This week brought my exclusive interview with Prince and Pork Chop of Walking for Kisses fame, Chase No Face and Muffin Cat had songs written about them, and The Daily Show made us pick a side in the war between cats vs. birds.
I also drooled over French kitty trinkets, learned what an "Octini" was, and wrote about how Charlie, Priscilla, and Teddy have impacted my life as part of the Pets Add Life campaign. In a bit of entertainment news, the producers of Must Love Cats also announced that they're starting production on season two of the show next week, and are looking for you to submit your stories!
In case you missed it, all week I've been posting pictures of Charlie and Priscilla wearing their finest hand-crafted cat hats on Facebook, Twitter, and (my oft-forgotten) Tumblr account to help remind everyone to go to http://www.dogtime.com/petties every day and vote for Catsparella in the category Best Social Integration Blog. (You can vote twice a day, every day, now through July 29th!)
I have assured both of my kitties that all of their humiliation is for a good cause, because if we win, I'll be donating the $1,000 prize to Tabby's Place, to help fund the care of special needs cats like Boots and Kendall, two of the sanctuary's residents I profiled earlier this week. (You can also read about my visit to Tabby's Place last week here.)
Now, I will warn you right off the bat that this week's Caturday is a bit of a tear-jerker, and was sent in by our friend Gina of the blog and Facebook community, Old Cats Rule.
Gina's extraordinary cat Bubba recently turned 23, and has been with her ever since he was just three months old. Sadly, this handsome house panther's health has been on the decline for the past few weeks, but he's soldiered on, showing Gina, and his many friends and fans that he hasn't been ready to give up yet.
A loud little furball from the streets of Jersey City clawed his way into my life when he was 3 months old — and stayed for the next 23 years.
When Bubba got home, he wanted to make his presence known. Spying a dinner table set for a romantic lunch, he leapt on the table, sent the wine glasses and plates flying, then jumped on the couch and wrestled with his older brother, Puddy.
The next 8 years were spent pulling Bubba off Puddy and extricating this increasingly large black cat from one scrape after another. Until, Puddy got sick.
Bubba appointed himself Puddy's personal guard, stretching his 24-pound body next to Puddy — as if Bubba's mere physical presence could avert the inevitable.
But the inevitable came. When sweet, squinty-eyed Puddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge after 17 years, Bubba stepped up to the plate. This macho bully became an endless supply of purrs and kisses, along with a gentle paw on face if I stayed in bed too long. He was also shrewd enough to split his time between his sisters, so they wouldn't fight.
And he talked… if anyone spoke to Bubba, he usually had a fast meow in response. Whatever life brought, it was OK because Bubba would see us through. Some cats grow cranky with age, Bubba seemed to become sweeter.
Bubba and Chyron
Bubba has a great way of bringing people together. Because of him, an online community for senior cat friends was born. He's been in magazines, online, TV, but above all, this regal panther cat has been a source of joy.
It is now time for me to take Bubba to his new home, a place free from needles and pills where he can sun himself and make new friends. As I hold Bubba and thank him for choosing me, it is impossible to imagine a home without him. But I will try to take a leaf from Bubba's book and greet each day the Bubba way — as a sunny adventure filled with possibilities.
And if a wine glass or two gets broken along the way, so what? Just ask yourself: what would Bubba do? He would savor life, love his family and trust the rest to take care of itself.
Thank you to Gina for sharing this touching tribute to her beloved Bubba this week. I can't imagine what she must be going through right now, and am sending loving thoughts of support her way. It's always too soon when you lose someone you love, but I hope she can take some comfort in the wonderful memories of their 23 years spent together. One never knows what tomorrow may bring, but today I am happy to be able to celebrate Bubba's amazing life.
If you would like to send Gina a note, or keep up with Bubba's progress, you can find her on Facebook, or on Twitter @OldCatsRule.
Update: I'm sad to report that Bubba went peacefully over the rainbow bridge this afternoon. Rest in peace, sweet boy. You were always loved, and will be forever missed.
Please take a moment to stop by and leave condolences for Gina here.