We had Cid out for a walk and spotted something in the front yard. It looked like an animal and it was frozen in the posture of death. We would not go over to it with the dog in tow. When we got back whatever-it-was was still there.
It was a cat. Gray and white, its mouth open in what I try not to imagine as a silent scream, and its throat meticulously torn out.
Our nearest guess: it was probably a feral cat that may have been killed by another cat, a dog, a raccoon, any other animal in and around the beach.
We got a shovel from the garage and a large plastic bag. Marie held the bag open and I shoveled the cat into it. We tied the bag closed and put it out for the trash. God forgive me for what we had to do. If the animal had tags we’d have called the police and it would have been cremated. But he or she was nobody’s cat, unless you think of it as God’s cat. It’s criminal in our town to bury an animal on private property, so this seemed the only recourse.
In the morning, when the garbage truck comes around, they will dump all our dark green bags into the truck and take off for the compactor, incinerator or landfill. And the sad life of this creature of our common Creator will come at last to a rest it probably never knew in life.
I go into the house and look at our two guy-cats, totally oblivious to how close death came to their door, and I hold them both. I hug the dog…for the area is full of stray dogs who live, reproduce, and die (often violently) on the streets. I am blessed to have been given partial charge of these animals, and even to have given that poor dead nameless cat earlier today the dignity of darkness and lack of exposure to staring eyes and cruel elements. May it find rest.