What a strange day…Sarge has been sweating in the attic (AKA pick up sticks with nails covered in shingles) trying to install some cameras. Sadly, I bought the reasonably priced cabled version. Which means he has been up there dying. I told him he’d gotten enough done for one weekend but he is seeing it through, I suppose. When a man is sweaty and covered in insulation, you just stand back and hand up tools when asked.
But what just happened was quite off-putting. Big Head, the feral cat that visits now and then, showed up earlier. As usual, we put out the food and water. We were busy…and then, after lunch, I heard what sounded like the warning howl of a cat fight about to begin. Except it wasn’t. It was the final howl of a cat letting go the 9th life. We looked out to find him in the last great gasps, pulling him onto his blanket to ensure that was the fact…yes, indeed, he was wounded as though maybe just tagged by a car and scuffed up. Not terribly but enough, enough….as he gave up the ghost we finally laid hands on him, smoothing his fur in long strokes that he would never permit in life. Soft, soft…I gave a moments thought to what might have been if he’d been tamed.
It gives me a quiet comfort that he came to us in those final moments, resting his head on our doorstep. Poor little fellow. At least we won’t have to wonder about him as we always did. He would show up just when you were sure he’d never do so again.
I would swear in the final moment I felt a low purr under my hand, as if even his feral self had to admit it was nice to be with the human and let the natural response forth…bless you, ol’ Big Head. We’ll miss you.