Sunday, April 18, 2010

The call every pet owner dreads.

This morning, I slept in, as I am wont to do on weekends. At some point I was awoken by the sound of the answering machine, and someone leaving a message about one of our cats. I thought she'd just gone to someone's house, and they were calling us to come get her. I was wrong.

The message told me she was gone, found by someone in their driveway, already expired. My world collapsed, my pets are my babies. I called the man back, asked him his address as my voice cracked and the tears fell. After that call I went through the motions, getting the kennel into the back of my car, the pain paralyzing, sobbing. I drove just to the street behind us. Parked sloppily, the hurt, the need to see her prompting me to rush.

The man stood in his driveway, the sadness obvious in his features. I walked up to him, hair wild, barefoot, in my pajamas, the tears streaming down my face. He explained to me that he'd found her there, in his driveway, not a scratch on her, but somehow lifeless. My heart broke as I looked down at the box he'd lain her in. I couldn't take it. I thanked him for his kindness and picked up the stiff body of my little girl, not bothering with the box, wanting to put her somewhere more familiar, more comfortable. I laid her gently in the kennel, on the blanket she'd come with from the humane society.

The young girls who live in the house behind us, and directly across the street from the man who found her, took notice of the situation as I carried her lifeless body to the car. They cried out her name, surrounded me, knew my pain. She'd spent lots of time making friends with them. I was hugged, consoled, but it all felt so foreign and uncomfortable. I just wanted to take her home. Eventually I escaped, driving home practically blind, unable to stop the cascade of tears and the sobs that wracked my body.

I got home and brought her into the yard. I sat, stroking her fur and examining her for any injuries. There wasn't a scratch, no signs she'd been hit by a car. Her body, however, showed me that she did not go peacefully. It was then that I realized that something more sinister may have happened to her. You see, not everyone is good. Some people are monsters. One of those monsters lives quite near to us. He has voiced his opinion on our cats, aimed kicks at them, and has even been seen harming his own dog. I am hoping I am wrong, that someone would not willingly harm such an innocent creature, but the signs are all there.

Monday morning I will take my sweet kitty to the vet one final time, to see if her demise was the result of a very despicable act, or a mere accident. And when she is buried, a piece of my heart will go with her.