Jidderbug. The Bugs. Bugaboo.
This is the first, and possibly only mention of his passing I’ve made online, but it feels appropriate given Saddleback’s history with Blue. It feels like folk around here may be able to understand how it feels.
I am 29, and for 20 of those years he was a staple of my daily life. From an awkward runt kitten with a weird gait to my monsterous 16 lb, jointed thumb best friend, to my wifes comfort blanket at night after the passing of her own furry friend, he was there. Purring louder then a locomotive, ready to be hugged.
20 is a mightily long time for a cat to live, but not long enough for my best friend. We did everything together. I grew up with him in my life. Graduated. Moved out on my own, got my own car, finished my degree, got my own house and even married. He was the kinda pal that you could depend on. He knew his home. He never hissed, never attacked. He was a pure snugglemonster, and he knew how to make you feel better. People often time refer to their pet as unique or special. Be that as it may, but I know in my heart and mind that this guy was truly extraordinary.
How do you cope with that king of staggering loss? For me, it was preparation. If you know you love someone that much, you should know that some day it will end. For me, I knew years ago that he wouldn’t live forever (much to my mental dismay), and I told myself that I would do my best to make whatever time together we have memorable. Anytime he wanted to chill next to me; we chilled. We shared snacks (and probably lots of food he shouldn’t have eaten!) but it was all great. He slept with us, he was there for us when we lost other pets. He was always there. That last night in July, on the eve of our wedding anniversary, we were there one last time for him.
I was beaten down for awhile after his passing, but I think recovery and acceptance of it was made easier by knowing that in the end there was nothing more I could give. He lived the fullest life of any friend, human or otherwise. I have twenty years of the best memories a man could ask for, and I know he left with the same. I bet sometimes my wife gets sick of hearing it, but whenever you have the opportunity to tell someone you love them, or want to pull them close, or just want to occupy the same space as them; do it. Someday you’ll lose that chance, and then introduce the element of regret into your mourning. Regret complicates the mourning process exponentially. Life life without regret.
Goodbye, Jidderbug. My bugaboo. You are forever in my heart and someday, if I’m wrong and there is something else out there; I look forward to reuniting with you. Pick you back up, carry you just like a baby (just like you liked it!) and walk off into the glorious sunset. Me and my baby boy, my buddy, my pal.