As if a concussion wasn’t enough to dampen my June, my beautiful cat, Moby, the feline love of my life, was killed on Saturday, June 23, 2012 by a careless driver. They say what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. By that reckoning, I should be freakin’ MIGHTY by now.
Now, here is a bizarre story.
I didn’t even know Moby was dead until Monday. I let him out, as usual, on Friday evening when I went out to the barn to do my evening chores. He was never the kind of cat you could keep inside if he didn’t want to be there. He had come to me as a “feral” tom — just showed up on my doorstep one day and stayed. He looked just like my grandmother’s cat, Mister, a cat I grew up with as a child. As you can see from the picture, he was that gorgeous gunmetal grey color characteristic of the Russian Blue. And those green eyes! I was smitten, even though he was terribly underweight and had that bad habit of intact male cats: spraying. He also attacked and terrorized my other two cats, but his disposition toward humans, and me in particular, was such that I wanted to make it work — and once I had him neutered and taught him a few manners regarding the other cats and the rabbit, it did. But I digress.
I had to take a ride to Herkimer, an hour away, to get a special feed for my horse, Alf. So I left on Saturday around 11:30 a.m. I ate lunch in Herkimer, and got back home with the feed about 3 p.m. I had noticed that Moby wasn’t waiting outside the door like he usually is in the morning, but he has been known to do that occasionally, so I wasn’t too worried.
When Sunday rolled around and he still wasn’t home, I was concerned. Still, there was a time he had been missing for 5 days and had come home smelling greasy, like he’d been locked in a mechanic’s garage. After that, every time I let him out the door, I would tease him with, “Don’t forget where you live.” For six years, I have been saying that to him. I was hoping now that something like the garage incident had happened again, but deep in my heart, I was scared.
By Monday morning, I was frantic. I awakened knowing that something terrible had happened. To make a long story short, some investigation around the neighborhood turned up his body. My friends went knocking on doors. As well as I can piece it together, this is what happened:
I left for Herkimer. Sometime between the time I left and the time I returned, Moby was on his way home from across the street and got hit and killed by someone who didn’t even stop. Now, this was a 20 pound cat. There’s no way anyone could have mistaken him for a bump in the road. My neighbor across the street picked him up out of the road so his kids wouldn’t see the cat and be upset (since they just lost their little dog to the same road the week before). He placed Moby’s body back in the woods behind his house — something I am grateful for, actually. Because he did that (instead of calling the town to pick him up or throwing him in the trash), I was able to recover his body and bring him home. And even though it kept Moby’s death from me for two days, it also kept his body from being further damaged by other vehicles. (One should be grateful for whatever one can.) We buried him in the garden with honor and a ceremony befitting a great spirit.
It used to give me such great joy every day just to see him, and I marveled at being so loved by this wonderful cat. He followed me from room to room like a puppy…always had to be wherever I was. He was amazingly kind to small children, forgiving every pulled tail and unintentional indignity they showered upon him. Everyone who knew him, loved him.
I still see him everywhere, in my mind’s eye…by the kitchen counter, where he used to beg for dog food alongside Connor, in the bay window where he loved to wait for me to come home, in the garden nibbling the catnip, sleeping curled up in this chair or that one, flopping in front of me to get his belly rubbed, running joyfully across the yard to join me as I came in from the barn…there is no place on my farm that doesn’t remind me of Moby. I can’t stop crying. I can’t stop feeling like I have been sucker-punched in the gut by the universe. Repeatedly.
I know Moby was a free spirit on his own life path, making his own choices. I am grateful that our paths crossed for a time, but that time was far too brief, and the end so very unexpected. He was road-savvy. He was terrified of cars. And there is a stop sign quite near to where he was killed, so speed wasn’t (or should not have been) an issue. It doesn’t make sense — which leaves me with thoughts about humans behind the wheel of a car that are just too horrible to contemplate.
I will miss him forever. I maintain the hope of my faith that maybe he’ll decide to return to me someday, and that comforts me a bit. But right now, my loss is deep, and my heart is shattered.