I just wanted to take minute to say good-bye to a cat I never wanted, but who wormed his little way into our family.
We moved to our new house in the country ten years ago. About a month after moved, I went outside and saw a huge flock of trumpeter swans resting in the field across from our home. As I watched I noticed a small buff colored cat sneaking up on them. I thought, "What in the heck does that cat think he is doing?" Of course, he never caught a swan, but we continued to see him roaming the fields near our house for the next 4 or 5 years. According to neighbors, he was the patriarch of a dwindling feral cat colony and not a cat to be messed with... thus the name Bad Boy Kitty!
One day, as I drove along the country road, I noticed Bad Boy curled up under a stand of poplar trees. It was January, getting dark and starting to snow. I stopped and went over to him. His eyes were swollen shut with infection and he had a gash in his back leg. Anazingly, he let me pick him up and carry him home. He ate some cat food and spent the night in our laundry room. My two domesticated cats acted as if I had brought Charles Manson into the house! I could see their point. Bad Boy was filthy and smelled awful.
I took him to the vet the next day. They sedated him, treated his infections, bathed him (twice!) neutered him, vaccinated him and sent him back with me and instructions to give him antibiotics for ten days. So he spent the snowstorn in our house, eating canned catfood with antibiotics mixed in, snoozing by the woodstove, creating huge messes in and around the cat box and generally making a pest of himself.
When the snow melted and the antibiotics were gone, I opened the door to set him free. He instead chose to head back to the couch where he remained for the next six years!
Last week he got sick and tested positive for FIV. I struggled about what to do. He was so independent and a darned impossible cat to medicate, especially since he wasn't eating. I asked for a sign and Friday I stepped outside to see the field covered with trumpeter swans. The first I have seen this winter! I knew he wanted to be among them again, so we had him put to sleep today. He is buried in that field, under the cedar tree where he was most likely born.
Later this spring, his spirit will fly north with the swans, and come back to me every winter.
Bye Bye Bad Boy. We will miss you.
Lisa, John, Chelsea, Kody, Jade, Spooky (well, maybe not Spooky), Sevyn and Shamus.