I wanted to let know that my cat, Buddy, whom many of you knew, passed away September 29 after about a year of different treatments for bad heart, diabetes, and many medications. Many of you know the background, and his special history, and have been supportive in my caring for him and, now, in my losing him. Just wanted to reach out and thank everyone for being so understanding.
He passed away peacefully in my home. He’s been such a part of my life so many years, I’m just getting my head around it. So many thoughts and memories have come up in the wake.
Losing a cat friend is humbling – as this cat eulogy I recently read expresses:
“We have come here to say farewell to a true friend and loving member of our household.
We thank you, Lord, for sending us this beloved companion. He will not be forgotten”.
Buddy was not your average cat. Battered and found in a derelict building (a local movie theater, more on that later) by Lucy Brock’s Humanimal Connection rescue team, they got him a good deal when they found him a new home with Françoise and I.
Buddy was actuallly Francoise's (my partner of 15 years) cat. She picked him, insisted he live with us on Jefferson Avenue, and I grew to love him. When she was away on tour, she'd always ask "How is my big fat boy?
Using a flyer or video to lure someone to offer their home to a shelter animal is not uncommon. But Lucy’s pet shelter created a very special movie poster for Buddy that told his “remarkable” story. It describes how Buddy was a once a person—a movie actor, (Danno), in Hawaii-Five-0, that was turned into a cat due to an “unusual medical condition”:
“I am a sweet, easygoing goofball in search of a good home, and I promise to be no trouble at all if you adopt me . . . ”
“. . . Being a cat is a role that suits me just fine! I still enjoy good food, long naps, and the company of close friends. I get along with most other cats as long as they are not aggressive and bossy. I don't talk anymore - not in full sentenses anyway - but I can still express myself. And I still have my boyish good looks ... All I need now is a loving home!"
But he loved life always – coming to sit beneath my desk or kitchen table to hang out, get some attention and strokes. He groomed and bathed himself until the last day, rarely missed the litter box, and enjoyed eating, though he was pickier in the last year.
He always made a bee-line to me when I did my indoor ‘pandemic exercise’. He loved the connection, especially in stretching and yoga to curl up next to me – even up to the last week
Françoise became so passionate about caring for homeless cats, that she left an inheritance to the cat shelter, Whis-Purr Rescue.
Gift to the Cat Shelter
Buddy passed away quietly as I stroked and tried to comfort him on Thursday (SEP 24) around 5.15pm. It was fortunate I was there with him, and that his Vet was available to speak with and see him that day. We all knew it was coming though he continued to always have more better days than bad days. For me, it’s a loss of a family member, and closely tied to my relationship.
A Big First Impression
When she picked him, he was reclusive and stayed under the bed for a week (much like he had been the last weeks at home before he died). He was so fat when we got him, that for years each time someone would meet him for the first they would do the same thing:
Look at Buddy
Say: “What a pretty orange cat you have”
Look back at me
Jerk their head back to look at Buddy
Say: ”Boy that cat is fat!”
I was at a gathering once where someone was talking about their cat that had passed away. “He said a good cat”, said the owner. It always stuck with me because it was so true about Buddy and anybody that has had a pet might understand.
Thanks to my friend Dave Levine and his family, we also did a prayer for the departed for Buddy as part of the September high holidays.
I appreciate all of you that knew Buddy and that share the loss of this kind, beloved critter.
APPENDIX - A COUPLE SPECIAL MEMORIES
The photo below is from younger, fatter years when Buddy was curious about the outdoor world he could never visit—but didn’t seem to mind. He only got out of the house by accident once, and was brought back wide-eyed and frightened. Most of the time he wanted to just “enjoy good food, long naps, and the company of close friends.”
Buddy in fatter days