Beloved Buzz

I hoped not to write this blog for some time to come. Buzz Lightyear — The Great Black Hunter, The Buzzinator, Buzzard, Buzzy-Boy — has disappeared. 

I’d love to be able to say he’s probably at a neighbor’s, enjoying the same attention we gave him when he arrived here less than two years ago. But I’m fairly sure that’s not the case. Buzz, I’m convinced, has become a more immediate part of nature. 

We’re left to wonder about his destiny.

I doubt he succumbed to a speeding car, though we have way too many of those whizzing past our little farm. Buzz routinely crossed our road to visit a large feral orange tabby and to see what other wildlife he might dispatch on the other side; cat pickin’s are really good over there. Buzz knew how to listen for cars; I’m sure he could hear them long before they appeared over the hill or around the curve below us.

He ruled the driveway between us and the school, too, stopping traffic as he casually sauntered off to his daily outdoor duties. But he never came remotely close to any of the many vehicles that zip in and out to drop off children at school. No, I don’t think it was a road accident that took Buzz from us.

I don’t even think it was coyotes, even though they’ve been yowling in the woods around the farm for over a week. Buzz has managed to stay clear of them for years; he’s fast and cautious, and can zoom to the top of a tree in less than an eye-blink. Even Simon, who can catch a speeding chipmunk, was no match for a speeding Buzz. No, probably not coyotes, either.

I think it was a Great Horned Owl. Now there’s a predator for you. Silent. Faster than the human eye and brain can detect when snatching its next meal. And deadly. One swipe of those talons and their prey is suddenly walking along in heaven, wondering how the heck that happened.

A pair of Great Horneds seems to hang out in the woods below the fire pit. Good hunting there. Lots of tasty possibilities — from voles to rabbits to small turkeys to cats — pass through those woods at least once a day.

If it were a Great Horned, and if we knew where it generally perched, we might have been able to find a pellet with evidence that wouldn’t need a CSI team to interpret. The casual scientist in me really wants to see that. The loving cat “owner” does not. It’s probably too late anyway; the proof of the crime would have appeared last Tuesday or Wednesday. By now even the pellet has been “absorbed” into the land, on its way to becoming something fabulous for maple tree sap.

One of these days we may have our own bodies enriched by Buzz in an entirely new way. It’s something to think about.

(An efficient and reliable plant trimmer, among his other talents)

Buzz Lightyear


5 thoughts on “Beloved Buzz

  1. Awww, I’m sorry. 😦

    This sort of disappearance can be tough, the not knowing for sure what happened. A couple of years ago I lost CJ the Wonder Cat to a red-tailed hawk. At least that’s what we think happened, but we never had any hard evidence of it. It’s the only possibility that truly fits the way she disappeared so quickly. The hawk stayed around for about a week afterwards, and the barn cat disappeared during that time too.

    My biggest consolation was that CJ was a terrific hunter, and it seemed an appropriate way for her to go, the predator becoming the prey. And I imagine it was quick, unlike the way CJ sometimes toyed with her victims.

  2. Unfortunately, outdoor cats have a much shorter lifespan than indoor cats.

    To protect a cat, you have to ‘encourage’ it to stay indoors.

  3. I feel great sadness reading your blog. This reminds me of this beautiful white stray male cat who captured my heart years ago, and I, too, never knew what happened to him. Many months before I even knew about the concept of Trap-Neuter-Return, I had been feeding and providing shelter to this gentle cat who always repaid my kindness by running to me to say a brief hello, whenever I see him in the street. I loved this cat so much, but I couldn’t take him inside my house as he and my beloved cat were mortal enemies. Then, one day, I noticed that he wasn’t eating as much as he used to. The next day, he didn’t come home. I called out his name repeatedly throughout the day. He disappeared for a week only to showed up suddenly sleeping in the chair at my porch. I took him inside the house. My beloved cat and the kitten he adopted were so furious at me and threatened to hurt him, if I had not intervened and isolated him in the safety of my bedroom. I snapped a picture of him. He was too uncomfortable in the house that he wanted his freedom back. As reluctant as I was, I had no choice but to to let him go. Isn’t that what love supposed to be? So, I returned him to my porch. Then, he was gone. He disappeared forever. It was January.

    In March, I had a strange dream of him. I dreamed his shadow standing behind the curtain of my window. It seems that in a dream, he was always there in my bedroom. And, I wondered, if he was here all this time, why didn’t I see him and why my two cats don’t see him. Of course, it was a dream, but there was something odd about it. Then, within, a week, I received a devastating news. My beloved cat had a very aggressive abdominal tumor. Sadly, my beloved cat was not qualified for surgery, chemotheraphy, and radiation due to his old age and his failing health. So, the only thing that vets (he had 3 vets) and I could do was to prolong any remaining life he had left. I had forgotten about this white cat as I focused on my beloved cat and spent every moment with him (even leaving my job and worked at home) till he passed away two months after the diagnosis.

    When my beloved cat was diagnosed and once he passed away, darkness became my constant companion. Lots of time, it was too difficult to breath because I always choke in my own flood of tears. But something happened….Two days after my beloved cat passed away, a stray mom and her kittens moved into my backyard. I didn’t know anything about feral kittens, so when I touched one, naturally, I got bitten and my finger bled painfully for a few minutes. I noticed one of the kittens. He has the splitting image of the white cat whom I loved so much. So, these were his family that he left behind, and they oddly found their way to my yard. These cats helped me on my longest and darkest time of my life. The kittens were growing up, so I started researching online for free or discounted spay and neuter in my area. That was how I discovered a TNR grassroot organization that would help split the financial cost (they weren’t offering free s & n at that time), and they also contacted a local TNR rescue goup to trap the kittens in my backyard. Their mother at that time was pregnant again. They told me that vet couldn’t abort the pregnancy because she was due any day now. Her grown up kittens were returned to me while she and her two new kittens were placed to foster homes (and later were all adopted out. They showed me the adoption papers). After 7 months of living in my backyard, all these cats were coaxed to live indoors and that’s where they stay.

    Three years have passed. One cat is still feral. Two cats are semi-feral, meaning, I can only get to hold, pick them up, and pet them when they are laying or sitting down otherwise they would run from me. Only one cat is completely tamed and that’s the cat who has a splitting image of his father, the white cat whom I loved so much. If you have seen the only snapshot of his father, you would thought that these cats are one and the same. As for the kitten I mentioned earlier that my departed beloved cat adopted on his own, well, he’s approaching 4 yrs. of age. He’s the king of the house, and he still, especially, dislikes the cat who has the splitting image of his enemy. This goes to say that cats always remember and they remained loyal to their beloved companion, even that companion has long been gone.

    If your beloved Buzz is not meant to come back in his old physical form, remember that a heart that is loved will always find its way to come back to you. Just keep your heart open…

  4. I’m so happy I found your blog. I enjoy reading.

    As for Buzz, I’m sure he’s OK wherever he is. You don’t get the name BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, traveler to galaxies and beyond just for kicks and giggles.

    He must’ve been a real special cat so I’m sure he’s ok.

  5. What a terrific insight! He was a special cat, indeed. He set all the rules for us, and we dutifully obeyed them all. I’m sure wherever he now, the same is true.

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