On November 7, 2009, at the age of 20 years and two months exactly, my beloved cat Buckwheat died, having been my buddy for more than 20 years. I thank all those who sent me such kind messages when they heard the news. I reposted this article that I had written earlier to my "good boy" and "pretty cat" who is now playing near the Rainbow Bridge. In 2009, this story was number one, and amazingly, it has stayed in the top ten throughout 2010... michael
On another occasion, Buckwheat gently picked up a student paper and brought it to me. I later learned this student was a cat lover and had sprinkled a little cat nip on her paper. That alone made it worth an A!
Both incidents occurred during my first year at College of the Rockies 20 years ago, and Buckwheat was just a kitten, arriving in my life very shortly after I arrived in Cranbrook, British Columbia. He's having his afternoon nap as I write, and obviously isn't as frisky now, but we still try to go for regular walks in the courtyard where he is considered Sir Buckwheat of Woodland Court.
Some of the children have told me, "I know you. You are the old man with the old cat," and I nod and agree. I guess we are conversation pieces and that's just fine because Buckwheat has been one all his life. I've been the subject of a few conversations too so not much new there, except we are both older!
In fact one student went so far on an instructor evaluation form to note: "All he did in this course was talk about his cat." Imagine, according to this student, I spent 45 hours talking only about my cat. With all respect, I don't think so. Hockey maybe as some may say about my time at Chapleau High School, but not Buckwheat, although I am guilty in part.
But for the most part, students were animal lovers and would share stories about their cats, dogs and yes, out here, horses and other animals. I have been retired a few years now and when I meet former students, many still ask about Buckwheat.
Buckwheat has always become annoyed when I read, mark papers, talk on the phone or type. In fact years ago, he destroyed my last electric typewriter by pouncing on the keyboard. However, we are making progress after all these years. He is not showing too much annoyance now when I talk with my best buddy on the phone. At one time he would have made it a nightmare!
Why am I bothering to tell you about Buckwheat? Well the other day I was chatting with a friend on IM and she said, "I can tell you really love your cat." I was taken aback for a moment, but I replied, "Yes, I do" and have enjoyed his friendship all these years despite the fact that he can be so damn independent and is really the one who runs our home.
I would love to have you share pet stories or offer comments. I promise I will read them all to Buckwheat and won't let him destroy them!
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