Looking Back 55 Years: Our Cat Buttons

On March 17, 1969, a neighbor’s cat gave birth to a litter of kittens and among them was our cat Buttons. He was the kitten we chose and in June of that year, he came to live with us. He was with us until March 16, 1987, when he passed away on the cusp of his eighteenth birthday. We have had other very dear pets in our lives—our dog Blondie, who lived for 16 years, and our adopted cat Dante, who lived for 17 years. None of them was as crazy as Buttons.

Buttons was insanely playful and mischievous, especially at the witching hour—when he would begin to run through the apartment like it was a marathon version of the Belmont Stakes. His favorite holiday was Christmas, no doubt—when he would routinely scale the Christmas tree. On one Christmas morning, my mother came into the bedroom, screaming: “Get up! Get up!!! Look what he did!” The living room looked as if it had been ransacked. The Christmas tree had been toppled and many of its decorations were broken, scattered throughout the room. The curtains were down. The curtain rods were bent. And our Christmas presents were buried somewhere underneath the avalanche. It is still a mystery how none of us heard what was going on in the middle of the night.

Destructive though he could be, he brought us countless hours of laughter and joy. We loved him very much. As with all our pets, Buttons was part of our family. On the fifty-fifth anniversary of his St. Patrick’s Day birth, here are three photos of Buttons and me (I was 9-10 years old at the time).

* H/T to my friend Kevin for the Photoshop!

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