We found a veterinarian who makes house calls, so tomorrow she will come and help us give Buddha our final gift here in her home, where she is most comfortable. The past few days, Buddha has gotten slower. She still has an appetite each morning, but you can see the pain in her eyes. She spends much of her time curled up in her box, set in a sunny window, and when the sun is gone, she comes and curls up next to my left side on a pillow and quilt I keep there just for her. When the lights are too bright, she hides her eyes (as you can see in the photo).
Buddha and I met 19 years ago this spring when my then-step son Jonathan brought her to our house. Her mom Raindrop was at his house, and Jonathon's mom had told him he had to find homes for the cats or they were going to the pound. Buddha (and her siblings) were only 4 weeks old and not yet weaned, but I could not look into Jonathan's face and say no. So Buddha and I connected. I had to teach her how to eat solid food, and she finally learned when I held her up close to my face and made nursing sounds with my lips. She then learned that by putting a paw on my cheek I would know she was hungry. She still does this 19 years later. I often feel like her own personal Pez dispenser. Jonathan is the one who named her Buddha. :-} I lost contact with Jon after my divorce, but I still think of him and send love his way often.
When Buddha was still a kitten, we were watching The King and I and the scene where the children of the King are at worship singing "Hail to Buddha". When she heard her name she went up to the tv and tried to get her nose as close as possible to the speaker. Even now if I sing "Hail to Buddha" to her, she squeezes her eyes shut with pleasure.
Buddha also has a unique mannerism while she is in the kitchen waiting to be fed. She lifts her back left leg straight parallel to the floor, like a kitty arabesque. Always the same leg, and only when she is waiting for the food you are holding to be put into a dish on the floor for her. She loves playing with mice, but gets very excited when she has a white one to bat around. She also loves to climb in the tub when I am in the bathroom and play 'catch the fingers' with me pretending my hand is a spider creeping up on her.
She hasn't been playing her usual games for more than a week now, and the arabesque stopped yesterday.
So, tomorrow my heart will be broken, but I will also be glad that she will be free of pain. My own personal belief system says that when she dies she will be free to be where ever she wants to be. I think she will probably come back to visit, at least until she learns about someone else who needs her friendship. (I believe in reincarnation too). May Sekhmet guide her journey. I might not post for awhile.