Thursday, October 25, 2012

I helped your kitty this weekend


I helped your kitty this weekend, and you will never know.  I can't help but wonder if you will ever know what truly happened, or if you will just be left wondering..

wondering what happened, or even wondering where your sweet kitty is..

because this weekend I pulled your kitty from the middle of the road and laid it down next to the telephone pole near a local business.  There are no houses near by but there are some down the road.  When you realize your kitty is missing, will you walk this far to find it?  Will you not even realize until after the sanitation workers stop by and pick up the body?

These are questions I can't continue to ask myself, because they break my heart.

I want to yell and scream at you, but I can't.  I too lost a kitty to the great outdoors. Tig was abandoned outside as a kitten and then found and brought to a shelter.  I found him there and brought him home and he was frantic to get out.  It was November at the time, and we lived with in a professional pitcher's throw of a major interstate.  I so wanted to keep him in, but he was miserable and so we were miserable, so we let him out - of course he was miserable and wanted to get back in immediately.  Flashbacks of not having a home haunted him, but flash backs of defending his territory also haunted him and I was too inexperienced at the time to help him understand that being an indoor only kitty was a good thing.  So we helped him become an indoor/outdoor kitty by standing in the cold with him, and letting him in each of the 100 times he asked those first few days.  He was fine next to the highway.  Then we moved to a rough part of another town.  No trees, no grass, but he still refused to stay in. We moved in with the in-laws and he was out in the middle of the woods and in heaven with all the moles and mice to catch and bring home.  We moved again to another new town, with its own challenges.  This one had trees and birds, but it also had a heavily traveled road and I worried, but he was fine.  We finally bought out own home and moved to the country.  All my fears were eased.  I figured he would be safe out there.  Well one day he did not come home.  I did not worry about him until two days later because it was common for him to spend the night hunting.  15 or so years later I still have a small bit of hope that he found a new home to live in.. but now when he would be 22, I have come to accept that he is dead.

Will you wonder?

or will you know.

It looked like your kitty did not suffer.  It looked fairly peaceful laying there on the road.  When I realized what it was I had to turn around and go to help.  Animals on the road are often fair game to people who think it is fun to run them over and make them as flat as possible.  As I was pulling over an 18-wheeler was coming up on the body.  I flashed my lights and sent up a silent prayer and then... it was gone and your kitty was still intact.

Your kitty was also still warm.  It had been a while, but not all that long.  It could have easily still been alive save for the tongue hanging out of its mouth.  Still to be sure I called softly to it, no response.  I approached carefully, again to be sure, but still nothing.  In the very dim light the kitty held a strong resemblance to my Muffin.  White with a gray cap and cape and on the larger side of healthy.  Yet some how I did not cry.  I did what I had to do; I had no other choice.  The thought of your kitty there was something I could not bare.  It would have haunted my dreams, and I would have obsessed all night if not for days.

Just so you know, you are not alone.  This was the fifth kitty I have carried to the side of the road.  Many did not look as good as yours did.  Then there was the kitty I found in a ditch when I was still a school child delivering the afternoon papers.. She was alive, but she did not survive.  And when I let myself, I can only begin to image what happened to my Tig..

All I can allow myself to say is:

I'm so very very sorry for your loss.  you have my deepest condolences..
and your kitty has my tears.



17 comments:

  1. The same questions go through my head when I see a kitty lying on the road. If I can, I remove her/him and take herr/him to the vet if they are open to be sure she/he really is dead or call the sanitation unit. If houses are near by I tell somebody about the found cat and hope they know the cat and the owners. My younger cat is an outdoor /indoor cat and there were moments, when I was worried sick, but my older cat is 11 and until this year she was an indoor/outdoor cat (they were only let out when we were at home: while at work, away or during the night they are in the house)so I think our neighborhood is safe enough.

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  3. :-( Oh, so sad, but so kind of you to give their body a little dignity.

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  4. So sad.....I do wonder if people keep looking and for how long. We have a local website where you can post lost/found animals. I check sometimes and it breaks my heart to see how many of the missing cats are so very old.

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  5. In blinking back tears, your story so reminds me of the times my husband stopped to move even a squirrel out of the road. Your tender heart and your heartfelt shared experience simply reinforced the honor I feel in calling you 'Friend'...There is good in the world, even when bad things happnen...

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  6. Thank you for showing this kitty such dignity and love. The cat before me was indoor-outdoor - she was hardcore, wouldn't-have-it-any-other-way, and it really was part of her nature. She managed to escape anything catastrophic and wound up dying of cancer a few months before her 16th birthday... but not a day went by that my human did not worry about her whenever she was out looking for adventure.

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  7. I was lucky that I found Red and somebody like you had moved him I guess. He too looked fine but for the tiny trickle of blood coming from his mouth. After your story I feel lucky - I dont know how it would be to not know what happened and only have my imagination. Red too was miserable inside. It made me so miserable to see him that way. I hope the owners know by now and found and buried him/her. I want to live away from all roads but the tiny dirt one which leads to my house. That is my only hope with regard to this problem. It's my mission and goal to find the place where they can be free and happy. Thats the one single thing in my life which makes me more happy than all the rest - seeing my cats happy and healthy. I live for that.
    I'm sorry about what happened with you today and all but I glad for the cat because you moved him to the side of the road. That was the one and only last thing left to do.

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  8. Such a touching, but beautiful post, Connie!
    I feel the same, especially for my neighbors cat. I don't even think she would notice if I would take him in. Sadly, my cat Suki is very territorial towards other cats. So I'm taking care of him when needed. I don't even think she knows the last time I have combed all the velcro out of his fur.

    But thank god there are people out here like you and me.

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  9. So poignant Connie. I would hope that the family of that kitty were searching high and low for it. I have seen dead cats by the side of a busy road and feel sick. Austin as you know is an indoor/outdoor cat. He would also not have it any other way. I worry about him when he is out even though we live in a rural area. So far his natural nervousness has kept him safe. I pray he will continue being cautious and safe!! xx

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  10. Tragically beautiful. My heart broke for you and that kitten. Hailey and Phod's Lady.

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  11. so sad, i once buried a black kitty killed in the road, I buried her under a tree and rang RSPCA to tell them I had found a dead black kitty and buried her incase anyone came forward. I put some flowers round the grave and now a big shrub grew right over it.

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  12. Aww such a sad but touching story...

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  13. Once I passed am orange kitty who, by the time I went several miles down the road to turn around and come back to move, had already been moved; it was the spring thaw when all the animals get a little nuts, I'm fairly certain the kitty was an indoor kitty, I think they chased him but couldn't catch him, but at least he was loved very, very much, but how horrible to find him that way.

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  14. so sad but I'm glad that you were able to show some compassion to that poor cat not many would have

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  15. oh that's so sad, so very sad. Tears.....

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  16. Oh, what a sad story, made me cry too.

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  17. Oh, what a sad story, made me cry too.

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