Marcel, my Mr. Moo, bunnyhead, fattest, furriest, and friendliest of the cats that live in this house, died today, struck by a car, instantly killed.
Of course he should have been a house cat. But he started life on a farm, and would not tolerate being inside for more than a day. He was miserable when he was locked in; he'd claw at the screens and doors until his paws bled. I knew I was playing a terrible risky game to let him come and go like that, but I never saw him go into the street. He'd walk along the curb sometimes, but never in the street. It doesn't matter. I'll feel guilty enough once this heavy slab of grief has lifted a bit.
I don't know why I stayed home from work today, but I did, and as it turned out Marcel and I had some good time together. He had been gone most of yesterday and today, but he came strolling in to see me this afternoon. "Mr. Moo!" I cried out, as I always do when he pops in, because it's the way we begin our ritual, having what I call our conversations, me holding his not inconsiderable bulk in my arms while we chirrup and meow to each other for 10 minutes or so. After I put him down he lolled about my feet for a while, fussing for more attention, and I reached down to tickle him and he rolled over and I scritched his soft tummy and then it was time for me to go. As I left he came bounding outside with me and watched me get in the car and drive away. And when I came home, he was dead. Jeff has just buried him, struggling for hours with the ungiving caliche in the backyard. I wasn't going to tell anyone about Marcel's death, but then he was such a beautiful and such a sweet-natured cat that I wanted to memorialize him. I'll miss him, I miss him now, and he should have been here enjoying life for much longer than he was.
He liked drawers. I'd open the bottom drawer of my desk, and he'd curl up in it while I puttered about on the computer.