The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105409   Message #2172331
Posted By: katlaughing
16-Oct-07 - 11:28 AM
Thread Name: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
Subject: RE: BS: Buttje is in heaven now
The last cat I lost to a car was Bagheera, who died in 1977. We lived on a quiet, residential street with little traffic and he never left the yard, but one day. Our yard was actually our landlord's back yard, so our yard was quite "safe" as it didn't front any roads.

That day, for some reason, he left and was found run over, by our neighbour, on a very busy one-way, two-lane street a few blocks over. I have no idea how or why he got there, but some thought a loose dog may have chased him.

I moved to a small ranch and let my cats go in and out at will, through a window. One of them disappeared only to come home half-dead, several weeks later, to stay a little while, then left again to die. We finally figured out he'd been accidentally locked in a nasty neighbour's shed for who knows how long without food and water. My poor beautiful Dashell was dead.

Then we moved to New England, to a house literally right on a busy road. My six prairie cats became indoor cats, actually in a motel room for two months, first, then to the house. They adapted fine and I never had the heartbreak of losing them to anything other than age or illness.

The only other cat I have lost since then, besides to disease/old age was one my brother had out for a walk in the yard. I used to take them all out with the front door open. They would stay within a certain area and go in as soon as I clapped my hands. He had my calico, Najuni, out with his cats. She was the newest and youngest. He turned away for a moment and in the next she was being chased by some asshole's dog, one we later found out had been loose and killed cats before. He got my beautiful girl and she was gone, dead.

My heart could not take any more of that kind of heartbreak. They are my children, too, just as Cats noted about hers. From then on, we have had a homemade "chicken coop" for them out the window, in which they can enjoy the fresh air, roll in the grass, and scratch in the dirt. They have a balcony, a scratching ramp, and toys to play with and they are safe and content and I am spared the agony of any premature death of any of them.

I cannot imagine ever having it any other way. The uncertainty of not knowing what has happened to a family pet, or of finding them and knowing they went through a terrifying and horrible death that I could have prevented if I'd kept them in, would kill me eventually. I consider it my duty to protect them esp. considering the unconditional love they offer in return.