Then years ago, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I had to let my beloved Buckley go. Ever since then, Thanksgiving has always been associated with Buckley for me. And it’s not just because Thanksgiving Day 2008 was the last full day I spent with her. It’s also because when I count my blessings, the many gifts this gimpy little cat who captured my heart from the moment I first saw her brought into my life are always at the top of the list.
“Have you seen the little tortie in the back?” Liz asked. Everybody at the animal hospital knew I was partial to tortoiseshell cats.
“No, I haven’t,” I responded. “Where is she?”
Liz pointed to the bank of cages at the very back of the kennel, and I went to see Buckley for the first time. And I fell in love. Hard. And fast.
Without Buckley, I might not have become a writer. Without Buckley, The Conscious Cat might not exist. Even though Amber inspired this site, its original purpose, in addition to sharing my passion for making cats’ lives better, 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.
She had been declining for several weeks prior to Thanksgiving, and a few days before the holiday, it became clear that she would not be with me much longer.
Thanksgiving Day dawned sunny and bright. … I only left for an hour that morning to go for a walk. … Once I returned, Buckley and I spent the day together on the loveseast – always our favorite spot. … The day passed quietly and peacefully. I tried to just enjoy being with Buckley without thinking about anything beyond this present moment.
By Thanksgiving night, I knew it was time to let her go. Up until then, I had hoped that maybe I could keep her with me through the holiday weekend, but by the time we went to bed, I knew this would be our last night together. If I kept her with me any longer, it would be for me, not for her. On Friday afternoon, she passed away peacefully in my arms with the gentle assistance of my dear friend and vet, Dr. Fern Crist.
Remembering my special little girl is always a big part of my Thanksgiving weekend. This little cat changed my life in ways I never could have imagined.
Remembering Buckley still brings tears every year. As the years have gone by, there have been more smiles than tears as I recall more happy memories than sad ones.
Buckley took a big chunk of my heart with her when she left, but a part of her is always with me. This weekend, I once again honor the memory of her wonderful spirit and the blessings she has brought into my life.
The words that best summarize Buckley’s spirit are the same words you’ll find on the last page of her book: