Sunday, January 7, 2018

Requiem for a Nameless Angel

Hallo, Effurrybody!
As anyone who has read Mr. T.S. Eliot's famous poem, or seen the musical "Cats" knows, effurry kitty has no less than THREE names - the one given to him or her by his or her Human, the unique name by which he or she is known to other felines, and the one, special, "ineffable effable effanineffable, deep and inscrutable, singular Name" known only to that one particular Cat.

Well, maybe not effurry kitty.
Not effurry kitty has a Human, to give them a name. Mummy, for example, hasn't given names to the feral kitties She has been feeding for the last few weeks. She was afraid to do so, because the moment She gives them names, She would want to adopt them, and how could She adopt all of them? She would just be setting herself up for heartbreak, She says.

Amongst the feral kitties, however, there were a couple who would wait for her across the street and who even followed her home sometimes. One of these was one of a pair whose markings rather resembled those of Angel Possum. This was the one some of you may remember Mummy mentioned a couple of months ago, who came right up to Mummy and stuck his or her nose under Mummy's hand as She was putting down the food. Lately, that kitty took to following Mummy and asking to be petted, even before going to the food. Mummy resisted the Temptation, although it became harder and harder to do so.  One night last week, though, She gave in and stroked the kitty's head - but no more than that, because, as We said, She didn't have any intention of extending Our Family.

On Thursday night - a furry cold night - Mummy got back late from her Caterwauling Club and hurried down to feed the feral kitties before it started raining - before even giving Us Our supper!  She didn't see any kitties, but She put the food down neffurtheless and hoped her "regulars" would come and eat before the storm broke.

The following morning, Friday, She went to take down the trash. It had been raining heavily all night, although the predicted storm had not yet broken. The first thing Mummy noticed was that three piles of the food She had set out the purrevious evening hadn't been touched. That worried Mummy - but then She saw that all the rest of the food had been eaten, so She assumed that fewer kitties had come out to eat because they had been sheltering from the heavy rain.

And then Mummy saw something that made her heart sink. A kitty lying motionless in the middle of the pavement, staring vacantly into space with sightless eyes. Mummy went closer - and her fears were confirmed. Although it looked like the Possum-lookalike She had petted earlier in the week, Mummy could not be one hundred per cent sure, because its fur was soaking wet and clinging to its lifeless little body, and it was partially covered with dead leaves.

Mummy could not be sure what had killed that kitty. Not starvation, surely - Mummy had seen to that. Possibly the cold - but more likely, it had been struck by a car. Mummy couldn't see any blood, but it might easily have received a head injury which left no visible, external sign. Or it could have been sick with any one of a dozen fatal illnesses. But Mummy can't rid herself of the thought that She might have saved that kitty, if She had adopted it. But then - what of her other "regulars"? She might have adopted one and then another one might have flown off to the Bridge, and Mummy would have eaten her heart out over that one instead. At any rate, the other ladies who feed the feral cats in the 'hood, report that two more of them departed for the Bridge last week - one of them the same night as Mummy's "Nameless Kitty", also hit by a car.

We have called that poor kitty "the Nameless Kitty" - because Mummy neffur gave him or her a name, and, of course, as We neffur met him/her, We neffur had the chance to find out what name s/he went by among his/her peers.

The Nameless Kitty is now an Angel - but not, after all, a Nameless Angel. He or She is now safe in the Paws of the Great Cat in the Sky.

And the Great Cat in the Sky knows that kitty's deep and inscrutable, singular Name.
The Great Cat in the Sky knows effurry kitty's Name.

Fly free, little one, whoever you are. May the Great Cat in the Sky keep you safe and warm and well-fed.

And please - furgive Mummy for not saving you, even though She is finding it hard to furgive herself.