Wednesday night (March 19th) was a very sad night in my little world. Butty, our big fluffy cat got run over and killed.
Back in January 2011 after much deliberation, probably too much deliberation, we decided that we should get ourselves a cat. We went to a local Animal Rescue centre, where a woman with verbal diarrhoea (she just garbled on and on and on and wouldn’t shut the feck up for a moment to gather breath or let anybody think or get a word in) tried to influence us to taking a quite elderly cat that was busy hissing, scratching and biting the hen-pecked man who worked there and was holding him up for us to inspect.
Quietly, two cats were sitting to one side watching. Both were together and had very striking tortoiseshell markings, although one was very hairy and larger whilst the other had quite sleek short hair. The verbal diarrhoea woman kicked into a tale about how they’d been left homeless after the little old lady they’d lived with had died. Their relationship wasn’t known, they could have been mother and daughter, two sisters, or had no connection, but were estimated to be about 3 or 4 years old, maybe one older than the other. Whilst standing there, my lovely partner rested her hand on the structure where they were sitting. The big fluffy one reached over with her paw and gently touched my partner’s hand. Well, from that moment we had ourselves two cats. We called them Butty and Marge.
Marge sadly disappeared without a trace in January 2013. I copied what I wrote about her here.
With Marge gone, Butty just got fatter and turned into what I used to refer to as a little old lady. She could sit for hours just looking out of the window, or laying upsidedown on her back basking in the sun. She would trot around like a small sheep, and indeed was as hairy as a sheep.
In September 2013 we got ourselves another cat. This time it was a little black and white kitten. We registered him with the vet as ‘Titan‘ and still cringe when we go there and they say ‘Titan‘. We never got to call him ‘Titan‘, just ‘Kitty‘, but we call him ‘Titan‘ in front of the vet hoping he won’t turn round and say, “Normally they call me ‘Kitty’, you know.”
Butty and Kitty didn’t get on too well. Most of the time they agreed to ignore each other, but at different times they did stuff together, especially when confronting enemy cats.
Then we get to last night. A lady from a few doors up knocked on our door and asked if the big fluffy cat was ours. She was upset and embarrassed to say that the cat was dead and was on the pavement on other side of the road, up a bit, opposite her house. Somebody had knocked on her door asking if it was hers. The kindly neighbour scuttled away and my lovely partner and I crossed the road and the sight of our Butty sprawled motionless on the pavement in the distance was suddenly painfully real. When we got closer I could see the obvious and terminal injuries. My partner was temporary blind to them and was trying to get Butty to move, lifting up her head and calling to her, and getting extremely upset.
I felt that weird butterfly in the stomach feeling about Butty, and then that overwhelmingly awful and awkward feeling not knowing what to say to my extremely upset partner. Personally, I find it extremely unsettling when this woman who is a complete pillar of strength to me is upset. I’ve only seen her upset a few times in the years we’ve been together, and my inadequacy at consoling her is something I forever regret.
So, etched on my mind forever from last night is first seeing Butty lying there motionless, and then seeing my partner so very upset.
The details of what actually happened are probably unimportant, but it seems whoever ran her over moved her body onto the pavement, and it was probably nobody’s fault, just ‘one of those things’.
However, it was a great loss to us, especially it only being a year since we lost Marge.
Some people have pets, especially dogs, as tokens. Some people just have cats they mainly ignore and don’t properly include as part of the family. Meanwhile, proper pet ‘owners’ treat their pets as if they are human and part of the family. Yes, sometimes this gets a bit over the top, but for most people it doesn’t, and the pet takes on an important affectionate role in the family and contributes to and enhances life.
In our small family unit, Butty was an integral part, despite being ‘just a cat’, and we are grieving her loss.