Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RIP Buck

Buck was one of those multi-family cats that everyone in the neighborhood loves. He was a big gray tabby who appeared on the kitchen doorstep of my friend Gene one day a few years ago. Being the cat lover that he is, Gene gave him some Whisker Lickins and went off to work. Pretty soon the cat was showing up on Gene's doorstep every day, and Gene christened him "Buck."

Every day at work, Gene would tell me stories about Buck. "Buck did this, Buck did that, you should see what Buck did today." We figured he must belong to somebody, as some cats like to secretly keep two or three families on the line. Eventually Buck was allowed to come into the house to get his Whisker Lickins, and then he would go back out.

After a few months, Gene found out that Buck actually belonged to a lady a couple of streets away, but he wasn't worried too much because it's a classy suburban neighborhood where people don't drive too fast. He did let the lady know about Buck's visits, though, and he found out that Buck's real name was Smokey.

Buck continued to visit Gene nearly every day, getting his treats and sharing his love. Gene eventually moved to a different job so I don't see him every day anymore, but we keep in touch and he always has a Buck story.

But today it was a sad story. A couple weeks ago, Buck came to the door in the evening. Gene let him in and gave him some Whisker Lickins, and then Buck went upstairs and climbed up on Gene's son Mark's bed. In the morning, he was still there, sleeping, and he would purr when they petted him. Later, when they came home from work, Buck still had not moved.

Gene was worried and immediately called Buck/Smokey's owner, and she came and got him and took him to the vet. I am not sure what all was wrong, but all Gene knows is that his tail was broken near the base, and they ended up sending poor Buck to the bridge. I can't imagine why they would do that for just a broken tail, so there must have been more to it than that.

I never met Buck, but I knew him so well from the stories Gene would bring to work, and I'm sure he had friends all over. He will be missed.