You are here

The Long Goodbye

A year and a half ago, I trapped, neutered and released three feral cats. Their full story is in Chapter 6 (see post below).

I'm sad to say that it's been 3 months since I last saw one of the ferals: Madison. I thought she, of all of the ferals, had the best chance to become socialized. Perhaps it was her good nature that helped her find a true home with one of my neighbors, but I find it unlikely. I think Madison died—possibly killed by a wild animal or a car strike. She was only two years old.

Madison and Bronte.jpg

She was a sweet cat. I could tell from the first day. Even though she was feral, she liked to play with toys and the fact that she would allow me to pet her was a gift of her trust. I saw her every day for more than a year. When she stopped coming by I didn't worry right away since the weather was warm and she could hunt for food, if needed. I never stopped putting out food, even though many times I found it uneaten. I began to worry that not only did Madison die, but her Mother, Bronte and our rascally neighborhood stud (well, not a stud any more!) Buddy, too. They just disappeared.

After the first month absence, I began to see Bronte and Buddy once in awhile. I saw a new cat, too, a mangy red male with an ear deformed from fighting. Did he scare Madison off? But then even he was only seen for a week or so, then vanished, too. All that was left was Bronte and Buddy.

I call Madison's name every morning when I put out the food, hoping she'll return to me, but every afternoon when I check it, I often find the bowl untouched. It breaks my heart, but I knew that this was the best I could do for them. This was what I could offer because I don't have the facility to foster cats for long periods, when I could be helping 50 or more kittens in the same span of time.

They never deserved to live like this in the first place. All we rescuers seem to do is try to make up for the cruel acts of other people. Some times we have success and other times, it's like today-our hearts sink and our knees feel weak, imagining what has come to pass. It's tough to keep facing this ugliness, but we must, for their sake, and for the hope that one day, we won't have to do this any more. That all cats will have good, loving, responsible owners and that all of us that do rescue can focus on other things to help this world be a better place.

Add new comment