Thursday, May 24, 2007


My cat Fred was hit by a car and killed late last night. Our neighbors found him and kindly wrapped him in a box to spare me the pain of finding him in the road. They handed me his red collar.

Fred has a twin brother George. Fred and George Weasley. You can see how hard it was to tell them apart when they were little. (I think he's the one in the middle in this photo.) The only way you could tell them apart was by touching them. Even though they looked exactly alike, Fred's fur was softer. It was softer than velvet. He was the softest cat I have ever known.

But it wasn't always convenient to walk across the room and pet Fred or George or whoever it was before you knew who it was, so we put a red collar on Fred. Fred is Red. The ginger cat in the photo above is Charlie Weasley. He's not from the same litter although you can see that they were still brothers through and through. We also have Fred and George's litter mate, a tortoiseshell female, Ginny Weasley.

Here's Fred just a few weeks ago. He was following me around the yard helping me take photos of fairies.

We have a lot of cats. We didn't mean to have that many cats. Long story. We care for them all, each unique and sweet in their own way. But a few of our cats hold extra special places in our hearts. It could be argued that Fred was my cat. Part Siamese, he talked to me. He slept curled up by my shoulder every night. He was always curious about everything we did. If there was a box, he was the first one inside it. If there was an empty lap, he was the first one to fill it. If there was the smell of turkey in the air, he was the first one to come running. If we were inside the house he wanted to be in the house with us, if we were outside in the yard, he wanted to be in the yard.

The last time I saw him was this afternoon. He was lounging on the front porch, his soft coat looked silver from having rolled in the dirt. I leaned down to pet him, little puffs of dust poofing into the air with each pat-pat-pat.

Now he is gone and I am sad. Jeff is sad. William is sad. George is sad. (really - he keeps smelling Fred's collar and circling around in our laps and looking up at us with a sad, confused face and purring too loudly, like a cat purrs when it's in pain. I don't know how he understand, but somehow he does.) Even the other cats are all gathering around more closely than they usually do.

We're all sad.

Jeff e-mailed me this poem a little bit ago.

In Memory of Our Cat, Ralph

by Garrison Keillor

When we got home, it was almost dark.
Our neighbor waited on the walk.
"I'm sorry, I have bad news," he said.
"Your cat, the gray-black one, is dead.
I found him by the garage an hour ago."
"Thank you," I said, "for letting us know."
We dug a hole in the flower bed
With lilac bushes overhead,
Where this cat loved to lie in spring
And roll in dirt and eat the green
Delicious first spring bud,
And laid him down and covered him up,
Wrapped in a piece of tablecloth,
Our good old cat laid in the earth.
We quickly turned and went inside
The empty house and sat and cried
Softly in the dark some tears
For that familiar voice, that fur,
That soft weight missing from our laps,
That we had loved too well perhaps
And mourned from weakness of the heart.
A childish weakness, to regard
An animal whose life is brief
With such affection and such grief.
If such is weakness, so it be.
This modest elegy
Is only meant to note the death
Of one cat so we won't forget
His face, his name, his gift
Of cat affection while he lived,
The sweet shy nature
Of this graceful creature,
The simple pleasure of himself,
The memory of our cat, Ralph.


Blogger Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of Fred. I've lost a few furkids that way myself and it's always hard.

I know he is on the Rainbow Bridge now and he will always be watching over you.


4:20 AM  
Blogger amy said...

Oh, Laume, I'm so sorry.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Tanya Brown said...

I'm so sorry.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Belita Rose said...

I'm going to write fred a poem. Love you!

2:04 PM  
Blogger Kirsty said...

Laume, I'm so sad for you and your furbabies who are looking for Fred. He was a beautiful cat, I remember you telling about his soft fur when he came to you. My especial cat baby was a black cat too..still missed after nearly 3 years. I loved the poem, btw.


8:03 PM  
Anonymous alala said...

I'm sorry for your loss. We lost Gumdrop that way when I was about 9. I'm already a little worried about this aspect of cat ownership, with regard to my kids. But you just have to go ahead and love your pets, no matter what may happen.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Jaye said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and the Weasley family. {{{{{{{Laume}}}}}}}} When I was a teenager, I had a black cat, Spooky, who showed up at our house on Halloween and slept under my covers with me.

3:05 PM  
Blogger JulieZS said...

Laume, I'm so very sorry for your loss of Fred. He sounds like he was a really excellent cat. I hope that George can start filling in for him soon.

2:25 PM  

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