It is only a Cat:

A Goodbye, to and from, an Old Man



Two or three weeks after Buster’s death, Belle had resumed her former position on the landing of our front porch; she would leave for several hours after her morning meal. Was her absence a response to what she might view as a period holding a hazard for feral cats? Black Kitty had not been seen for over 2 weeks; a neighbor admitted to having closed the opening to the crawl space that was also Black Kitty’s nightly shelter. Black Kitty was a relatively harmless animal with insatiable appetite, and a healthy dose of caution when around humans. I had to keep him from eating the food of other cats, but I also made sure that he always was served. I would give him a special serving while Peggy picked up the food at the end of the evening meal. After giving Black Kitty up for lost, he appeared first in the street and then in the side yard. He was very hungry.

The restructured pride, if you can call it that, first consisted of two animals, Fatty and Areyja. Narisse, Areyja’s litter mate, and formerly one of the ostracized cats, began to participate more regularly in the activities, but had not been completely accepted into the then current pride. Blackie had begun to spend time on the landing of the front porch; this did not seem to bother Belle too much, if she got her share of food. Mother Kitty and Dorothy, two ostracized cats, were eating without much hindrance - always across the street.

There was a time, each evening after the food had been picked up, when the members of the pride would collect on the sidewalk in front of the house and comfortably sit together; sometimes, I would join them, finding comfort as an additional companion. With the death of Buster and the disappearance of Black Kitty, the cats began to leave as soon as the food was removed. After the disappearance of Black Kitty, Belle, at the end of the evening meal, would leave the landing and go to what she must have considered to be a safe haven across the street. Narisse and Areyja became the last to leave after the evening meal.

In my mind, Orange Kitty and Buster are together again; they roam safe streets and sleep in clean shelters. Hopefully they are free from the threat posed by selfish humans; hopefully food is in abundance; hopefully there are trees to climb; flying insects to swat; and dark crevices to explore. For the two of them, forever, may all the curbside grills that open, as a drain, into subsurface conduits reek of interesting odors; may there be birds in the sky; squirrels in the trees; and water aplenty. May there be time for the two of them to sit together, in contentment, in the shade of a large tree in an open field. May God, with His gentle hands, offer, to each of the two, an occasional loving caress.

T-Grey has not been seen recently. He, Fuzzy, Orange Kitty, Sparkles, White Kitty, Precious, and all the unnamed, and missing, others may be sharing adventures with Buster and Orange Kitty.

Still, I miss Buster.



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