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The Bond We Shared

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It was like any other dance class I attended. Step one, step two, slide to the left, blah, blah, blah. I almost had the routine down pat. I had to; in less than two months I was getting married. As the song 'She's everything', by Brad Paisley, finished playing, I noticed him. "What a strange individual," I thought to myself. He was short and chubby, but I didn't care, I fell in love with him at first sight. Little did I know, but that individual would eventually change my life forever.

His name was Buster, he caught my eye instantly. His head was in one of my sneakers, which were neatly placed underneath a wooden bench. I had to laugh. I asked the dance instructor who he belonged to, she simply replied, "He's mine." She explained that he was a shy character, and apologized for his actions. "No need to apologize," I explained.

To be honest his behavior intrigued me, and I wanted to learn more about him. She couldn't recall exactly how old he was, but went on to tell me that the two of them were very close. I could tell that something was wrong. Her voice cracked, and tears filled her eyes, as she said, "I have to let him go, I can't have him live with me anymore." Okay, now I was confused. How could this person tell me so much about him and about the close bond the two of them shared, and in the same breath state she could no longer have him in her life?

My curiosity got the best of me. Hell, who was I to ask what was going on? We talked about another ten minutes, and I found out why she could no longer be with him. I'm not a person to judge, she had to do what she thought was best and I completely understood. "Well what are you going to do?" I asked. She was unsure, and really didn't have an answer.

I left there that night contemplating, trying to figure out a solution. Maybe I could help. I sat on my couch, looked around, and realized that it was just me there. The only noise filling up the room was the television coming thorough the speakers. It then came to me, he could live here. I didn't think it would be a problem; he seemed like an easy going, quiet being, he shouldn't be that hard to live with. I slept on the idea; I wanted to make sure I made the right decision. I woke the next morning and called the dance instructor. "Do you still want to get rid of him?" I asked.

"Yes, I have to." She responded. I told her I had an idea. If she wanted she could give him to me and I would take care of him. Instantly she agreed. That afternoon I went out and got the necessary items I needed, in a few hours I would be bringing home someone that was going to be part of my life, hopefully for a long time. I wanted things to be just right.

I pulled up to the studio. Dance class had not begun yet, so the parking lot was empty, just the instructor's car and mine. I went into the building apprehensively, I knew this was going be hard for her. I was so excited, but had to control my emotions. The meeting was short; she briefly summarized his likes and dislikes. I told her I would call her in a few days and update her on how things were going. They said their good-byes, and she kissed him on his forehead, as she cried. I felt bad for her, but we both understood why she had to let him go.

Buster and I got in the car, and pulled away. It was a short drive, not much communication. I didn't expect there to be, we barely knew each other. We arrived at home, and went into the house. I didn't want to pressure him to anything, so I just let him take his time looking around. He was nervous, just as much as I was, and that night I really didn't see much of him. Before I went to bed, I checked on him, making sure he was doing alright. He was quietly sleeping, so I dare not disturb him.

The following morning I was greeted by Buster. He was staring me dead in the face, and for a second he startled me. "Well good morning," I said. I thought to myself maybe things were going to be just fine; he seemed to be warming up to me. Over the next few weeks, we got closer. Yes he had some strange habits, but I didn't care, that is what made me fall in love with him in the first place, his odd character. What do I mean by that? Well you see, I've never been much of a cat lover, and that is what Buster was, a cat.

He was a 25 pound, broad head, tabby cat. My nickname for him, fat cat, it suited him well. Bus was odd; he was different than just any other cat. He didn't like just any kind of food, only expensive cat food would do. He didn't even like tuna fish, what kind of cat doesn't like tuna fish? He drooled, and when I say drooled I mean he did that all the time. I swear you would think he was a dog. He would jump up on the couch or bed, and flop over on his back, just so he could get his belly rubbed. He eventually learned how to paw at the door if he wanted to go outside to bask in the sun.

Buster and I had a bond. He knew when I was upset. I usually would be in my bed, moping. He would just lie on my chest and look at me, as if to say, "Hey buddy, I'm here for you." We shared good times and bad. He was there for me when I got married and there for me when I went through my divorce. When I needed to vent, he was always there ready to lend an ear. One good thing about talking to him was he didn't talk back, he just listened.

In a short period of time, he became my best friend, always there when I needed him, even there when I didn't. On July 31, 2008, the phone rang. It was my daughter, Kaitlynne. "Mom, come home now, Bus had been hurt." She was hysterical, which made it hard for me to understand



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