Friday, May 25, 2012

Circle of Life

I thought that I lost one of my cats today. Well, not really lost, as I could see her. More accurately, I thought that my cat had been hit by a car.

On my way to gym I noticed something in the road. As I got closer, I could see that it was a dead animal, as I got closer yet, I could see that it was a cat.

 A cat that looked exactly like my cat Jo.  A cat that came to us as a stray kitten, and as all of my other pets, a cat that had become a part of our family. A cat that like no other cat before her had even gotten into my husbands heart.

 I pulled over and got out of my car, walking closer to get a better look, my heart racing, and I had a hard time catching my breath.

I leaned over and kept saying, “this is not Jo, this is not Jo”, but the truth was, I couldn’t really be certain. It looked like her. Same color of fur, same pads, and long claws.   I could feel tears in my eyes and a lump starting to develop in my throat, but just continued saying “this is not Jo, she never comes this far down the road, I just let her out an hour ago, and how could she be dead?”

I got back in my car to think about what I should do. My neighbor came driving by, and I waved to her as customary when you live in the country.

 I was shaking by now. “What should I do now?”

 I sent a text to my trainer who I knew was waiting for me at the gym, to tell her that I wouldn’t be in.

I have had, and lost many pets in my life, so this shouldn’t have been anything new to me, however, I was usually the little girl that only had to cry about a pet dying. I wasn’t really the one who had to figure out what to actually do with the body.

I knew I couldn’t leave her on the road, it was an extremely hot day for May, and the flies were already starting to buzz around her. “Get away from her!” I told the flies and I pulled out a recyclable grocery bag that I had in my car.

I gently placed her in the bag and sadly noticed a stone where one of her eyes had been, and blood starting to trickle out of her nose. I stroked her fur. It was silky soft, just like Jo.

I drove back up my drive way, took her out of my car and  put her and the bag on my back deck, called out her name a couple of times, hoping that  this cat that I had just brought back to my house wasn’t her, but did not see Jo anywhere. In tears, I went inside to wash my hands and call my husband to tell him the sad news.

He answered his phone and I choked out “I think Jo is dead.”  To which he replied, “No she isn’t, she was in the house when I left this morning” I explained to him, that I had since let her back outside and that I had seen a dead cat on the road which looked exactly like her.  He assured me that he had seen that same cat on his way into work, so it couldn’t be Jo. I was somewhat relieved, but still couldn’t find Jo anywhere, so I wasn’t completely convinced that this cat that I had just picked up and cried for wasn’t her.

Throughout the day, I looked and called out for Jo, but she didn’t show up or meow to come in as she regularly did, until…., out of nowhere, my Jo cat showed up, fine, meowing to come in out of the heat, and sassy as ever! Yeah!

Happy ending for Jo and me!

 Sad ending for the strange cat in the bag.

 I took that cat out to our woods and placed her there. As I put her there, I told her that I was sorry that she had to die, and I knew that it wouldn’t be long before the scavenger animals in the woods would find her and make a meal of it. And as sad as that thought is, that is part of the circle of life, so I took comfort knowing that at least the animals that would find her, would benefit from her sacrifice allowing them and possibly their spring babies another day of life.

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