Bobby, my gorgeous tomcat is missing. It’s been nearly two weeks now, and all hope of him returning is dwindling more rapidly by the day. It’s a horrid feeling, and something I hoped I would never have to experience again after losing Keats three years ago under the same circumstances.
It’s the absence of news that is the most difficult to deal with. If I had found his dead body by the road, at least I would have some closure. Instead, I have to live each day with a permanent ache in my heart, not knowing if he is alive, injured, or dead. Anyone who has experienced this will know exactly how I feel. I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
It’s very frustrating. Earlier in the year Bobby came home terrified and with puncture wounds around his head and neck. After some contemplation, I decided he had been attacked by a fox. Could this have happened again, but this time with a different outcome? It’s a very real possibility, especially since, I now suspect Keats was predated by one.
It’s a horrid feeling, and whilst part of me wants to move on and accept he is no longer part of my life, a greater part keeps hoping and wishing for his return. I have even considered getting another cat, or possibly two little kittens, which would undoubtedly ease the burden, but I’m not sure it’s something I want to do. I don’t feel strong enough to risk another heartbreak in the future, nor am I sure I want to put their lives at risk. If Bobby doesn’t return, I will be labeling my land a Fox danger zone. Not good news for my little cats.
Still, life goes on. We are told what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I don’t feel stronger for the hurt I have suffered in the past, and I don’t feel as though losing Bobby will make me stronger in the future. I feel like one of life’s punch bags.
Signing off . . .
As a self-confessed softie, I found losing my grey tabby cat a very traumatic experience, but despite what I went through, even knowing the outcome, I would go through it again. Life is about the enjoying new experiences, whether they are good or bad. I think we should cherish both equally, since one accentuates the other.
I’d had Keats, affectionately known as Keaty Pie, since he was just 7 weeks old. He disappeared a month after his second birthday, on the day it had been announced the world was to end. It was a curious choice on his part.
I acquired him and his brother, Blake, from a rescue centre having suffered the loss of two other cats. Two weeks before, I’d lost Tingle, the love of my life, having brought him back from hell. (His moving story is told in my novel ‘Shackled’) His replacement was Tennyson. Within 5 days of his arrival, he was hit by a car and killed. Despite being inconsolable (as I said I’m a softie) and announcing I didn’t want any more cats, ever, my husband, Doug, knew better. One day, he handed me two delightful and precious bundles of joy.
And so Keats and Blake arrived. They were so tiny that they fed from the same dish; they slept together with their legs entwined, and they played and chased, rolling around and squeaking until they fell into a sleepy heap.
They were beautiful. I appreciated their presence in my life every single day, and watched with amusement their new adventures. They would race around the garden, one chasing the other; they would climb to the top of a tree and cling to a slender branch wondering how on earth they got there; they would observe the chickens, not understanding those strange-looking feathered creatures or their purpose.
They were a pair, and did everything together. Gradually, though, over those two years, Keats became more and more aloof. He needed less attention from his brother and from us. He was growing up, and to our regret, he had become a brilliant hunter. It was May 2011. The swallows had just arrived, having just survived a difficult journey from South Africa, and were perched in the barn on low beams. Exhausted and hungry, they were easy prey.
Keats brought one into the kitchen, still alive but barely. Doug was furious with him, and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and shook him in a rage. You might say Keats was just being a cat. That’s what Keats thought too. He disappeared days later, never to be seen again.
I was devastated and searched the streets and roads for weeks and months. He was never found. I like to think he is living with a nice family somewhere, although I also fear he could have been killed by a fox since I have reason to believe my big ginger moggy recently survived an attack. It’s something I will never have the answer to, and perhaps in this instance, it is the preferred option.
Losing a pet is a fact of life, and despite the hurt he unwittingly caused, I would still go through it again. Without the negative periods in our life, we’ll never learn how to appreciate the positives. And those two years were a positive, amongst the best in my life. I tell myself I shouldn’t be too greedy.
God Bless Keats.
This morning, Bobby did not arrive at the door, trilling for his breakfast in his usual happy fashion. I found him in the conservatory huddled in a ball with blood dripping from his ear. He was very traumatised.
He is a big ginger moggy of about 8kg, and normally a very easy-going cat with a wonderful nature. He loves attention, and whilst he is confident and can be a bit ‘playful’ he is never intentionally aggressive with us or the other cats.
When I picked him up and he growled and hissed. I stroked his back and strands of fur lifted from his body. He was very stressed. For a while, he was on my lap, but then I had work to do. I placed him on a buffet by the fire, and after growling and hissing some more, he settled into a sleep. Four hours on, he still hasn’t moved.
The only injury he appears to have is a punctured ear, which has stop bleeding. I hope he is all right. I’ll see what happens over the next few hours.
It makes me wonder what happened. The wound to his ear is from a bite, which makes me think it wasn’t another cat, especially since I live remotely and do not know of any other cats living locally. Was it a badger, a fox, or an American mink? From his behaviour, I believe he has been cornered, possibly for a while and until dawn broke. It has taken a lot out of him.
I’m sure he will be okay. He just needs time to sleep and recover.
His world is very unfamiliar to us. Sometimes I think it would be interesting to witness his adventures, so I could see what animal life reside on my small patch of Lincolnshire; at other times I think I am better off not knowing. Watching his victim take his last breath is not something I could enjoy.
Signing off . . .