Monday, August 29, 2005
All Cats go to Heaven
His name was Mouse.
A gray kitten with a white dab over his nose, a bib and stockings to match, he skirted about like a fuzzy little rodent, darting in and out and looking at us with bright, inquisitive eyes. He was Meg's favorite and she would bring him inside, letting him dance between the pedestal of the dining room table and scamper across the slick kitchen floor. We laughed at how he would see himself in the mirror and arch his back, ears flat to his head and hissing like a bewitched cat on Halloween night.
Late this afternoon when we got home from school, I uprighted the trashcan that had been blown over in the wind during yesterday's fierce thunderstorm. I heard a faint cry and after looking around, opened the lid of the can again and saw little Simon, a baby from the newest litter, clawing frantically to get out. He was wet and shaking and plainly in need of water. In the bottom of the trashcan was Mouse.
He laid perfectly still...and I knew he was gone. Megan, who rarely cries, saw him before I could do anything and burst into tears, another one of her precious kitties lost to the perils of country life. We don't know what happened. Was he struck by some object during the strong winds last night, bitten by something or somehow drowned? "If only animals could talk we would know the story", I thought as I rubbed the surviving kitten, gave it water and placed it next to its Mama.
It's a fact of country living. If you have one cat, you have ten. And as sure as you have them, you're going to lose them. I'm not a big enough cat fan to house them all underneath our roof, but there are places they can go to get in from the weather. So why do I feel guilty? I guess because as a mother, as a woman I feel it is my place to protect: my children, my loved ones.........even a little kitty cat.
I buried him this evening, remembering the many times my own parents had had to dig graves for beloved pets. And whether you have two or twenty, each is special with its own personality and place in your heart.
Somewhere I hope that Mouse is entertaining the feline throngs with his antics as he scampers around on a cloud of catnip, arching his back and hissing like a bewitched cat on a Halloween night.....