Monday, September 29, 2014

Redemption Song

Tomorrow it will be four years since I lost my first cat, Buddy. It feels like it's been so much longer. The anniversary of his death reminds me of his favorite song, and I felt it was appropriate to share today. I won't delve into how I lost him again, you can read about that here if you want to catch up. 

Buddy was your typical cat in the sense that he was aloof to people, even me. Sure, he'd cuddle the crap out of me at night, when no one knew about it, but the minute I woke up, he'd be sure to be out of arms reach. In fact the only person that he would cuddle with openly was Dave. Buddy loved to play, though. We used to joke that he was the dog I always wanted but could never have in an apartment. He played fetch (which Squish does now), he loved walking on a leash, he would "bark" at the door when I would come home from work. 

But he was also a typical cat in many ways. He hated the car and the vet. The very first time I took him to the vet, he got out of the crate and ran underneath a couch the vet had in the office at the time. One hour later, the vet got him out using those long poles that animal control uses to catch animals. Buddy was branded as "difficult" at the vet after that day. But he wasn't difficult, he just knew what he liked and what he didn't like. 

One of his favorite things in the world was Bob Marley's "Redemption Song". I would play the song while on car rides, it was the only thing that would quiet his cries. The minute he began to hear the guitar, he would stop crying and listen. Then, when the song was over, he'd start back up. I don't know what it was but he just loved hearing it. 

Back when I was taking guitar lessons, I begged the instructor to teach me how to play the song. The minute I got home the day I learned it, I started to practice the song on the guitar and Buddy ran into the room, sat across from me and quietly watched me play the song.

The day that we lost him, we rushed him to the hospital in my car. I could tell he was in a lot of pain, I could see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice. When we got into the car, Dave immediately put the song on repeat. We drove the half hour to the emergency vet listening to it over and over. He would let out a feeble cry here and there, but for the most part he just laid there, in my arms, listening to the song. 

I can't listen to the song anymore, without thinking of him. I have conflicted feelings over losing him. I miss him dearly, and still shed tears over his loss; but if I hadn't lost him, I would never have adopted Nibbler and Squishee. I can't imagine a life without them, and I shudder to think that they may have been adopted separately and would have lead a life without each other. 

Obviously this song is so much more than just a cat loving it, and by no means do I mean to diminish the message of the song. It just has so much more meaning to me now because of Buddy's love for the song.