This is going to be a hard post to write.
Yesterday, I lost a beloved pet -- not just a pet, but a friend who has been with me literally half my life. My sweet Himalayan, Buddy.
Buddy has been with me through thick and thin, and was a constant companion in my life. He's traveled between colleges, homes, and cities with no complaints. He loved to have his head and ears scrubbed hard with my knuckles, and if I let up, he'd head-butt my chin, as if to say, "Hey, you, *I* rule the roost here!"
Buddy's death wasn't unexpected. He's nearly 20 years old, and has been diabetic and half blind for a long time. But the final straw was the vet telling us that Buddy was in renal failure, and that he could last days, weeks, or a few months, and that we should be prepared to have to make a hard decision down the road.
I was devastated. This cat, who had always been so robust, was going to slow down. "Impossible!" I thought. But it was true. We watched him go from 13 pounds to 7. We went to the vet every week. Each time we felt it was time to make that horrible decision, Buddy would rally, perking up, begging for special treats, and becoming more social. And another week would pass.
This past weekend, we had to take care of some family business out of town and boarded the cats at the vet. They have a "kitty condo", so both cats could be together, which was great, as our other cat, Max, has a nervous temperament. We called every day to see how they were, and Buddy was doing just fine, until the day we were coming home. We called, and were given the news -- Buddy was gone.
Apparently when they came in that morning, he wasn't acting himself, and they put him on oxygen, but it went rapidly downhill after that and his heart just gave out. I think he'd given out all the love he had and knew it was finally OK to go.
Although I've cried my eyes out and feel completely lost without him -- still looking around the house expecting to see him -- I know it all happened in the best way. He was in good hands, and I know he was well loved by us and he gave that love back ten-fold. He had a very long, good life, and I have a ton of memories of him. One memory is his little paw print -- the vet printed it for us.
I wrote this as a way to free my heart a little -- to help it let Buddy go. I'm sorry if I upset anyone or brought back bad memories for anyone. I just needed to say goodbye.
And with that, the tears start again, so I'll sign off.