Monday, October 12, 2009
I haven't been writing many entries for this blog lately. There have been many other things consuming my time, and a blog is a self-indulgent exercise - as bad as Facebook and Twitter. Who cares what I think and what happens in my life? Very few people outside of my family.
But I thought I would indulge myself today.
About a year or so ago, my youngest daughter (now 13) managed to beg and wheedle her old man into letting her adopt a kitten, a stray that was abandoned at the front door of the local animal hospital. The kitten grew to be a spirited tomcat, named Smitty (pictured above). He had all of the characteristics that make cats admired and reviled - independent, graceful, predatory, curious, and vocal. Smitty noticed the great outdoors when he was a small kitten - he was determined to break free of the "big house." He would hide around the doors and bolt whenever someone came in or went out. We tried to keep him indoors, but he simply refused to stay. So we put an identity microchip into the scruff of his neck, got him a collar with a bell and let him be an outdoor cat. He was much happier, and would occassionally reward us by bringing home a dead mouse.
On Saturday at 7:30 AM, Smitty was yowling and the dogs were barking. All of them wanted out, so I opened the door to the back yard and let them go. Then I made coffee and turned my attention to the newspapers.
On Saturday at about 10:45 AM, our doorbell rang. A man was at the door, holding Smitty. The cat had ventured onto the busy street in front of our house and was hit by a car. We thought that Smitty shied away from the street - he had never been seen near traffic before. I knew immediately that he was gone, but I rushed him to the vet anyway. I didn't want my girls to see the him. So Smitty was crushed; I don't think he had much time to suffer. It was sad and weird to carry his body - limp and bleeding from the mouth. Smitty was all muscle and energy - where did it go?
My 13-year old daughter cried and cried. My 17-year old daughter wept as well, even though she didn't have much to do with Smitty. My wife was very sad also. And I, who don't really like cats that much and never wanted this cat, felt the loss as well. He was the first living thing I saw when I woke in the morning (I am the first one out of bed). He was the only other male in the house besides me. Smitty was a proud, aggressive tomcat.
Good-bye Smitty. I hope to see you on the other side (if there is an "other side".