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Sweet boy



A
s some of you know, we've got a number of cats that have decided we're the best outdoor dining in town. This summer there were four litters, and, for the most part, they are too standoffish to even trap/neuter/release, but one, Salt & Pepper, called Pepper, decided humans are cool. By July he was headbutting our hands as we put food in the bowls, by August he was letting use stroke him and skritch under his chin, and by September we could pick him up. Last week Rowan scheduled an appointment for either him or Frenchie (the formerly domestic black and white male who arrived in September), whichever one we could get into the carrier, to go to the Dr. to get shots so we could bring him in, and then we'd get the second. I wasn't sure we were keeping them, but they needed to not spend the winter outside.

We got home from Massachusettes on Sunday, and didn't see either of our boys. We still haven't seen Frenchie. But yesterday, when I got home from work, Pepper was in the yard. He started to leave, but then I called him, and he trotted over to the car to see me and get petted. I went inside, and then put more food on the porch. He was very hungry, but let me pet him and purred mightily. That was a first--coming to greet me. The last heart-string got plucked. I didn't think I could foster him now--he was ours.

Later that night Duchezz took the pugs out, and Jiro trapped Pepper in the back yard. Usually he runs away, but he was just laying in the grass, hissing at Jiro. She got the dog away, and Pepper got up, and limped up to the back porch where we've set up some crates with shielding and blankets, and crawled inside his preferred crate. She came in worried, and asked if I'd keep an eye open.

This morning she told me Pepper hadn't come to breakfast, and he didn't appear to be in the crate. Well, we thought, he actually likes the front porch better, so maybe he felt safer there.

This afternoon when I came home from work, Pepper was on the back porch. He was sleeping, laying on his side, his head was resting on some of the blanket that had come out of the crate. But he didn't raise his head when he heard the car.

My heart in my mouth, I thought "There's a chance he's sleeping." I called his name, and he still didn't stir. I bent down, looked at the beautiful sheen on his perfect fur, still the softest, densest I've ever touched. Under the fur his body was stiff and cool.

Our sweet boy came home to say goodbye. God, I'm going to miss him.

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Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
meirwen
Nov. 29th, 2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Right now, Sam and Elsie are sticking to me like velcro. They hate it when I cry. Sam has the, "Oh, this makes me feel so helpless, please stop" attitude that reminds me so of the redhead's, and Elsie has the "Momma, I hold you and make it better" attitude that is hopelessly endearing.

That, or they want food. They are, after all, cats. ;-)

Edited at 2011-11-29 08:12 pm (UTC)
sillyviking
Nov. 29th, 2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear of this. My sympathies.
damedini
Nov. 29th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry. *hugs*
much_ado
Nov. 29th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry, love.
mg4h
Nov. 29th, 2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. They always leave too soon. *HUG*
diablu
Nov. 29th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Hugs!
patrikia
Nov. 29th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
I'm so very sorry. Those tuxedo boys really do crawl into your heart and make themselves at home. -hugs-
baronessmartha
Nov. 29th, 2011 08:43 pm (UTC)
Oh honey. I am sorry. You made him so happy and he brought you joy, I am glad of that.
jlbooth76
Nov. 29th, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
{{{HUGS}}}
(Anonymous)
Nov. 30th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry... I too have a particular affection for the black and white ones...
roaming
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
You're breaking my heart! I wonder what happened to him? (Limping = perhaps hit by car?) Life is so risky for outdoor cats. :( "Short, nasty, and brutish" as the saying goes. But for sure you gave him a longer life than he might have had without you, and the experience of being fed/wanted/loved -- but most importantly, Scritched!

I had a feral in my yard for an amazing 18 years: but we have an enclosed yard, lots of birds: she had little reason to ever wander outside the perimeter into the street, though I'm sure she must have. She actually died of old age. That's rare.
meirwen
Nov. 30th, 2011 07:45 am (UTC)
We think he must have been clipped or blown by a car zooming fast--our house is immediately before the sign that says "Speed limit 40," and everyone pretty much ignores that and goes through at 60 (it's a narrow country road, but we're at one end of a 1 mile straight, flat, stretch).

Eighteen! Wow. Many indoor cats don't even live that long. How wonderful.
unique_name_123
Nov. 30th, 2011 06:24 am (UTC)
I am very sorry, but glad he came home where he was loved.
sleepyunicorn
Nov. 30th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
It is sad to lose someone, I don't know what I am going to do when my 13-yr-old cat goes, too.
What I got from what you said, though, was that in his life, you gave him a place where he felt safe, that he could come home to. That is a lot to give someone.
hundmathr
Nov. 30th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path... One that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass... And then you see it.
Pippin: What? Gandalf?... See what?
Gandalf: White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.
Pippin: [smiling] Well, that isn't so bad.
Gandalf: [softly] No... No it isn't.
eggdog
Nov. 30th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
So sorry. They go too soon.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )