I grew up on the north side of a suburb of Madison. Across the street was an un-tilled area of farmland; far too swampy to be worthwhile. The road we lived on was gravel, and there were four houses in our neighborhood; it was several years before the suburb actually enveloped us, and we had suburban amenities like roads and sidewalks.
In fact, the road was a surprisingly straight and level stretch of pavement, and although we saw little actual drag racing, there were plenty of dipshits willing to wind their 4-4-2s and Trans Ams up into long speeds.
Between the exurban locale and the Road, we had hit-or-miss luck with pets. Yes, I totally mean that pun. Sometimes an animal would just not come back.
And Wife Sublime had a similar experience; she grew up on a full-fledged farm; livestock were an investment; cats and dogs were either useful, or ignored; there was no such things as pets. Often, she says, they would lose a less-agile cat who was dozing underneath a cow, when the cow would lay down. You would be surprised how little time it takes a cow to lay down.
So when it comes down to it, we are not unfamiliar with the demise of the animals who have allowed themselves to be domesticated. In particular, cats who spend time outdoors are subject to all kinds of ends.
When we first set up housekeeping, Wife Sublime and I, after a bit of discussion, got a couple of farm kittens. She wasn’t in favor. But we got them anyway, and named them Corbu and Attila (later shortened to Tiller). Total house cats, and Tiller lived to be 20 or something. Here, take a look:
After Corbu had a spinal tumor, we got Toby; Tiller never really got used to the new cat. eventually, Tiller also passed away, and we were left with Toby and Lucy, the Orange, Leaky-Ass dog:
Toby, a rescue cat, never agreed to be limited to the house. He insisted on going out, even during snow and rainy days; and he teamed up with Lucy to split the seams of a wide variety of small critters that wandered through our yard. Of course, I am the one who cleaned up the blood and entrails. Toby seemed particular to the brains and the other tender elements of the skulls, and left the rest to Lucy; for her part, Lucy seemed perfectly willing to let Toby have first pick.
Toby went out for a walk Sunday and has not come back.
I hope he might come back so we can share a nap again, but I am not optimistic Outdoor cats have shorter lives, that’s the way it is.
Caturday may be a bit hard this week.
A charcoal/ conte crayon drawing I did of one of Toby’s eyes a while back: