to cross the bridge. I knew it was time.

Buddy in oxygen chamber
As Buddy hung out in the oxygen chamber, he perked up. His body could now get the oxygen he needed, so his metabolism settled a bit. I asked if he could hang out in the oxygen chamber while I drove the six hours to bring Laura back down so she could be present and say goodbye too. The vet obviously couldn't promise anything but when she checked on him again, his vitals had improved a bit, he seemed more stable, so I took the gamble.

We made it back by the afternoon. His vitals were still stable, so the vet gave us the okay to bring him home for some goodbye time. Once he was off the oxygen, he went downhill very fast. It was time.

Buddy, June 2011
Thank you everyone who left comments and sent messages, I truly appreciate every one. Hopefully this weekend, I'll have the emotional energy to put together a memorial post celebrating Buddy through the years. He was a one of a kind gift.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Buddy update (2)

Brief update - Ran Buddy to emergency this morning. His breathing rate was over 80 breaths a minute and he was cold. His temp was down to 94 deg. After talking with vet, made decision to let him go tonight. He's resting comfortably in heated oxygen chamber for now, so I'll run up to Vancouver, pick up Laura and come back down. Tonight we'll say that final goodbye. Beyond sad.

I'm glad he's more perky in the oxygen chamber.

Buddy update

Buddy did better today.

I set my alarm to wake up at 2am Sunday morning to check on Buddy (which is when I wrote the last post). I was hoping he would look better than before but that was not the case. I was not feeling too hopeful when I wrote that post and then crawled back in bed. Sleep was hard to come by as the tears wouldn't stop.

When I woke up again at 6am, Buddy was waiting for me on the stove, and meowed his morning greeting, then asked me to pick him up! My heart leapt! My Buddy was back! Joy!

Then he went to his usual breakfast spot and demanded his chow.

I was so happy to see him more perky and eating. He was also drinking water again.

He was back to his more recent self. 

Apparently Buddy rallied! I am so happy. We had a lovely morning tummy rub/cuddle time. He purred and purred and I soaked it up with tears flowing.

One of the reasons I was so worried last night was because we were going to be gone all day today (Sunday). We went up to Vancouver, BC to move Laura into a small apartment. She's going to be going to grad school there full time and commute home on the weekends. Anyway, I wasn't thrilled about leaving Buddy all alone if he was feeling so miserable. Since he rallied, I felt more at peace about it, although I wondered how he would be when I got home.

And when I returned home, this is what I saw:

Perky Buddy wanting some dinner!

I remember with Max and his CRF it was an intense emotional roller coaster. He would be miserable and then rally. Up and down. It looks like we might be on the roller coaster with Buddy. One challenge is that we won't be able to give him fluids for his kidney failure due to his congestive heart failure. I made a vet appointment for him on Tuesday morning to check in about what's going on and come up with a plan.

A huge thank you to everyone for your kind comments. I know you all get the emotional heartbreak that comes with end of life matters. It's really, really, really helpful to not feel alone.

Please keep praying and purring for him. And for me - with Laura living in Vancouver for the weekdays now, it means I'm alone in looking after the Budster - which kinda sucks. Thanks again everyone for your support.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Aug 19, 2016 11:13am
Buddy's had a rough 24-hours. He seems to not be feeling all that well, has gone off food and water. I managed to get him to eat a little but not much. His breathing rate doesn't seem all that high, which makes me wonder if it's something other than the heart failure, maybe nausea from the CRF. He's still getting up for a few tummy rubs here and there, but has spent much of his time hunkered down looking miserable.

Your prayers and purrs would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

love wins!

The pleasant summer weather means more time hanging with Pierre in the backyard. I think everyday he gets bolder, letting me pet him for longer and longer. Not long now before he loses his semi-feral status!

Pierre lets me get up close and personal so long as Oliver's near. 
Pierre rolling around in the shadow

Pierre - further proof that love wins!

My theory is that cats (like humans) are built for love, so once the fear is worked through, amazing relationship can happen. Oliver's story certainly supports my theory!
Sadly, Pierre, a true feral born cat is now more approachable than Rose! I get to love on Pierre a few times a week, at his invitation. Rose on the other paw, refuses any contact. So, wrangling her for any reason only supports her belief that humans are evil! 

Keep your distance pal! Love me from a distance.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

precious moments

I'm enjoying every precious moment I get with this guy.

Forever my Buddy!