Thursday, August 1, 2002

Goodbye Peach

18 summers ago we got a kitten from our cousins. They had named this kitten Ghost, but it didn’t work for us, she was a white cat with big tabby-colored spots. She was friendly and curious and when offered a bit of a juicy summer peach would actually eat it. So we named her Peaches. She was a hunter cat, climbing trees and always tempted to pounce on anything even if it was just your foot under a blanket (ouch!), but would allow you to hold her and pet her, but never stayed long. When I lived at home, I was her preferred piece of furniture. If I were lying on the couch, she would come up and lounge on my hip or curl up on my stomach.

I’m not sure what makes a cat decide that you are her people and that this is the place she will come back to every night. But this must have worked for Peach since she did just this for the past 18 years. She liked a good fight and for years we called her boo-boo face because she always had a scratch or two on her. We hoped that the other guy always looked even worse. Now she was a moody cat and would often get irritated about something or someone. One of her favorite hiding spots were on the dining room chairs. Since they were typically tucked under the table, her position was secure. However the backs of these chairs had slats just wide enough for a kitty arm to reach through and swat at the offending party. Both the dog and the humans learned to watch for the little white arm or risk getting scratched.

A couple of days ago Peach got shot in the head by a pellet gun and was found on the front steps of our house covered in blood. She was still alive but not doing very well so Mom and Aunt Alice took her to the vet to put her to sleep. Right now I’m sad and furious. Sad because she couldn’t end her life in the peaceful way that she had lived hers. Furious because we are pretty sure that the ‘kids’ who live across the street were playing with their gun and shot her. Of course they denied it, and the police can’t be bothered by the situation, but other neighbors have complained about damage done to their property by these kids and their gun. Mom is going to talk to a bunch of people to see if anyone else can be outraged by this and at least investigate. More times than not seriously damaged people started out their careers of cruelty with animals and worked their way up to people. My parents live in an area that is more like Columbine than not. I just hope that these kids don’t end up living in their parents’ basement when they grow up. If they are allowed to get away with this I’d be happier if they didn’t continue to live in the neighborhood. I want them gone before they do something worse.

I do truly believe in what comes around goes around. It’ll make it easier for me to get over this horrible thing. It’s strange how people can look at animals one way and others can bring them into their homes and hearts and turn them into so much more.

I’ve been exceptionally affectionate with the four cats that are in my life right now. I hope my body can withstand the allergic reaction because the rest of me needs to enjoy these connections while I’ve got them.

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