Thursday, December 11, 2008
Say Goodnight Gracie
A month after she ran away, our cat Gracie was found dead in a nearby yard. The people who lived at the house connected to this yard moved away years ago and no one has lived in it since.
Our neighbor found Gracie’s body. Let’s call our neighbor John.
It was John’s fenced in yard that Gracie originally went into on the day she ran away. We searched John’s yard that day, but couldn’t find her. I even looked under the shed in the yard. I didn’t look inside the shed because it was locked up and I figured there was no way Gracie could get inside.
I now know that Gracie did find a way into the shed and had been in there for at least three weeks. I know this because John told my wife that he had seen Gracie in the shed more than once and kept trying to shoo her away so that she’d go home. Only Gracie didn’t go home.
“She even hissed at me one time,” John told my wife.
What John didn’t explain was why he never told us that our cat was in his shed. He knew we were looking for her and even if he didn’t know what our cat looked like, he knew that the last place we had seen her was in his yard.
John claims he finally chased Gracie out of the shed and down the driveway a week ago. He asked my wife if maybe that was our cat. My wife said yes that was her. John offered to look for Gracie and five minutes later, he found her partially covered body in the yard at the end of the driveway.
I don’t believe John is a malicious man. I don’t think he aided Gracie’s demise on purpose. I believe instead that he is a self-centered man who never thought that maybe he should tell us that our cat was hiding in his shed. I think that Gracie was a problem that he just didn’t want to be bothered with, so he ignored the problem in the hope that it would eventually go away.
I also believe Gracie died in his shed. John found her in the yard too easily. I believe he knew where her body was because he put it there. Also, Gracie’s body was not weathered in any way and she wasn’t decayed.
It breaks my heart to know that Gracie was so close to home. We could have rescued her so easily. Couldn’t she smell us or see us? Why didn’t she come home?
We buried Gracie next to her brother, George in the back yard.
Before my wife called me at work to tell about Gracie, I was at a going away party for one of my fellow employees. I was sitting with a group of women and the subject of cats came up. I told them how Gracie had run away and how I had searched for her every day. I still had hope that Gracie would either find her way home or someone would find her and give her a new home.
One of the women said to me, “All cats go to heaven.” At that moment, I thought it was an odd thing to say, but now I know she was right. Gracie was a weird, annoying, tortured cat, but there were days where she played and sang and purred with joy. All cats go to heaven.