Saturday, May 31, 2008
Yes, I'm afraid she's gone, and this may be the end of a very long line of cats living here. As I mentioned before, this all started with a pregnant cat, way back when I was just a boy. Shirley and Junior were the last of the line, having been spayed and neutered, respectively, several years ago. (That would have happened to prior generations, but no one was ever able to catch those cats and get the work done!)
As I noted a little over a week ago, Shirley has been MIA. Then, several days ago, Junior went missing. I would worry that my blog post had upset him, but Junior wasn't even smart for a cat, let alone... so no, he probably doesn't read blogs. ;)
Seriously, he went missing, and I started to wonder if maybe they had both been taken in by someone. Sadly, today brought a sign that one of them has died. When she first went missing, I reminded Marc of one sign that indicated a cat death over the years.
This is rather disgusting, but it's a fact. The cats have made their home for at least 20-25 years in a tiny crawlspace under the end of our living room/library. The furnace room runs under part of that room. The close proximity of the end of the furnace room and the crawlspace in question allows some air to pass through, and, as we learned when other cats came home to die, the repulsive smell of decomposition carries through to the furnace room.
Today, Marc went into the furnace room for something and immediately yelled up the stairs to me. I ran down there, entered to furnace room and ran smack into that smell.
At least she got to die at home in her bed. There's something to be said for that. Given the timing, I would guess the smell is her, not Junior. As for Junior, I can only imagine he didn't like the smell and so he left. His complaining to Marc was probably a request that he remove the body. Of course, no human can fit under there (it's really just a space for pipes, not a true crawlspace), so we couldn't do anything if we wanted to.
Soon enough, the smell will pass and she will rest there with ancestors of hers whose skeletons are there. She had a very good life for a feral cat, and I suppose this is as good an end as we could have hoped for. We guesstimate her age around 13 years. Not a bad run, given the circumstances.
Whether Junior will return, who can say? He's around somewhere, I'm sure, and I have no doubt that someone else is feeding him (he always looked quite well fed, and I always thought he had other sources). If he comes back, he will be welcome. If not, I wish him the best.
In the meantime, rest in peace, Shirley.