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Missing Our Buddy Boy


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Two weeks ago yesterday, we had to unexpectedly say goodbye to our furry feline beast my groom and I called "Boy." Please allow me this moment to tell you a bit about him.

I wish you could have known this little character. He was being taken to be put to sleep at the SPCA when I spotted him in the arms of the tech walking through the waiting room of the pound 11 years ago. He was a six-month-old very sick little kitty and the pound didn't have the time or the ability to get him well. He came from a home with 30 other cats that morning. Apparently it was a husband and wife who had them. When the husband died, his wife dragged his body to the foot of the driveway and went back inside. Needless to say, the cats were removed from the house and she was taken to the hospital for mental evaluation. Boy was the sickest of the bunch, and my heart broke. I literally took him out of the tech's arms in the blanket in which he was wrapped, promised them that I wouldn't bring him back, and worked hard to make him well. And we never looked back. He was the house clown - he slept on his head and snored pretty loud, seemed to be on ice skates when he ran after a play mouse, and when he jumped up on something, he would land on his back legs, giving the illusion that he hovered for just a second before landing. he took up half our bed when he slept with us, literally snorted his food, and took over the back of our leather chair as his bed. Because he was deaf, his meow was more like a "call of the wild," and he was unflappable. No matter who came to the house, he would come over and hit them with his paw until they pet him, and pet him, and pet him. He was such a lover. And he was fearless - I still laught when I remember the day he leaped over a pile of laundry not even knowing what was on the other side.

He was a real trooper after his diabetes diagnosis last July. We home-tested him and gave him his shots without one fuss on his part. He just laid in Bob's arms, literally cooing and squeaking. I think he loved the attention. We were so proud of him when his numbers remained normal and we could stop the insulin, and we really thought he would be on the road to his old crazy self. Unfortunately, that was not to be. The morning we took him to the vet two weeks ago, we had every expectation that we would be given a prescription to fill, or that he would be diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy and put on the path to getting well. The fact that he was shown to have an inoperable brain tumor was such a shock. The agonizing decision to return to the vet to hold him as we said goodbye was something we didn't think in a million years would have to be made that day. I still don't know how we took that ride knowing that it would be the last time we would hold him in this world.

We're trying very hard to help Allie, our remaining beast, adjust to life in the house without her companion - even though I think he frightened her in the last few months. There were a lot of hisses after he would follow her around the house getting a little too close and just standing and staring. We don't know if we should get her another cat or kitten for company and we're putting off that decision until after the new year. We figure that Boy will put a furry beast in our paths if it's the right thing to do. We're not sure what the thinking is about that. They were together for 11 years, mostly close in the last 6. Allie has been particularly clingy the last few days - we wonder if part of that is that she is now getting all of the attention, something Boy got a lot of since he got sick.

Two days ago we received Boy's ashes. I can't even describe the feeling as we held that box with his remains. Right now I can't bear to let them go or bury them outside when it's getting so cold here in Philadelphia. And because we don't want to stay in this city forever, I don't want to have to leave him here. So he is staying inside where I feel better knowing he's safe and warm -even though I know it's just his body. Call me crazy, but I truly know that we will see him again. We just can't get past the knowledge that he'll never again walk our floors.

Boy's death was a huge loss in our hearts and in our home. I keep thinking that he came to us in a blanket, and he left us in one as well. It feels right now like we'll never recover. I know that's not the case. And we know that little bundle, with the huge personality, is not really gone. It would be impossible to extinguish such a force.

Perhaps this is his eulogy. I just wanted you to know him - our buddy Boy. He is deeply missed.

Lani and Bob

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Lani and Bob, I'm so sorry about Boy. It sounds like you loved him so much and gave him a wonderful life, one he wouldn't have gotten to live at all. You should both be so proud that you gave him that chance and so much love and happiness in his life. I had a diabetic cat once, my Joey.. he was the best cat I ever had. The whole neighborhood loved him. I know it's so hard, like when you go on vacation and need someone to care for them. I loved reading about his antics! What a great personality! No wonder you love him so much. Laurie

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Dear Lani and Bob,

Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your little buddy Boy. He sounds like such a wonderful little character and I'm glad you shared your story here with all of us. It's abundantly clear that you loved him so very much, as he did you, and his/your story is a testament to not only that love, but your obviously huge and compassionate heart, evidenced by your last-minute rescue of his precious life. I hear unconditional love written all over your story, from all corners!

