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Tribute To A Friend

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It’s really hard to lose a friend, especially one as special as Bradley.  I came to know Bradley because I was hired a few years ago to walk his dog siblings, Cody and Bandit, every day.

In the beginning, I didn’t see much of Bradley, he preferred to stay out of the way of the dogs.  They were bigger and much rowdier than Bradley cared to handle.  Over time, though, he started coming out to see me when I was finished walking the dogs.

If you know cats, you know they are quite selective in picking friends.  Bradley was no different.  He tested me to see if I was a true “cat person” and he came to the decision that I was ok.  Soon he’d become the official greeter, coming to see me when I arrived to walk the dogs.  He’d give head butts and rub against my legs, signs a cat gives when they’ve adopted you as a friend.

Every day, I’d stop for a few minutes and spend time with him, telling him I’d visit more after the dog walk.  He’d wait patiently until I returned, then seek me out for the attention he wanted that day.

There were times I’d laugh with him, times I’d just relax petting him, and times I’d offer consolation, especially after he got groomed.  He was not fond of the “lion cut” so I would console him by telling him he still looked good, I nicknamed him “B the Hotness.”  Before leaving each day, I’d let him know it was good to see him, reminding him to come out to say hi the  next day.

Unfortunately, in February, Bradley become quite ill due to a urinary blockage.  His guardians rushed him to the emergency vet clinic where he had surgery to clear the blockage.  He came through the surgery, but didn’t seem quite the same as he’d been before.

Last week, I became concerned when he didn’t come out to greet me as usual. As it turns out, Bradley was ill again.  Bladder stones were causing him problems with urination.  Again he was rushed to the emergency clinic, surgery was performed to remove the stones.  He came through the surgery, but was still unable to urinate.  Yesterday when I arrived, the room that housed his feeding station and litterbox was empty, Bradley was gone.

It’s tough when any pet client passes away, but especially hard when you see them every day and become good friends as Bradley and I did. I’ve shed many tears, and am working through losing my friend. Although the dogs are still there and we go about the routine of our walk, there’s an emptiness in the house now.

I will always miss Bradley, my “B the Hotness.”  He was a sweet, good soul I will never forget.  Take care, my friend, I will see you again down the line.


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