Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Eulogy for an Orange Cat

Have I mentioned yet that in addition to three families, we share this country property with two dogs, two cats and a stocked fish pond? Let me tell you about Milo, “the other cat” (as opposed to Gwigsy, “the cat,” who barely tolerates him). He came to the family as a kitten three years ago, about the same time as Otis the yellow lab. Unfortunately, Otis as a large breed puppy loved to pick Milo up in his mouth and shake him like a doll. Not sure how many times this happened, but Milo has just never seemed quite right. Maybe he was separated too early from his mother, who knows. We are pretty sure he's extremely nearsighted, in addition to having an innate sense of his place at the bottom of the pecking order in this household.

Milo has always moved in fear everything, but in moments of danger he has learned to respond by cowering instead of running away. This proved an effective strategy against Otis and Gaila, who get bored and leave after sniffing and licking for a minute or two. But very sadly, last night was Milo's last night on earth. A pair of coyotes found him during the night, and we suspect his possum strategy is what led to his demise.

And so today is a family day of mourning, as we remember Milo the misunderstood cat. It hardly seems real. Every time I walk up the stairs to my room, I pass the landing where he spent nearly all of his daytime hours. I loved stopping and scratching under his chin and behind his ears. Mom B was actually allergic to him, and he was always tolerant of the kids loving on him, so I had already emotionally adopted him, hoping we could take him to fill our home whenever we move out. I think I bonded with that frightened little kitty as much as with kitty Figaro, our figurative first child that we adopted early in our marriage. So this is a double blow, feeling like I lost a member of the family, as well as part of my imagined future home.

I am sad that tenderhearted James had to find the coyotes after working late last night, see what they had done, chase them off, and wrap the rest of the poor kitty in a bag so the rest of us could be spared the horror. But I am also thankful that we did not find any remains this morning when Maren was outside ready to go to school. I am so sad as I think of how I will tell Maren in a few hours. This is one of those moments she will likely remember forever. But again I am thankful, as I realize I would rather we learn how to deal with death on this level, than as a result of losing a human member of our family. We have some growing to do today, and God will give us strength to get through it.

But I just have to say for the record, losing a pet to the coyotes SUCKS.

Sweet kitty Milo, may you rest in peace, and be frightened of nothing.

1 comment:

  1. I just wish I could be around for the counter-attack.

    Your post made me miss Texas pretty bad.

    Poor Kitty.

    Be Well Texas Burdines.


Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from you.