army boots

2004 - 2022

What can I say, Buddy? I have never been so keenly aware of the absence of something in my life. Not that I can remember anyway. Your absence has an excruciating and profound effect on my life. Who would have known it would be this bad?! I will forever hate Halloween from this year forward.

It’s the second day without you, and here I am remembering the first day we met. Christmas Eve. You were scared and ran your way across my husbands ‘junk’ to get to the basement where you stayed for two days in a wood pile. When you finally came out you made it clear that I was your human, and that was that.

Bedtime was always interesting with you. I would tell you it was time to go to bed, and you would get up from where you were, stretch, yawn and follow me to the bedroom. Get up on the bed and wait. When I got in bed you would insist on me putting the blankets over you, pulling you close, and you’d purr. Sometimes you’d get off the bed, and when you came back, you would hit me in the nose to let me know of your return. I’d hear the ‘Mom’ meow and lift the blankets for you to get back to your spot. Sometimes you would make your way above my head and sleep on my pillow with me. Like you were the lookout. Other times you’d like and bite my nose. Never really knew why you did that. I so miss burying my face in your shoulder and going to sleep while you purr. Sleep has escaped me since you’ve been gone.

When I couldn’t sleep, you would show up and purr me to sleep. You could bring my blood pressure down in minutes just by being on my lap. You always knew somehow when I didn’t feel right and would hang out on my lap till I felt better. Pick your head up, plant the back of your head in my chest to looking up at me and meow as if to ask if everything was ok.

Every morning there was a choir or voices at the food bowls. You were the loudest. Screaming for me to put fresh water in the water bowl that I had just refilled. Now I feel bad that I would tell you to shut up as I actually long to hear you complain again. If Harley didn’t like her food, it didn’t matter. You would eat it and I would hope she liked whatever was in the next can. Now I cry when she walks away from her bowl looking for another choice.

I sit on the couch, and suddenly I realize something is off. I look across the room expecting you to be in my chair, and you’re not. That feeling I can’t describe comes back and the tears start. I cleaned the litter box the day you left and cried. I find your fur on my clothes and I cry. I think I see you out of the corner of my eye and when I realize it’s nothing I cry some more. My face is so swollen it looks like I got into a fight with Mike Tyson.

This morning my alarm went off and like usual I was careful not to roll over on you to shut it off. Then I remembered, you weren’t there and the tears and that feeling of dread was there again.

Thank you, Buddy. Thank you for protecting me from pretty much everything. I already miss you yelling at the dog when I’m in bed. I never really knew why you did that, she never got up on the bed. It was almost like you were telling her to be quiet because I was trying to sleep. If that was what was going on, you certainly defeated the purpose with your yelling. Then you’d lay down on my pillow and purr me to sleep.
Thank you for showing me what love and compassion really are. For sharing your love with me. For teaching me that a floor full of cat litter doesn’t mean you’re lazy, it just means there were more snuggles to get. Thank you for the many, many nights of petting my face. For all the head butts and nose bites. For letting me hug you when I was sad and allowing me to cry all over your fur. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for the kisses on my cheek when I would cry. Sure could use those now.

Thank you for taking care of me for the full 5 weeks of C.diff. My bathroom experiences will never be the same! Can’t believe you were on my lap in that bathroom for 5 freakin weeks. But, you were.

Thank you for snuggles and cuddles when I’d get those migraines. I’m going to cry through the next one I have, cause you won’t be able to help me through it.

Thank you for letting me squeeze you way too tight when I cry because I miss the boys. I hope I didn’t hurt you. I guess I’ll be breaking things from now on without you hear to help me.

Thank you for teaching me that just because you don’t like your dinner, doesn’t mean the cook didn’t try their best to hit the mark you expected. And that a better meal is on the horizon.

Thank you for showing me that being outside is overrated and probably dangerous.

Thank you for calling my name when I would come home with the expectation of being picked up and snuggled immediately.

Thank you for missing me whenever I left the house.
And Thank you for the welcome home when I returned.

Thank you for teaching me that I can actually love with all my heart. Right now it’s shattered into a bazillion pieces, and I wonder if it will ever feel normal again. But thank you for teaching this lesson.

Thank you for so many memories…

Thank you for responding to all of your names! Boots, Army Boots, Bad Cat, Punk, Bootsy Bad Cat.. I believe I called you Buddy more often than not.

It’s been nearly two decades of having your face in my face/life and suddenly when I look for it, it isn’t there. The feeling in my chest and soul is something I can’t describe, but the feeling makes me gasp for breath. It hits pretty often and it starts the tears too. There is a hole in my being that has a very raw hurt that I can’t stop or calm.

What I’ll miss… There is no way I could list everything, and other things will show up as life continues without you here. But here is a short list that comes to mind immediately.

I miss…
Your snuggles.
Your complaining.
Your need to inspect toilets.
You shoving your way on to my lap regardless of if I was ready for you to be there.
Holding you while I fall asleep.
Seeing the amazement on your face looking at the lights when you were under the Christmas tree.
Yelling at you to leave the tree alone.
You greeting me when I come home.
You needing to be on my lap in the bathroom.
You insisting that drinking from the bathtub was acceptable.
You yelling at the dog.
Your face.
Your petting me to get my attention.
You petting my face.
You licking my nose.
You chewing plastic bags.
Petting you.
Burying my face in your fur.
You leaving cat litter EVERYWHERE.
I will actually miss you begging for my food.
Your purr.
Your “Mom” yell.
Pulling my hair when I hit SNOOZE 1 too many times in the morning. I’m going to be late without your help.
Coming home to see you on my bed like you own it, and that “Mom” yell again!
Your fur in my eyes every morning.
Choking on your fur at night.
You were always laying where I want to sit down.
The way you took over my chair.
Being under my feet when I’m trying to do things.
Your fur all over my clothes.
Your cold nose.
Your weird claw that grew up on your paw.
Your extra soft fur.
Your big gold eyes that turned green when you were excited and sometimes when you were sick.
You sleeping on my lap.
Your freckle.
The way you had to play with anything that resembled shoelaces.
You having to untie all my shoes.
Your ‘ownership’ of me.
The way you would roll around in catnip.
How you would give Harley kisses when you knew she didn’t feel well.
The way you would lay on my pillow and just watch me.
I will miss feeling your love.
Seeing your face when I come home from a shitty day at work.
You sitting on my lap with your paws on the desk at the computer.
I’ll miss watching you chase and catch flies and tormenting crawling things.
The meow meow meow meow meow meow meoooooooow! at the water bowl.
I will miss all and everything that was you, my friend.

Ok maybe this wouldn’t be considered a short list to some people. But hey!

Gonna take some time for these tears and this horrible feeling to subside I suppose. But I guess if I hadn’t loved you so much, it wouldn’t hurt so badly.

I will always miss and love you so very much, Buddy.