Insignificant, like dust, you lay by the roadside; broken, unimportant and completely ignored… Who cares about a dead cat anyway?
You arrived in our home, just over 1 year ago, harried by living on the streets as an unwanted, unloved, broken soul. You had me at the first look. Your eyes met mine with great caution and full of fear. When I stretched out my hand you came towards me; smelled me with reservation and finally let me pat you.
A couple of weeks later we were already best friends. You slept in my bed and when I wasn’t at home you were out – wandering restlessly. It wasn’t unusual you stayed away for a couple of days, but you normally showed up for food, at least every day. Your new world was full of exciting discoveries.
Summer came and so did Flora; she fearlessly moved in with her 3 kittens; Tora, Milo and Miso. At first the tiny kittens terrified you, and you tried to avoid them at all costs, but despite your discomfort they all bonded with you, and ran around your paws and played with your tail. Your answer was usually a little sigh before retreating. With every day passing you got to know each other more and more, but you didn’t seem truly comfortable. Yet…
Last week, a stormy, rainy night you disappeared. I let you out in the middle of the night and I thought I’d see you the following day, but the days passed and you were gone. A growing ache inside me tried to get my attention, and I did my best to ignore it. As far as I knew you were out running around, as usual, and would soon sit on my door step, making your original meow. When you were hungry enough.
The days turned into 1 week and I put photos of you on Facebook, in hope someone had seen you. I soon heard an answer; someone had seen an orange coloured dead cat, close to where I live. I hurried into the car and drove off to search, but it was pitch black outside and I saw nothing.
I was driving along the road when I saw something in orange colour, run over, and flat lying by the roadside. I stopped the car and ran towards you. But it wasn’t you, it was a fox, a small fox. I started to laugh, like a mental patient, laugh at the poor animal by the roadside, who no one cared about.
I laughed because it wasn’t you…
On my way back home I wished with all my heart this was the animal someone had seen and mistaken it for a cat, but while back home I got another reply – the cat was on the motorway, on a spot very close to our home. I’ve been looking in the wrong place. The lump in my stomach reappeared and I felt it filling my inside – black and ugly. It was too unlikely it would be another orange coloured cat, it was probably you.
I slept poorly that night, constantly waking up, in cold sweat. As soon as the sun rose I jumped into the car with a black garbage bag, but I still couldn’t find you.
That same day my mother and Hans had been out searching and they had seen something. They had photographed it, but it was so far away, it was hard to see what it was. We went back to find out.
Still I couldn’t tell what it was I was seeing, too far away. I had a whim and climbed over the fence closing off the motorway, ran across it when I had a window.
Once again the lump in my stomach screamed for attention. The, in parts flayed, broken body lay face down with a short tail pointing out from the cat’s back part. Desperately, I looked around me, searching for something I could use to move the body. I found a piece of styrofoam, and I used it to pull the body towards me.
A wave of nausea rushed over me, both from the stench of the mangled, half eaten body and the sight of the tiny paw I’ve held so many times. It was you!
My only thought was to bring you home. How could I leave you lying on the roadside, alone and forgotten? Thanks to a broken windshield thrown in the middle of the motorway I managed to bring you to the other side, and finally back home.
When we returned back home we held a ceremony, I wrapped your broken body in one of my scarves and we put you in the same grave we’ve put our beloved four-legged friends before.
When I think about how they ran you over, ignored you and left you by the roadside to die, my heart aches with pain. The horrible sight my nightmares are playing for me – you lying there alone… suffering. Maybe you even called out for your mommy, but she’s not coming, because she can’t hear you. She doesn’t even know you’re missing…
Tiny, broken, forgotten and deserted, that’s how you lay on the motorway. Nobody cared, everyone just drove by, who cares about a cat?
Now you’re safe, Gustaf, just like you always were with me and I’ll send you away with a few words: you were not forgotten, not deserted, not unwanted nor unloved, you were my beloved cat, my best friend, and I will miss you every day… Goodbye… until we meet again… ❤