Saturday morning at Crossroads Animal Hospital, the veterinarian pronounced his paper thin veins would make his anesthesia injection too worrisome for the old cat. She didn't want to keep poking to inject properly, so she opted for a slower acting place to inject—the abdomen.
Her first try at hitting his vein had resulted in a subcutaneous bubble, its blueness translucent through shaved white skin. Before that, she noted he had developed a pronounced heart murmur since his last visit.
She agreed with our determination to let him go. We told her he had stopped eating and drinking. He could no longer keep his food down, and he had difficulty climbing the steps to our bed. Yet, he valiantly fought off her second and final medication that she injected.
Buddy had a matchless strength and hauteur, the counterpart to our first cat Inky, a tiny "dowager empress." She was a black stray we first found during the 1995 July fourth weekend. She died in 2013, a little before my father came to live with us after my mom died and his hip replacement sentenced him to life in bed or wheelchair.
To me, Buddy was a great companion and helper when I lifted him, and placed him in my father’s railed bed; he gave dad great comfort and happiness. Many nights Buddy would remain, at the foot of dad’s bed until perhaps midnight or so. Then he’d jump off and meow at the backdoor, a signal he was ready to leave for the evening.