Sunday, October 28, 2007

This one's for you, Old Buddy.

Ollie in April, 2007

I apologize to all you loyal Nascar readers, but I want to make a tribute to one of my best buddies over the last 13 years. I'll be back later with more thoughts on racing.


In 1994, I was living in an empty house, after my wife and step daughter moved out, when you came into my life. I could easily hold you in the palm of one hand, and you made me happy from the very first day you came into my life. In your early years, we were both trying to figure out what our lives were all about, but I knew I could always count on you, and you were the one constant in my life back in those days.

When I got home every day, I always knew that you would be happy to see me, and that you would brighten my day, no matter what. You never failed me in that, ever.

You went through 2 moves with me, and always made whatever house we were living in home. I'll never forget all the games we played, how high you used to leap, how I could always expect to find you up on top of the kitchen cabinets, or some other place it seemed impossible for a little cat to get to. You were such an athlete most of your life.

I'll never forget how you would chase and nip at your "Aunt" Ellen when she came over to take care of you when I was out of town. You never met a person, or rarely even another animal that you didn't like. I remember how you were always happy to go to the vet, and how happy you were to greet your friends there, and how happy they always were to see you. You never met a stranger in your life, I don't think.

I remember when I brought home your two "nephews", and wondering how you, an adult male cat, would react to two male kittens. I remember how I shut you up in the other room the first night, and how you practically broke down the door trying to get out and see them. I was so anxious, but it was all for nothing, for when I did let you get to meet them, you almost instantly became their "mama". I think until the very end, they always respected you as the "adult" cat in the house, even now that they have been adults for years, and have dwarfed you in physical size and strength. They never lost their respect for their Uncle Ollie.

I remember when you first got sick, nearly a year ago now. I slept by your side every night, and helped you eat and use the cat pan even. I remember how you began to improve, and you were doing so well until this morning, when your poor body finally failed you. Your spirit never dwindled, but your poor old body finally did.

I know we never knew your true birthday, but we always celebrated it on May the 8th. I doubt that I will ever not think about you on May the 8th, and unfortunately October 28th as long as I live.

Right up until the end, you always seemed to consider you and me equals in the household, and you always let me know when I had displeased you. I remember how as lately as yesterday I kept asking you to be quiet when I was trying to concentrate. You yelled at me whenever you wanted something, or whenever you thought I needed to be doing something else, like holding you. I'm glad I got to hold you one last time yesterday. If I'd only known that it would be the last time, I'd have held you all night long.

We're going to miss you, buddy. I'll always remember you, and it's going to be so tough only putting out two food bowls for a while instead of three. I've got real tears in my eyes, the first in a long time. You were right there with me the last time I had them too, and I don't have you to help me get through it this time. I'll go on, we all will, but Charlie, Spenser and I will miss you.

God Speed, old buddy. My greatest wish right now is that when my time on this earth is up, we'll all be together again in the Great Beyond.

I'll be seeing you, buddy. Rest well.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for your loss, Jimmy! I've got a 18 year old cat who sleeps all day, but still seems healthy. I'm lucky, I guess, but I know that day is coming when I've got to face what you have. Poor Ollie!


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