In Loving Memory :: Buster


Tribute To A Special Friend

This is a memorial to Buster, my very beloved orange tabby cat. He was my soulmate, constant companion and wonderful “furkid”.

Buster came to us as a “Millenium Cat” on January 1, 2000, along with his “sister” kitty, Nikki. We had lost our dear, beloved Leo and Frosty kitties late in 1999 and we missed having kitties around. John wanted an orange tabby like Leo. However, Leo was more of an orange tabby/Persian mix, with long, gold fur. Our Buster was truly an orange tabby. His fur was actually orange and was sleek and shiny. He had the distinctive “M” pattern on his forehead. His tail was too long to hold up straight, so it curled over. We always called it his “question mark tail” and it was perfectly “striped”. Buster had a little narrow nose and white under his chin. He was a big, strong, healthy guy with bright, sparkling gold eyes that never missed a thing going on.

Buster was such a loving, affectionate cat. He loved to be around people and wasn’t the least bit shy. If someone sat down, he was either in their lap or beside them, wanting to be petted and loved. Everyone who ever met him loved Buster. You could hear him purring from across the room.

Buster was a talkative little guy too. He would come and comment on about everything. We called him out “little chatterbox”. He was especially vocal if we had been gone awhile. We got a good “talking to” if we had been out of town – even if we had a petsitter come in. Our petsitter would document the “activities” at the house when she came by. Buster always greeted her and talked to her and wanted to be fussed over. Our little girl kitties, Nikki and Shadow (we got Shadow in May of 2000) were shy and hid when Bonnie came.

Usually when I stayed up late at night and came to bed, Buster would come up and start talking. I didn’t want him to wake John up, so I’d tell him to “shush”. This would only make Buster talk louder! I’d try to hold his little jaws shut (I wish I hadn’t done that now), but that didn’t stop him. Buster didn’t stop talking until HE wanted to. What I wouldn’t give to hear that precious voice again!

My bedroom was a place where Buster and I spent a lot of quiet, loving time together. I’d join him on the bed and pet him. Buster would knead and purr, and in a little while, I’d fall asleep. Then the little dude would leave and there I’d be – asleep! John called him my “little orange sleeping pill”. Other times we would do what I’d call (a non-existent word) “snuggle-buggling”. I would pet Buster and rub his ears and he would cuddle up and knead and purr like crazy. It doesn’t sound like anything special to anyone else, I suppose, but he and I would feel especially close then. I think we both truly felt like soulmates. If I was busy on the computer, my little buddy would jump from the bed into my computer chair behind me and push on my back with his paws. That was a special time too. At bedtime, when it was time to take my pills, little Buster would “bat them around” with his paws.

Buster loved our whole family, though. He loved John and got along well with both Nikki and Shadow and Sparky, our dog (we got Sparky in July, 2000). Buster was our “adhesive” – our glue. He bound us together as a family. Buster was especially close to Nikki, since they were the “original two”. We got them when Buster was only 4 months old and Nikki was only 5 months old, from our local “no-kill” Humane Society. Those two would run and play and get into mischief together. Buster continued to do that, even after he was grown up. We had to cover the wastebaskets, because if he got bored, he would knock them over and dig something out to play with. He loved little pieces of paper (especially candy wrappers), and we’d find them all over the place.

Buster and Nikki would ambush each other and chase each other. Buster was such a little tease – he teased all of us. He teased Shadow until she would get tired of it. Buster teased Sparky by jumping up and rubbing Spark under the chin until Sparky finally got tired of it and walked away. Buster really loved to tease Nikki because she would act like she was annoyed and was willing to “biff it out” with him. Shadow is our quiet, little “baby” kitty. She liked to grab Buster and give him a bath (and he would let her). Then the two would fall asleep together.

My favorite time of day used to be suppertime. All four “furbabies” would gather in the hallway next to the kitchen, waiting for dinner to be served. Almost every night, Nikki and Buster had a routine. Nikki would grab him around the neck with her paws, even though he was taller and bigger than her. She would pull his head down and start giving him a bath (although he didn’t need one!). Then Buster would lower his head and nip at her chest. Nikki would then “rear up” and start “biffing” Buster with her front paws. He would then stand up and do the same. It was all in fun, but I’d (laughingly) admonish them both to “knock it off”. About then, I had their dinner ready. I “served” Buster in the downstairs bathroom to keep him from bothering his sisters while they were eating. Nikki and Shadow ate in the hallway and Sparky ate in the living room. That routine has hurt me the most of everything after Buster left us. I keep up the routine, taking his little empty bowl back to the bathroom. I think keeping the routine helped Nikki, Shadow and Spark adjust to his not being there and enabled them to eat. It has taken Nikki a while now, though, to wait in the hall for supper and not just wander around, looking for Buster. I don’t think suppertime will ever be the same for me, though…

Buster loved our suppertime too. He so enjoyed an occasional bit of ice cream. But he had a “touchy” stomach and was rather “lactose intolerant”, so he couldn’t have much. But he also loved cheese, hamburger and foods you wouldn’t think a kitty would like – cheese puffs, potato chips, etc. Once in awhile, he’d get up on the dining room table and I’d have to “shoo” him off. Buster always loved his food and had a healthy appetite.

Buster was just such a joy – so much fun, always happy and always loving. He left us so suddenly and unexpectedly. I don’t even know why he died. He only was with us for 8 short years. Perhaps the saying, “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long”, is true.

Buster always wanted to go outside. Twice he ran out the front door – John and I each caught him. Buster didn’t have front claws, and I was always afraid he would meet up with a dog or other animal or get lost. He was so jealous of Sparky (who just went outside for walks and to do his daily routine) that he “biffed” him once in awhile.

The only comfort I have is that my “Bussy” is running lose, healthy and free, through the grass and flowers, at the Rainbow Bridge now. There will never be any more windows, doors, or gates to hold him back. I know he is incredibly happy there, with my earlier angel “furbabies”, Frosty, Snowball, and Leo, and angel “featherbaby”, Foghorn.

Kitty hugs and kisses
Love, Mom and Dad

©Copyright 2008 by Sue Gilliland

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