It has been four years since Buckley’s passing. She died on November 28, 2008, which was the Friday after Thanksgiving that year. Rather than observing her anniversary on the actual date, I will always mark this event on Thanksgiving weekend. Even though I still miss her every day, after four years, the sadness is tempered by appreciation and gratitude for the amazing changes she has brought to my life, and, through her book, to the lives of so many others.
Without her, I might not have become a writer. Without her, The Conscious Cat might not exist. Even though Amber inspired this site, its original purpose, in addition to sharing my passion for and knowledge about cat health, was to build a following prior to publishing Buckley’s Story. Most importantly, without her, my heart might not have been opened to the many wonderful lessons she taught me during her brief time with me.
Those of you who have read Buckley’s Story already know that I first met her in the spring of 2005, when she was brought into the animal hospital I managed at the time. When I left my job a year later to start my own business, I missed her too much, and eventually ended up adopting her. She was with me for two more years, until she succumbed to heart disease.
I believe that it’s important to mark these anniversaries in a way that’s meaningful. I previously wrote about different ways to memorialize your cat; the best memorial is the one that has meaning for you.
For me, remembering Buckley means spending quiet time reflecting on the years we shared. There are always tears, but as the years go by, there are more smiles than tears as I recall more happy memories than sad ones. I feel that Buckley is always with me, but this conscious observance of the anniversary of her passing helps me honor the memory of her wonderful spirit and the amazing changes she has brought into my life.
The words that best summarize Buckley’s impact on my life are the same words you’ll find on the last page of her book:
Endless Love and Joy
Mews and Nips will return next Saturday.
What a lovely tribute to Buckley, Ingrid. I think each of our feline friends leaves a different mark on our lives – my first cat (I was about 8 when we adopted him) taught me about gentleness – I have never since seen such a gentle cat. He was a gentleman if you can apply that word to cats. My next cat Cheeky (Cheeky by name and Cheeky by nature) adopted my family. She was a stray who decided to come live with us. She taught me about resilience and never giving up. My next two came at the same time – Missie (who was a young 9 years old when she passed) taught me about grace and enduring love (she sat on my father’s bed while he took his last breaths, and then jumped down as if to say “my job is done”). Missie lasted a year after Dad and while I was sad at her passing, I felt like she would cross the rainbow bridge and be reunited with him again. Buddie was her “sibling”. We had him until he was 15. He was the most “masculine” cat I have ever owned. He taught me about being unselfish. I had to decide to take him to the vet to be put to sleep. He had had an underlying condition for some time and finally it was pneumonia that made his life quality very poor. It was a hard decision and I still miss him dreadfully, but what beautiful memories I have of him. Now I am “owned” by Miss Gracie. I think she is teaching me that love comes in all kinds of packages, even those that sometimes bite you. What would we do without these beautiful creatures in our lives?
Thanks for sharing memories of your special cats, Margaret! I’m smiling at your comment about Gracie coming in a package that sometimes bites. 🙂
That is so very beautiful! A wonderful tribute to Buckley.
I still remember that day like it was yesterday. Amazing how quickly time goes by. And more amazing is the profound impact our cats and dogs have on us. Thanks for this wonderful post.
It is hard to believe it’s been four years, Paddy. I’m glad you enjoyed this tribute to Buckley.
It’s been two years as of a few days ago, that we lost Ryker. We can so completely identify with the concept of tears as well as fond memories, sadness as well as gratitude. It’s amazing the impact those special cats have in our lives. May this years’ memories be more sweet than they are sorrowful – and we, too, are glad for Buckley – as it brought us the Conscious Cat.
I think Ryker is smiling at everything you’re doing as a result of the impact he had on your life, Lisa.
Buckley’s Story was the most touching story of a cat. It made me smile and cry at the same time. Buckley was quite the cat. I understand why you miss her so much. I still miss my Puff who passed away at this time of year in 2005. I adopted Princess, my calico, the same night I took Puff to the vet for her trip to the Rainbow Bridge. I didn’t want another cat that night but Princess insisted on it! She made that time a lot easier to get thru for my husband and myself. Purrs and Kisses to Buckley and Amber at the Rainbow Bridge.
I love that Princess was there for you when Puff passed, Cynthia. What a special little girl. I wouldn’t be surprised if Puff had a paw in things.
I too am remembering the good times just a bit more now after losing my Twinkie now. She also taught me many things and how to embrace many things in life. Passing in my arms on the way to the vet; she did it “her” way; like so many things.Live in the “now” as best you can as she did. Sincere love to you on this anniversary of Buckley’s passing.
Thank you, Linda. I’m sorry about your Twinkie. Cats know all about living in the moment.
I lost two of my cats last year, one to renal amyloidosis and the other to FIP. I know that 2011 was an eventful year for me but it seems that I can only remember it as the year I lost Chino and Mirabelle, whom I considered to be my feline soulmate. Thinking of them only leaves me feeling brokenhearted and sometimes I worry that I’ll never get to think of them again without tears. Your post has given me hope that this is possible. Thank you for that, Ingrid.
I’m so sorry about Chino and Mirabelle, Jessica.
I always carry a bit of Buckley in my heart… Happy Anniversary Memory…
Aww, that’s so nice to hear, Deb!
Ingrid, she was a pretty little girl-while they may not be with us long each pet adds to our life.
That’s so true, Esme.
What a touching and wonderful tribute to Buckley!!! She was, and is, a loving, wise soul in a little feline body…
Big hugs to you!
Thanks, Anna! Good to hear from you!
Beautiful tribute! Love takes its proper place over sad memories, I think part of her legacy was leaving you able to health.
Thankfulness comes easily when one has been touched by such an angel as Buckley.
So true, Fisher.
Buckley was such a beauty! Thanks for sharing her with us.
Thanks, Laurie. She was beautiful inside and out.
Ingrid, such a sweet and inspiring tribute to Buckley. Our four-legged furry children do touch us deeply and leave a lasting imprint on our heart and lives. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers during this time of remembering.
Thoughts in Progress
there are no words. You are right here —> ♥
Beautiful tribute. She passed a year after my beloved Bobo. I bet Buckley is smiling down on you (and possibly offering her paws as guidance) touching everything that you do. You are in my thoughts today ((((hugs))))
Thanks, Caren. And hugs to you as you remember your Bobo.
That is such a terrific tribute to Buckley. She was an amazing cat and sure glad she came into your life. Also, I really like your new header with the three kitties. Have a great Saturday.
Thanks, Marg. You have a great Saturday, too!
That was sad, touching and wonderful. I hope your memories during this time are of all the fun and special times. There aren’t any words to describe the loss of a pet. I’m glad you and Buckley found each other.
Most of the memories now are of the good times, Raine.