This is Buckle.
He was our 17 year old Tabby cat and the second old friend we've lost in the past 3 years. His old buddy Aichan went before him and now the boys are together again between the bluebird boxes out in the field.
About two years after Stephen and I met, I answered an ad in the newspaper for "Rescued Kittens." I drove to a gas station in North Texas and picked him out of cardboard box on the front seat of pick-up truck.
Turned out poor Buckle was not the brightest kitty in the box. Very handsome--he had the prettiest whiskers and a perfect Madonna "M" marking--but he was really kind of dumb. He was a cat mimbo but we loved him anyway.
Case in point, Buckle's name wasn't always Buckle. We actually named him Huckleberry first because it was Stephen's favorite name. We weren't thinking ahead. Flash forward 12 years and I was pregnant...with a boy. Yes, we named Huck after the cat. Well not really, what we really did was steal the cat's name and give it to the baby. We called the cat Huckle, Huckledy Buckledy, Buckle and the like most of the time anyway so we just swiped his name, gave it to the kid and started calling the cat Buckle exclusively.
And as we suspected, Buckle didn't even notice. Aichan probably thought it was strange but they both just shrugged and rolled with it.
They were very adaptable animals. Buckle had lived in Texas, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Wyoming and Idaho. He had made several cross-country road trips and was always a wonderful mouser--though he preferred bringing them in alive to chase through our bedroom in the middle of the night rather than something civilized like killing them and dropping their little bodies on the doorstep. I won't miss chasing terrified rodents around the bedroom with a dishtowel at 3am, I can tell you that. But I will miss old Buckle.
The kids were sad but have already bounced back, as children do. Buckle had been an old, misanthropic cat all of their lives. He wasn't the kind of animal they could drag around and dress up. I had placed his body in his little cat bed and they sat with him for a while. Huck sighed and we talked about how old he was and what it meant that he was dead. My neighbor came and dug a deep hole for us since Stephen was out of town, and then we had the funeral. The kids decided to bury him with his food bowl and his Christmas stocking.
Huck understands but of course it's all a bit sketchy for Jemima. This morning she wanted to put her cereal bowl on the floor for him after breakfast like she always does. Huck reminded her that Buckle was dead and didn't need milk anymore and sweet Jemima replied, "Oh right. He outside eating dirt."
Ah well. It's the end of an era here. All our old Texas cats are gone.
Goodbye, Old Man.
And in case you too enjoy a nice hot water bottle on a cold night or when someone is sick, or you have a very old kitty cat, you can find info on the hot water bottle cozy on my Ravelry page.