Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ode to a feral cat

I wrote this yesterday after I found out that one of my neighbors had the city animal control trap of my cat's playmate and put him to sleep. It's up on a East Cambridge neighborhood blog, generously hosted by, well, one of my neighbors. I still haven't told my son. He'll be crushed.

My "editor" said I should have used the word "cramped" instead of "crammed" to describe my dense block. I'm of two minds about it.

Ode to a Feral Cat

I learned at the school bus stop this morning that Tux had been “euthanized.”

Tux was a black and white cat who hung around our crammed, leafy East Cambridge block. We called him Tux – who knows if he had another name. He had long, matted fur and runny eyes but could tightrope walk the top of a chain link fence with no problem.

He was noisy – he howled for our girl cat quite a bit. They seemed to be pals. He would come over and hang around near her spot, the shrub in the back of the yard. She seemed to look for him through the glass door or from her perch on the deck railing. But, if he got too close, the smallish, quiet girl cat would let out a slow, deep growl. A few steps closer, she would snarl, whack and he would run away. Cat Stooges.

You could never get near Tux. He was kind of gnarly so you never really wanted to. They said he was sick and bothering people in the neighborhood. So, I hear they put out a trap, caught him and put him down-- all for good reason, I guess.

Still, now I have to tell my 11-year-old kid that Tux is dead. We realize he was someone else’s pest and that lots of people think cats all should be kept indoors. I don’t agree, but I get it. This isn't about that.

This is about Tux, who we – feline and human -- will mourn on our little bit of Spring Street.

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