Sunday, August 30, 2009

Neobe

On April 14th, 2009, Frank and I went out for a gathering at a friend's place. The weather was nice and Neo wanted to be out so we let her out. We came back past 11 pm that night. We kept waiting for Neo to come home and she did not put in an appearance. I was a bit annoyed but not too worried. She had done this to me recently and come back home the next morning. But everytime she is late, it does worry me. Neighbors always talk about the coyotes that are common to this area. So I went down from time to time and called out for her. She did not show up. It was not like Neo to stay away from her food bowl for too long. We thought perhaps she was taken in by some child who would not let her go. We would canvas the neighborhood in the evening looking for her- in case she had gotten trapped somewhere or was locked in. We had HomeAgain put out a lost pet alert for her (she is micro-chipped). But no luck.

On the 17th, a huge blizzard hit Parker. Everything was blanketed for 2 days. I went out and called her name many times. On Sunday the 19th of April, I decided to walk around and leaflet the neighborhood just in case someone had decided to keep Neo at home thinking her a stray. One nosy neighbor told me that I should not leave a note on the mailboxes as it is against the law and the feds would come after me! Some people thought I was soliciting and would pretend not to be home- which was fine by me. But I also met some friends of Neo's. People who were her regulars. One neighbor called back after he got the leaflet. He described how the pretty blue-eyed, gray stray would come by and how he would always leave her food. He couldn't let "it" in as his cat was jealous. Another, had a really old male cat whom Neo visited regularly- this is the cat she took all the mousy presents to when we didn't appreciate them. Another recognized her as a "porch" cat as she would proudly sit on the porch and scan all. Halfway through my leafleting, one neighbor came and said that if I was looking for the "hunter" cat, his wife told him on Friday that she had seen her lying dead by the side of the road behind our community on Friday.

I went to look for her behind the houses. There was a lot of melt from the blizzard which was flooding the little stream and making it almost impossible to pass. Cars couldn't go through it already and I was worried that she had been carried away by the waters. I tried to wade across to the spot where I saw something dark lying on a little rock. But it was a rag. Frank joined me. He went up the road away from the stream and a moment later I heard him call my name.

She was lying by the side of the road. Her body was cold and stiff. Our poor baby's face was a little smushed but other than that there was not a mark on her. She had been hit by a vehicle. One which was coming towards her but whose speed she didn't quite gauge right. You see, inside the community the speed limit is 15 mph. People had remarked how Neo always checked traffic before crossing roads in the neighborhood. But right outside, on this little access road the speed limit is 30 mph and what's worse, kids and people are always speeding on this road. Neo must have seen a car coming but probably misjudged the time she had to cross since it was not traveling at speeds she was accustomed to.

I carried her home. Frank dug a place for her in the garden. We kept hearing her all the time, in the swish of the blinds, the thudding on the stairs, the sudden weight on the mattress, faint meows in the air. Our hearts felt so heavy with her loss. Her funny ways will always be in our memories. Even now we keep thinking of the time when she got spooked by... or the time she decided to... or how she startled us... She still keeps us in chuckles and stitches. We feel like she is and will always be with us.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Rad, I am sorry for your loss.

Jason