Friday, June 13, 2014

Remembering BC/Baby

Baby came into our lives more than ten years ago, a stray who showed up on my mother’s porch. We never knew his story, although I’ve always suspected he must have been the companion of some elderly person or child—someone who loved him dearly but had no control over his fate. He was desperate for a new home, desperate for people to love. But neither my mother nor I were in a position to bring him inside, so while I tried to find someone to take him (that’s when I discovered how difficult black cats are to place), she began feeding him. We named him BC, short for “Black Cat.” Not very original, but then we didn’t expect him to be a part of our lives for long. Because he loved pets so much, we’d spend hours out on the porch with him in our laps, while he purred and cuddled and said, “I really, really want to come inside.” He broke our hearts, but with two aggressive alpha male cats, bringing him inside just didn’t seem an option.

Fast forward to seven years ago. We were leaving my mother’s house one evening when BC came crawling up on the porch. He was in such awful shape, I thought he’d been hit by a car and had a broken leg or back. In truth, he was actually starved and massively dehydrated. We figured he must have been accidentally shut in a neighbor’s shed and almost died there before he was let out. As it was, he almost died in my arms as I sat up all night holding him and coaxing him to drink and eat. I promised him that if he survived, we’d bring him inside and give him a real forever home.
It was my older daughter who took over his rehabilitation; she also renamed him Baby. He was so debilitated, it was months before he could walk without falling over, or jump again. But we came to realize that, in truth, we should have named him Buddha Cat, because he was a very evolved soul—endlessly patient, kind, and loving and giving to both people and the other cats who came into his life. Here he is cuddling our cat Nick when Nick was dying of kidney failure a few years ago…
We never knew how old Baby was; the vet who helped us nurse him back to health seven years ago said he was at least ten and probably more. And then, last fall, he started having health problems. We knew it was only a matter of time, but through it all he remained as calm and as loving as ever.  And this past Monday, just two days after we lost Banjo, Baby died, held lovingly in my daughter’s arms.
You know, my computer went into meltdown this week, and I’ve never been as good about backing up as I should be. Yet even though the data loss was massive, I am (uncharacteristically!) finding it hard to get too upset about it. Some things really aren’t as important as they might otherwise seem.

20 comments:

Amy said...

I'm so sorry you lost two wonderful little guys within a week. I have a black cat and although they carry a false and unfair stigma, I've found them to be the most loving kind of cat. I'm glad Baby got to be loved.

Stacey said...

The hard part (for me) of taking in animals is knowing one day they'll be gone. Yet, we do anyway. And we love them and care for them, knowing they'll break our hearts. I'm so sorry for your losses.

Anonymous said...

Oh Candy, so sorry to hear. It is never easy, even when you know the end is near and coming. Take care of yourself and your family. Data loss is recoverable in some fashion or another. Take the time to heal your heart. We've had a tough month in my family as well. My grand nephew was born about a month ago with two cloudy eyes. After a flight to John Hopkins in Maryland to see the nation's top specialist he was diagnosed with Peter's Anomoly. He had a cornea transplant on Wednesday. Originally they said there was a 70% chance of him accepting the new cornea. After the surgery it has gone down to 20%. We are hoping and hoping. I repeat - data loss is annonying but not such a big deal in the big scheme of things. Take care!!!! Sabena

Lynne said...

I'm almost afraid to open up your page each evening...I'm afraid another cat will be gone. Remember the appliances dying a few weeks ago? Nothing compared to kittys. Sabena is right - get that hard drive to an expert. And have a peaceful weekend...you need it. If there's a heaven for pets then both of them are there.

And Sabena - we'll all be thinking of you and that precious baby.

cs harris said...

Amy, I was really surprised by the number of people who were interested until they found out he was black. Although I must admit we have another black cat, a longhaired egomaniac named Huckleberry.

Stacey, yes, and it's the worst part about having so many, too. Thank you.

Sabena, gosh, I hope all turns out well for your grandnephew; what his poor parents must be going through. And you're right, the data loss is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. At least I had the first 130 pages of book #11 printed out, so all I have to do is retype....groan.

Rachel Walsh said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear you've lost another dear one, Candy. We have a black cat too, Max, and he's the sweetest boy ...
Take care of yourself.

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow you have been through the wringer the past few days. I'm so sorry to hear of this.

mk said...

You've made me cry this morning. I'm so sorry for you. Pets are such a blessing, and it's so difficult when they die! My prayers are with you

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

So sorry, Candy. It is a wrenching feeling to see a beloved pet, part of the family, pass out of this life. I watched it with our Mardi several years ago and have not been able to bring myself to get another pet. We went to dinner and raised a pint in his honor. The only thing I know is that now he/they are out of pain.

paz said...

Wow. You've had such very hard time as of late! Again, thinking of you and wishing you strength, perseverance, and peaceful remembrance of joys past. Also hoping that your difficult times come to an end soon.

cs harris said...

Lynne, hopefully that will be it for a while! And I have given the dead thing to a nerd. Hopefully find out today if anything is salvageable.

Rachel, thank you.

Charles, yes, I need a drink.

mk, thank you.

Barbara, sorry to hear about your Mardi. And I know what you mean; I keep saying when we lose the rest of our old guys, I don't think I'll be able to take it again.

Paz, thank you.

Anonymous said...

C- so sorry to hear of another loss so soon after banjo. Baby sounds like such an amazing cat. i am once again at work and feel like weeping. when i opened the blog page this morning and saw the pictures - somehow i knew it could not be good news. baby - like banjo was very lucky to have found you. cats are so instinctual. baby knew that your family would save him. both cats brought something special to your lives and that's what matters most. but i'm also sorry to hear about the data loss. not the same but its still another stressful situation you can do without. Good luck!
best, ali

RevMelinda said...

Candy, I am so sorry. Love and loss are so inextricably entwined. May the memories of the love you shared with both Banjo and Baby be a balm to your hurting heart.

Susan J. said...

So sad to have to say goodbye to yet another loved cat. Still, at least you've had the pleasure of their company while it lasted and the happy memories to treasure.

cs harris said...

Ali, thank you. Baby really was a special cat. I've never encountered one so mellow and loving to everyone.

RevMelinda, thank you. I have the poem you gave me when Huck was ailing taped to my computer.

Susan, yes, thank you.



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