|A plumper Buttons during healthier times|
|Me in 2007, making a shelter for Buttons and lining it with hay for warmth.|
|Buttons' original city-gutter home. She slept down under the grate and crawled out when I brought food. As soon as I got too close though, she would run,|
|Buttons spent her first weeks cowering behind the toilet.|
|A dog crate helped Buttons adjust|
|"Okay, I think I like it here."|
|Even though Bossa Nova hated Buttons at first, she grew to love her and gave her massive daily head butts.|
|One of the last photos I took of Buttons, resting before we went to the vet yesterday,|
I've been through this before a few times, but experience does not help one navigate these losses. I know time heals, so I will try to endure until my heart aches less. But time also has a way of washing memories away. These are the things I don't want to forget about Buttons:
- Buttons meowed. A lot. Since she was profoundly deaf, she had no idea what a big voice she had. Her voice weighed more than her body.
- She knew some sign language. Because Buttons was deaf, "here, Kitty-Kitty" was wasted on her. So, I would gently wiggle my fingers, and she learned that this meant "Here, kitty." She always responded to it.
- Even though she couldn't hear me, I called her by a bunch of silly nicknames which I will keep between Buttons and me.
- She was a classic lap cat, despite her agoraphobic beginnings. She loved to cuddle in the nook of my armpit while I read or watched TV. She loved to sit on F-stop's lap and "listen" to him talk to her. She loved to bury her head in my hand, as if hiding. About a month ago, she was laying on my chest purring like a motor and I recorded this video [audio, really] of her.
- She made the most adorable, friendly trill sound whenever I initiated petting her as if to say "Hi!"
- She loved to be doted on. In the end, I had to coax her to eat, but I really think she liked the ritual. She had an adorable way of hobbling into the kitchen, looking up at me and meowing, waiting for me to tempt her with more food. She even tried a few nibbles of pumpkin the day before she passed.
- She was tiny. She had the shortest legs and was never able to jump as high as the bed, even in the early days. Buttons was the equivalent of a Dachshund cat.
|Buttons on my chalkboard, watching over us.|
All the moments we spend with those souls we love are precious. Hold your loved ones, furry and human, a little bit tighter, please.
I want to thank the wonderful staff at The Cat Doctor for caring for Buttons for all these years, especially Dr. Milner and Miriam. And I want to thank Dr. Eigner, Miriam, and Lori, and for making her transition so loving and for taking care of me, too.