Ever since I was little, I have always loved cats. I’m pretty sure it started with my very first pet, Buttercup.
When I was eight years old, I had already wanted a cat for a while. I had the name picked out and everything. I remember reading the name in a book and I loved it. My parents were well aware of this, but as my birthday in early May came and went without the little fur ball showing up anywhere, I assumed I wasn’t getting one.
That was until one day after school when my dad picked me up and started heading in a completely different direction than home. I remember pointing this out to him and asking him where we were going.
Dad told me we were going to Schroedl’s Country Market to pick up some meat for dinner. Little did I know at that age that Schroedl’s was very close to the Humane Society.
When we finally got inside and I heard dogs barking, I knew something was up. When dad told the person working that we were picking up a kitten, I skipped around the room, jumping up and down. And that’s the day we adopted Buttercup, a one month old kitten, gray with a white stomach and white paws.
As a kid, Buttercup was my best friend. My sister and I would carry her around everywhere and play with her wherever we went. Over the 12 years she was with us, she became a part of our family, and when you were in your room with the door closed in the house and you heard her paws on the door, you knew she wanted to come inside and keep you company.
As anyone who owns a pet knows, losing them can be extremely painful. Sadly, Buttercup passed away almost a year ago. I remember when I found out. It was a Thursday night and since I had no classes on Fridays, I was with my friends in Chicago and we were planning to go out when I got the phone call from my dad.
He told me Buttercup wasn’t eating and he took her to the vet. To everyone’s surprise she had been suffering from Diabetes and had very little time left. She passed away that day. My family and I were completely devastated. After that, I couldn’t bring myself to go anywhere. I just wanted to stay in my room, cry and think of Buttercup. Going home from college to a house without her there pawing on my door, sleeping on one of our pieces of furniture, playing with her toys, or like clockwork, coming out for her dinner would be really hard.
Now, nearly a year later, my family has adopted a new cat—an all black one named Bella. My sister got to name this one, since I named Buttercup. We are happy to have Bella as a part of our family. And although she is a great addition and very loving and playful, we will never forget the joy Buttercup brought to our lives.
Of course, this column wouldn’t be complete without mention of another fantastic, loving feline who brings joy to people every day—the Courier’s very own Hermione. Hermione is one of the friendliest cats I have ever seen. When some cats might run and hide at the sight of new people, Hermione runs up to complete strangers and lets them pet her and even hold her. This cat even jumped on my lap the very first time I set foot in the Courier office—during my interview!
Maybe my love for cats stems from the fact that unlike some people, they will love you no matter what. They don’t care what mistakes you make, at the end of the day, they love you unconditionally. And no matter where I go in life, I will always “Paws” to remember them.