I had to have Buddy put to sleep today. The vet said he was in heart failure. That explains his labored breathing. I don't know how old Buddy was, but he was our family's close companion for 15 years or so. Like so many of our pets, Jill discovered him. He was in the barnyard, limping with a badly injured paw. He was so patient with the car, with the vet, with the treatment, with us. He was everybody's Buddy, and that's how he got the name. He was the kitchen cat, always underfoot--literally. He was the guardian of the water dish, a skilled conversationalist, and my personal feline grief counselor.
I like to think he's with his beloved Nocci, pictured with him below. And, of course, with Jill.