The beginning of 2017 was full of sadness at our home. We were forced to make the difficult decision to say good-bye to our favorite cat, Buster. As with kids, I’m sure you shouldn’t pick favorites when it comes to your pets, but Buster was everyone’s favorite.
As a young cat, Buster enjoyed “fetching” socks. This involved a lot of loud “talking” and a lot of depositing socks wherever he felt they should be located. He loved chasing socks down the hall if someone would throw them. He liked taking crocheted Easter eggs out of a basket and “hiding” them around the house. He especially loved it when the Easter baskets were out on the top of the piano, giving him a cozy place to nap. If I shrieked over a spider, he would come to “defend” me. He was the boss cat of the family, and all the other cats (and the dog) knew it!
In recent years, he spent his time napping, often squishing into a bed with one of the other cats even if they didn’t want to share. He did laps around the kitchen…slow, slow laps with his little claws clicking away. I think he enjoyed sneaking up behind me when I was cooking, hoping that I would accidentally trip over him, so I would apologize profusely and give him a hug.
Saying good-bye was so incredibly difficult. But, he had grown horribly thin and blood work did not reveal why, his legs were stiff with age, he stopped purring, and it just seemed like it was time to end his suffering. He was a part of our lives for nearly 15 1/2 years, having been a rescue from the animal shelter when he was just a kitten. He’d been a member of the family longer than youngest son has been alive.
It almost seems fitting that Finish #1 for 2017 is a book about growing old. And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman gives insight into the mind of an elderly man, a mind that is giving out long before his body, leaving him forgetting more and more each day. This was a short book, a novella really, but I think there was a lot of meaning packed into the pages. I plan to read some of Backman’s other books this year if I can find them. A Man Called Ove was actually in my library basket last year, but I didn’t get to it. I’ll have to rectify that in 2017.