I can't stop crying. A cat died today. He was run over by a car. He wasn't one of my cats--he was a stray--but it doesn't seem to matter. He was a beautiful big gray tiger cat who hung out in the back yard. The back yard is huge, taking up almost an entire block, with lots of little cottages on the property. There are benches, and tables, and fountains and trees. It's a cat's paradise.
Since most of the tenants have cats, originally I thought he belonged to someone. He was well fed, but I later found out that neighbors would feed him or he would go into people's houses through the window and eat their cat's food. While the weather was good I wasn't worried about him. But lately it's been raining a lot and I would see him outdoors.
I couldn't let him in as Max, my alpha male cat, would have a fit. He seemed feral and wouldn't come in anyway, not if I was there. I thought of taking him to a shelter this past week but didn't know if it was the right thing. He made it through the winter and spring would soon be here. He looked like the kind of cat who preferred having his freedom than having security. Perhaps I was projecting my own preferences onto him. Yesterday when the rain really started pouring I looked for him with my cat carry case in hand. If I had found him I would have taken him in. But I got soaked and he was no where to be seen. He must have had his hiding place.
This past week I prayed to St. Francis of Assisi, who is the protector of animals, to take care of him, to end his suffering, to find him a home, or to help me figure out how I could help him. Perhaps this is how my prayer was answered. His suffering has ended and he is Home. But I can't stop crying. It can't just be about him. It's about the suffering of so many helpless beings, and my feeling unable to help.
Goodbye, tough guy. I am sorry that I didn't know how to help you. I still don't know if you would have preferred to be safe and warm in a cage in a shelter, or if you went out the way you wanted to--free.