A Long Goodbye

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Buddy sleeping

You know this day will come, even when you bring home a sweet baby kitty. And yet, as my husband always says, “We are never ready”. Buddy was less than eight weeks old when we adopted him, so tiny and taken too soon from his mother.

Baby Bud

Thirteen years later, our vet has recently diagnosed Buddy with kidney disease, a progressive illness for which there is no cure.

And so we are trying to prepare for our beloved Buddy’s long goodbye.

All we can do is change both the kitties’ diet to food designed to promote kidney health, hoping to stall Buddy’s end. I am tired, stressed and depressed, constantly on “Buddy alert”, watching his every move.

Despite many subtle changes in Buddy’s behavior that suggest he is no longer the kitty we once knew, he is still enjoying his food and spends his afternoons sunbathing. He is surrounded the best care we can give and all the love any kitty ever experienced.

sunny Bud

Poor Daisy, seven months younger, misses Buddy grooming her and their shared naps together. Buddy is giving off signals that he likes more alone time, although he will still jump in my lap and spend some of the night sleeping on my pillow. I’m trying to give Daisy more attention and lots of love, just as I do her big brother. She used to love holding hands with Bud.

Brother and Sister

So, we will watch and wait, trying to keep our anticipatory grief under control – Larry does a much better job than do I. Buddy’s prognosis is for about a year more of a life that I plan to make as enjoyable as possible. Our kitties are the children I never had, and they both deserve the very best as they approach their endgame.

Please hold a good thought for dear Buddy.

Back to bed


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23 Responses to A Long Goodbye

  1. Beth (OMG! Yummy) March 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    They are both such beauties and so lucky to have you and Larry. Enjoy the good moments and feel comfort in knowing that he has such a wonderful set of caregivers and will leave this world a very much loved kitty. Thinking only good thoughts for you.

    • Liz March 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

      Somehow, dear Beth, I knew you would make the first comment. Too sweet – X0 Liz

  2. Toni March 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    Both cats will always be kittens in your hearts, hold them close as you are able to say your goodbyes. Buddy has had a wonderful life, he rewards you back with the Love you and Larry have shared with him.

  3. Wendy Read March 20, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    Oh Liz…I have had cats in my life since I was 15. Before I had my Rachel, they were my children. And it is so true that we are never ready to let them go. I had to say goodbye to two of them and put them to rest, I have them in urns, my Magnolia and my Cous-Cous, they each lived with me for a span of 26 years. I don’t know if this is morbid, but there it is–something I don’t usually speak about. Each one with a different personality, they come into our lives and we fall hopelessly, helplessly in love with them. I now have two cats (Sushi and Tenchi) that are aging, and I know that I, too, will face losing them. My heart goes out to you and I know that you are Larry are going to make the most of Buddy’s time with you all together. He has a lovely Mom and I can tell how wonderful you are to him. Sending you love and a great big hug. XXX

    • Liz March 21, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Thanks, Wendy, and to everyone who has left such supportive comments. I have to say that this is the first time I have written a post when I’ve been upset that I don’t feel any relief from having done so. I woke up this morning and Buddy had thrown up all over the house – it just goes on and on.

  4. Barbara March 20, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m so sorry Liz. This brought tears to my eyes. I love my cat, Roxy so very much & fear the day I will have to face what you are now. I understand the sadness you feel & as I hold back sobs I can only hope that you are able to share as many special moments with your sweet Buddy as you can over the next year. Sending much love your way!

  5. Andrew March 20, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Buddy and Daisy are two very lucky kitties to have you as their parents. I can just hear them both purring and purring and purring… xoxo!

  6. Laura @ Family Spice March 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    I’m sorry, my dear friend. I know you are feeling so sad right now. We love seeing your sweet kitties every time we come to visit you. Feel comfort knowing you have given darling Buddy a wonderful loving home for the past 13 years. Sending you hugs and love from all of us Bashars. xxooxx

  7. Jayne March 21, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    Sorry Liz, sending lots of love. xx

  8. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious March 21, 2014 at 7:59 am #

    Sending you a big electronic hug. So sorry for that diagnosis.

  9. SallyBR March 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I did not want to open this post because I am in my office, but I had some time to spare and decided to close my door and read it.

    I knew it would be sad.

    Our dear Chief is 15 years old and showing signs of weakness, although nothing clearly diagnosed. Only “we are never ready” fits the reality of it all.

    I hope you will have more time than you think of a better life than any vet could predict with your sweet kitten… Always a kitten, you know… always a kitten

    a warm hug going your way…. (beautiful photos, all of them)

  10. Suzanne March 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Liz, I will keep your sweet Buddy in my thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful boy he is and Daisy is a gorgeous girl. I have 2 very sick dogs that are both elderly so I know what you are going through, Buddy will be loved and pampered and be very happy surrounded by you and Larry and Daisy for the rest of the time he has left on this earth. I hope that he is with you for a long time and that his health improves.

  11. jacquie March 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    my thoughts are also with you and your family at this very difficult time. I know you will do your best for your kittie making sure that his last days are filled with as much grace and dignity as possible. it is so difficult as our pets age as it is hard to bear witness to a loved being in the process of decline. I have two older dogs myself so while I don’t know exactly what you are going through I can certainly empathize with your situation. please give the kitties a pet and a treat for me. and you take care.

  12. merry jennifer March 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Gosh, I so know how you feel. It’s so incredibly hard to see someone (or somekitty) we love become ill, and to know that they won’t recover. My thoughts will be with you. I hope that Buddy has more good days than bad ones, and more time with you and Larry while he feels well. xo

    • Liz March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks so much – Buddy had a good day today. I cancelled all my plans and we “hung out”.

  13. Mare March 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Liz, I am so sorry that your dear cat is not well. Freddy and I had Leona (yes, she was demanding) for 21 years. She was with us for a lot of good and not so good times and she was an amazing cat that we still miss. I know that Buddy is lucky to have you and Larry to care for him.

  14. Sarah March 24, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    My heart is crying… we have one that looks exactly like Buddy and I can’t picture having to face that. Hugs and prayers to you both

    • Liz March 24, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Thanks – the good news is that Buddy appears to already be responding to the new diet – fingers crossed.

  15. sippitysup March 24, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    I have a dog who may be going through the same thing. We are still trying to diagnose. XOXOXOGREG

    • Liz March 25, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Greg, just a week on the diet designed to promote kidney health, Buddy is responding positively – best thoughts to you and your sweet pooch.

  16. The Wimpy Vegetarian March 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m so sorry, Liz. This is without question the hardest part of sharing a life with animals we love and make family. My dog was the little girl I never had, so I totally get that. My cousin lost her cat to liver disease a couple of weeks ago, and it’s very hard. We’re just ramping up now to start the process all over again with looking at puppies. Buddy and Daisy are so lucky to have you as a mom!!!!

    • Liz March 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Buddy is feeling better so we are just going day by day – thank you, Susan.

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