A few months ago, one of our fur babies dissappeared. I’ve written about her before. She was a bit of a pain and a bully. But she was still our fur baby, none-the-less. We don’t know exactly what happened to her, but there are multiple possibilities.
All of our cats have been outdoor pets, partly out of preference. I don’t relish having fur all over my clothes or furniture, nor in my food. I’ve dealt with flea infestations before and I’m over that. I also don’t like having torn up or chewed up furnishings, I work too hard for the money to purchase them so I like to keep things nice for as long as possible. But I still love my babies. From outside.
We also had to make the decision to keep our cats outside due to necessity. Both the biggest boy and the littlest boy are allergic to pet dander and they just turn into big, giant, snotty messes around the cats. Which is really sad for them, because they really love hugging and petting the kitties. So outside they must stay. The cats, that is, not the boys (though that’s fine by me, too!). Our cats are also functional pets. We live in an older neighborhood with large yards and a lot of established landscaping. In other words, rodent paradise. That’s not so much of a problem for us thanks to our little balls of furry love.
So back to the missing kitty, Artemis. In addition to the rodents, we do have quite a bit of wildlife that passes through our yard. Skunks, foxes, possums, raccoons, even a couple of ducks have made a visit to our space. For the 15 years we’ve been here, it’s not been an issue. And in the end, that may not have even been the cause. We have reason to believe our silly cat paid a visit to some unfriendly dogs in a neighbor’s yard.
But as fate would have it, the empty spot in our hearts did not stay quite so empty for long. There just happened to be a stray kitty at the Old Man’s school that would wander into classrooms and hang out with the students. He would hop up onto desks and put his paws on their shoulders and was more than willing to be picked up and cuddled. The word was spread that we would gladly bring him home and so one day a student showed up with this bright orange sweatheart… with a splint on his leg.
He was brought home, taken to the vets for all the necessary treatments, and given lots of love and attention. The leg injury turned out to be temporary (we think he severly strained a muscle) and he is now a fully four-legged fixture in our garden and in our hearts. After much debate, our kids all agreed that he should be named Thomas O’Malley, like the cat in the Disney movie Aristocats. And so he is.
We miss that pain, Artemis. No new kitty will replace her. It’s sad to not be able to know what happened to her and to put her to rest with our other dearly departed furballs we’ve had. But we were more than happy to provide a loving home to another cat that needed one and let a new kitty have part of our hearts again.