If you read my posts on a normal basis you know that I have a dear love for feline. Sweetie and Sunny are my own kitties that are now a little over two years old. Still I am one of those who if a stray comes around I am sure to put out food for them and see that they have shelter and water.
Although two of the other cats that frequent my yard are not what you would call strays (one is the next door neighbors and the other live a bit further away) they still come on a daily basis to eat breakfast or a late snack.
Then there is Blackie. The last of the black cats that roamed the area since we first moved here over 6 years ago. At one time there were 6 of them and yes I tended all of them. I even took them into a vet and had them all fixed as well as shots. Over the years they have slowly disappeared. I never found any signs of them and thus I kept the positive view that they found new homes elsewhere.
Blackie was the last of them. A big black tom that came on occasion to the back porch and spoke to me. His call was distinctive and I always knew when he was at the back door. When the weather was warm he did not come around too often. He was content to roam the area and find birds and mice to fill his tummy. Yet as winter set in and the temperatures became colder he would frequent my back porch so much more.
Yet last week when we received the coldest temperatures of the year thus far, I was surprised when I did not see him. I would call in the evenings expecting to hear his cry and see him come from out of the brush at the bottom of the yard. Yet he did not come. He had been away before so I did not worry much.
The other day, Vincent and I ventured out to town for the first time in a few days and as we drove the road out of our area I heard Vincent gasp and stop the truck. I asked what was wrong and he started to back the truck up and told me to wait and I would see. As he backed up and stopped the truck he told me to look upward. Hanging in the tree was Blackie. His stomach was open and exposed and it was obvious that he was no longer with us.
Today we went and brought him down from the tree and gave him a proper burial. It was apparent that he had not climbed into the tree but was thrown up into the tree, landing between two branches. His front paws and head hung through the front and his hind legs dangled freely. His stomach was completely exposed and he was stiff from the cold and the time he was evidently there.
I wondered what had happened to him. Was it accidental? Was he struck by a car and someone tossed him out of the road? Or was it not accidental? I will never know I am sure yet still I found the manner in which we found him so sad. He was a loner of a kitty. He was not held and cuddled much if at all as he was quite skiddish. I had petted him a few times yet it was not often enough. As I lowered the box into the hole that Vincent had dug, I felt sadness that he did not experience such kindness.
I will miss his occasional visits and most of all his unique cry.