Monday, April 15, 2013

Heartbreak - Losing Pookie to Reality

"Besides being complicated, reality, in my experience, is usually odd. It is not neat, not obvious, not what you expect." — C.S. Lewis

Yesterday morning I was drivng to the feeding stations when I saw something in the road just in front of the park.  There was a car ahead of me.  I strained to see around the car.  But the car steered around whatever it was, leaving me an open view.  It was a cat. 

I pulled over to take the cat out of the road and held my breath until I was close enough to see who it was.  It was Pookie.  She was dead.  She must have been hit hours before. 

I moved her out of the road and looked around in the open field for her kittens.  That's where she was headed when she was hit.  She had her litter a couple of weeks ago.  I couldn't find them.  Pookie was coming up on 1 year old.  I have been feeding her since she was a kitten.

I have felt so dejected since I found her, and, in addition, it is so very strange to me.  I had just a few days ago chosen her picture to use in my bio on a website.  Why of all the cats did I choose hers?  I think I felt like she was the invisible cat. 

Pookie was not demanding, yet I wouldn't call her timid. She was quiet, thoughtful. She liked to play when I would inititate it, but she wasn't playing with me, she was just playing.  I guess I chose her because I didn't want her to be invisible anymore.  I wanted to make sure I held her in regard.  And, yet, just the day before, she came late to the feeding, when I was about to head up top.  I gave her some milk, and some of the expensive crunchies I save for treats after meals, but I didn't open another can. 

I wish I had opened another can, especially because she was nursing kittens.  I didn't know it would be the last time I saw her alive.  Sometimes when I lose a cat, I break down immediately.  This time it has come over me hour by hour, the sadness and pain worsening and worsening.

Godspeed, Pookie.  I love you.  Thank you.

Reality, in fact, is usually something you could not have guessed.
— C.S. Lewis


  1. I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful cat to the world and to you and Nik. When you have touched a cat, there is a bond forever. I am very sad and I'd never met Pookie. So, the depth of your loss must be very hard. Thoughts are with you.

  2. Unknown,

    Thank you for your kindness.

  3. I work for Purrfect Cat Rescue in Northern California (you follow us on Twitter) and manage a feral colony like you. I lost two of my outdoor cats in a few months time. The first was a feral who had come to trust me enough that I could pick her up and bring her home when I knew she was sick. I had her euthanized and arranged for cremation the same way I would had she been a house pet, because despite being a feral, I had cared for her for three years and loved her as much as any cat in my home.

    More recently I had an experience more like yours; driving down the street, I saw a mass of orange and white on the side of the road and knew only there was only one cat of that color and size around here. I adored that big, fluffy orange cat, and still miss him.

    Only a handful of people can fully understand the loss of an animal that didn't even share their home, but I am one of those people and offer my sympathies for that loss.

    1. Charles, thank you so so much for your comment. You brought tears to my eyes. To know someone understands, to connect over similar experience is invaluable. People who do what we do, we are out there alone so much in the fields, or in the "trenches" you could say, building relationships, making memories that will always be with us, changing lives and being changed by those lives, getting to know real individuals, and who knows? Who sees? And who cares about our losses and our heartbreaks? When we lose our friends? Yes,our friends! These are our dear friends, our companions for hours on end, and our brothers and sisters as we all share the same Father. To see them suffer, to see them needlessly lose their lives is painful. I am so sorry for your loss and for the pain of seeing him in the road like that. It is the worst possible thing that can happen to us out there. How many people know how we hold our breath, praying we don't have to confront this when we drive up to the stations or by the colonies? Thank you for your sympathies and your understanding and for sharing your experience. It really helps to know someone cares. It helps to share the pain and weight of our losses. It is a heavy weight to carry. It is good to connect with you. God bless you! Thank you for putting your heart out there for these cats the way you do. Thank you for reaching out to me. Anita