Editor: My wife and I had the pleasure of knowing a beautiful stray cat these last few weeks who, for purposes of relational bonding, we called Carlos.
He was clearly a resident feline and was eerily reminiscent of our late “Jethro.” He seemed to be an uncanny reincarnation of him. Carlos enjoyed his frequent visits with us as he began to weave his lovely personality into our lives.
He would come and stay the whole night on our porch, greet us in the morning, expressing excessive affection throughout the day, and then after dinner he would patiently protest our reluctance to allow him into the safety of our home. Due to contract restraints imposed upon our lease and potential conflict with our indoor cat, we could not serve our obvious desire to offer him the refuge he dearly needed.
Shortly after this brief and rich experience, our fears would become fully realized.
He was not an overly cautious cat but he sure was adventurous.
However, his adventurous spirit would offer him no reprieve. In hindsight, his last stay with us was particularly unusual. Like usual he bedded down on or covered porch after we went to bed.
As I retired to the bedroom, looking over my shoulder, I noticed him in the window staring at me as if to indicate his foreboding outcome.
If we had only allowed him the security of our home he would most certainly be with us. But his adventurous outdoor spirit and nocturnal nature got the better of him — and so did a coyote.
We were awakened at 2 a.m. by the sounds of a vicious battle. My wife witnessed the horror through our bedroom window. As Carlos struggled in his last tragic moments our frantic efforts could not save him, he was carried off by his adversary into the darkness of the night never to be seen again; a very disturbing experience that we will never forget.
I cannot fully explain the void that short lived relationship has caused in our life right now.
We miss you Carlos. Thank you for the uniquely rich experience you unselfishly shared with us this wet lonely summer in June. Forgive us for not offering you the refuge you most certainly deserved. You will never be forgotten.
A cat becomes a stray the first night you allow it to be alone outdoors.