I can well imagine how horrifyingly shocking it must have been for you to receive that diagnosis out of left field, as we went through the same kind of shock when our Sabin was diagnosed with cancer when we thought it most likely was a stroke (which cats often survive and recover from quite nicely). What I can't imagine is that last car trip (never having had to do that myself) and my heart just breaks for you. But it shows how honourable and courageous you became for your Boy's sake and you made sure you were with him to see him off on his continuing journey. That is what love asks of us for our babies' sakes, and you gave it willingly, though it broke your own hearts.

I'm also sure Allie is grieving in her own way as well, even if their relationship wasn't all a bed of roses...just as many of us still grieve for other humans with whom we had a less-than-perfect relationship. I think it's wise to wait at least awhile (my opinion, anyway) before trying to introduce another friend, and although you didn't mention how old or young Allie is, she's obviously at least 11. Many times, older animals don't prefer their long-standing territory be intruded upon by someone new (and female cats are usually more territorial than males), although certainly personality of the individual is a factor, too. If it looks like she might want a pal, you might consider adopting someone who is also older, so she won't be 'bothered' by someone too young and full of 'pestering' play. Of course, a trial period would be in order, although it's awfully hard on any 'rejected' ones to have to go back to a shelter once they've been 'chosen'.

For us, when Nissa lost her brother at age 13 (both the same age), she grieved hard for about 3 months or a bit longer, then made it quite clear that she was truly enjoying being an only cat. I took some clues from her reactions to any 'interlopers' who came in the yard, even neighbouring cats she'd known for years, and it seemed pretty clear that this would now be HER sole territory, house and yard! I also checked this out with an animal communicator, who got this from her:

"No, I don't need another cat....I HAVE one...YOU (meaning me) are my cat!!" (very flattering, indeed!) So if you happen to know anyone else with cats, perhaps you could test the waters, so to speak, with an in-home visit, if their guardian and the cat him/herself would be so inclined?

If you really don't want to let go of Boy's ashes, you might consider just keeping them with you forever. There are many lovely urns for cats now that you can display proudly, or keep somewhere private, as you wish. Our 2 kidlets will be buried beside each other for a time, then when we're ready to move from here, we'll be taking them each for separate cremations, buying urns and toting them with us, as I can't imagine ever leaving 'them' behind! (the places here will gladly cremate in this fashion, caskets and all)

Though it's been just over 3 months already for me, I, too, feel like I'll never recover from our loss of our Little Nis', though I'm working hard to do that very thing....in time, in time....I have the rest of my life to do so, and if I should myself die before I do, well, hey...then I won't HAVE to, as I'll be back with my kidlets again anyway!

I think you put it very aptly, eloquently and properly when you said:

"And we know that little bundle, with the huge personality, is not really gone. It would be impossible to extinguish such a force."

That is exactly right. If energy simply can't disappear, but only change forms, certainly our precious, unique, loving and loveable furbabies are among the biggest energetic forces in the Universe! They love us and we love them, and what force is greater than Love and what/who is created within it and by it? (but I know how horrible the missing them feels regardless)

And if this is Boy's eulogy, it's a poignant and touching one that I'm sure he'd be so happy to see himself honoured with. Hold those cherished memories close in your heart as you grieve for your Boy, and perhaps you'll feel him there beside you, holding your heart in his paw. And come back here anytime, if you need support in your grief. We aren't meant to go through this alone.

Edited by Maylissa
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Lani and Bob,

I want to add my condolences to the loss of your precious Boy. You have come to the right place, as we are all animals lovers here, and most of us have experienced the tremendous pain that follows the death of our beloved furbaby.

What a beautiful and fitting eulogy! I so admire you for rescuing him from sure death and caring for him physically and emotionally all these years.

Yes, the pain does lessen with time, but it is a process that has to be gone through in ones own way and one's own time.

5 months ago I had to put down my precious girl, Tawny (a canine) who although she wasn't even 2 years old, had suffered from kidney failure. I too, expected to get a prescription for a kidney/bladder infection to be easily cured. It was devastating to get that news, as those who have been on this board all this time with me can attest to. But with the support of these wonderful people and the truly healing powers of time, I am getting better. But I will always miss my dear girl.

I agree with Maylissa that you should take your time and watch Allie and judge from her reactions what may be best for her. We have another dog, the littermate of Tawney, named Tanner and since he had basically been with her all his life(albeit short), we felt that he would want another companion. So my DH found out that the same owner that gave us Tawny and Tanner had a new female puppy needing a good home (the last one left). I believe that Tawny sent her to us so we would not be lonely. I named her Sweet Pea, as that was Tawny's nickname. These are all wonderful dogs, and although Sweet Pea will never take Tawny's place, she has added new joy to our life and I believe to Tanner's as well.

Bless you and I hope your journey through your grief will not be too difficult.

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