Tuesday, February 23, 2010

He's Gone

Lucky didn't come home Saturday morning.
We walked miles, day and night, calling for him.
We posted on Craig's List.
We called our vet.
We mass emailed all our neighbors.
We have cried rivers of tears.

Helpful friends all have stories about how their cat went missing for weeks and then came home.
We would like to hope the same of Lucky, but reality tells us different.
He never wandered. He was never late for breakfast.
We hoped originally that he may be in a neighbor's garage or barn.
Once all the barns and garages had been checked, that hope left.

This is the one and only time, since we moved out onto acreage, that I wished we still lived in a neighborhood where the houses are close together. Then I could hope that he was just 5 houses away, hanging out with a neighbor cat, eating that cat's food. Neighborhood cats do that. Country cats do not. Besides, none of our acreage neighbors have cats---at least not indoor/outdoor cats.
There's a reason for that. Coyotes.
Lucky came with the property. He showed up during the framing stage of our house, 10 years ago.
He was predator savvy.
A neighbor saw a coyote, up in the neighborhood in broad daylight, just yesterday.
Our little acreage neighborhood borders hundreds of acres of wide open, undeveloped land. We know the coyotes are out there. We've heard them. We know they come up out of the brush at night, because they leave their calling cards in the middle of the road.

The hardest part on all of us, is not knowing. Is he hurt? Is he treed and just can't get down.
After 3 days of searching endlessly in the woods, pastures of the surrounding area, we're beginning to feel like the answer is no.
He talked. A lot.
If you called his name, he would meow loudly and come running.
He was not a hider or a wanderer.

We've never dealt with the loss of a pet in this way. There's something to be said for 'closure'. For knowing what happened to a beloved pet.
People all say it's not necessary.
It's necessary.

Yesterday, I put his bed away.
Today, I put his food bowl away.
I still can't walk by a door without looking out, hoping he's going to be sitting there.
I've done this before. It never gets one bit easier.

If you're the praying type. Please pray for Pearl. He's her cat.
The last time a we had a pet die that really broke her heart was years ago.
Now she's bigger. Now her heart is more tender.
Lucky was her cat.
"I love dogs, but I'm a cat person."

I wish for all of us, that some miracle would happen.
I think the miracle might be that we got to keep him for 10 years.
He showed us that cats don't have to be mental.
He was our first cat, ever. He was a fine example of why anyone would ever be a 'cat person'.

12 comments:

  1. Oh how awful! :( My thoughts are with you. I hope he comes home.

    That is such a beautiful photo.

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  2. I'm sorry. It is so hard when they just vanish. We had a cat that was gone almost a year and returned home. We had another that never came back. We choose to believe he was taken in by another family.

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  3. CeeCee,
    I'm so sorry. You bet we'll say a prayer for Pearl. And Lucky. There's so much sadness right now - hugs to you.

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  4. I'm so sorry. We just loss our cat Oreo in August. He hated being inside and sometimes would sneak outside when we weren't fast enough to stop him. Back in June he got out and was gone for 3 days....came back home with a torn up, swollen foot and a missing claw. We assume from outrunning a coyote.
    We all believe that he wasn't so lucky in August, though. We have several packs of coyotes that roam our area.
    Now we have our two female cats and they seem happy to be inside cats, thank goodness.

    When we lived in the suburbs out on the mesa, just north of Albuquerque, people from other parts of the country would move in with their cats and just assume it was a neighborhood and that thei'r cats would be safe to roam outside.

    Every week, there's be new notices up on the mailboxes asking if anyone had seen their cat.
    Coyotes were bold in that neighborhood and though we would never hear them, we'd find their scat and see them scrounging for trash scraps at dusk or dawn. One year, after Thanksgiving, we found our turkey carcass outside in front of my sons' bedroom window with gnaw marks and coyote scat all over the place.

    I hope Lucky does show up, like our Oreo did the first time. And I hope he's ok.

    (((hugs)))
    ~Lisa

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  5. I'm sorry about Lucky! It's always terrible to loose a pet and especially if you don't really know what happened. I'll say a prayer for y'all!

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about Lucky. I hope he just shows up. Prayers are being sent for Pearl.

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  7. I'm so sorry. The "not knowing" feeling must be horrible.

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  8. Just like when you were a baby crying, I would cry with you. I'm crying with you and Pearl now. I love you CeeCee.

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  9. Thank you everyone, for your kind and hopeful words.

    I did one more thing that I hadn't previously done--put up lost cat signs. We really don't live close enough to another neighborhood for me to have really considered it, but I did it anyway. Some part of me hopes that maybe he ran for his life from a coyote, got treed, and then stayed there until it was safe to come down. Then got turned around and wandered the wrong way.

    My sister was staying with us for a couple nights, and heard an entire pack of coyotes, right up in the neighborhood just two days ago. ((sigh))

    Thanks again!

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  10. I am just heartbroken for you - and for Pearl :( I'm so very sorry.

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  11. I'm so sorry. I know how heartbreaking it is to have a cat disappear like that. Sending loads of prayers for Pearl. Lucky knew she loved him.

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