Losing my Shadow.

24 Aug

Yesterday was a sad day.

In some ways, I’m more of a country girl than ever before. It’s as though I’ve passed through some terrible rite of passage. But in other ways, I’m still just a tender-hearted city gal mourning the loss of my cat.

Early yesterday morning, feisty, loving, and fiercely loyal Shadow the cat was hit and killed by a car. This might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but it was a big deal to me. He was the first pet I’ve ever had. Unlike most rural folks, I didn’t lose two dogs this way during my childhood. I’ve never raised a piglet to adulthood and dropped it off at the slaughterhouse. I’ve never started up my car in the winter while a barn cat was sleeping in the engine. I’ve never had a pet, so I’ve never had a pet die. Heck, I cried when I ran over a bunny a few months ago. In a lot of ways, I’m still a sissy. And I’m ok with that.

Most people have this experience when they’re five; I’m having it at twenty-five. I feel like that intensifies the sadness. It’s been building up for a quarter of a century. But then I also feel like I’m too old to feel this way. Not sure I care.

I will miss seeing that ball of black fur racing towards me when I pull into the driveway. I will miss his presence during our dinners on the deck. I will miss watching him chase Jersey the dog around the yard. I will miss his stalkerish leering through the kitchen window.

A friend reminded me that Shadow was always a voyeur. He came and went as he pleased, stopping by our house long enough to eat some breakfast and take a nap on the deck. He freely roamed the farm and despite the dairy man’s many attempts, never enjoyed being held. But he was still a member of our hodgepodge country family (yes, I do include the cows) and he will be missed. Even my brother loved him.  You can see the family resemblance.

I promise I’m not a crazy cat lady. I don’t like cats. I just liked MY cat. Shadow weaseled his way into my heart (see this post) when I was feeling alone in a new home and a new town. For that, I thank him.

For now, I will coerce the Dairy Man to give Shadow a proper funeral/burial (no matter how silly he thinks it is) and imagine my cat with wings and a halo, terrorizing all the puppies in pet heaven.

Here’s to you, Cat.

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10 Responses to “Losing my Shadow.”

  1. Mandy 08/24/2011 at 9:46 am #

    i’m sorry mana. 😦 I will miss Cat.

  2. Shirley Bareman 08/24/2011 at 10:23 am #

    Losing your first pet! So sorry!

  3. suzannie 08/24/2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I’ve been a dairy wife for three years now and I initially thought all the cats and kittens on the dairy were gross, but my dairyman takes good care of them and makes sure they are fed and wormed, etc. We get a lot of stray pups and cats dropped off “in the country”. Some stay wild and come and go as they please. It is hard when you get attached and then they are gone for days, weeks, forever….my dairyman just says that was a traveling salesman and you make friends with another new fur ball.

  4. Deirdre Honner 08/24/2011 at 6:22 pm #

    😦

    • Pmack 08/28/2011 at 8:11 pm #

      So sorry to hear about your Cat. I too just lost my first pet on August 19th. Remi was my 9 1/2 yr. old yellow lab. Fortunately, he didn’t die from being hit by a car or piece of farm machinery. He went out back, laid down under an old tractor and passed away peacefully. It hurts regardless of what it was or how long you had it. As you said, they are part of the family. Deepest sympathies.

      • suzannie 08/30/2011 at 6:16 pm #

        Pmack, why did you name your dog Remi?

  5. Anne Faber 08/25/2011 at 7:21 pm #

    I shed a few tears, too, knowing how you were hurting after losing Cat.
    It hurts whether it is a person or a pet you have come to love.
    Love you, Grandma Faber

  6. Pmack 08/31/2011 at 11:35 am #

    His full name was Remington because I like to hunt with my Farmer, but we called him Remi for short.

  7. the modern farm wife 08/31/2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Thank you all for the kind words. They are appreciated!

  8. Lauren DeLong 03/03/2012 at 9:21 am #

    Hi, I know that you probably don’t know me but I am Ryan DeLongs daughter if that
    Helps at all. You guys bought my old house on Dickinson and shadow was an amazing
    Cat or blacky to me 🙂 I would cry all the time cause i couldn’t bring him with me to our new home because we didn’t have a good outdoor area for him to be. I’m just so happy to hear that you guys did, but sad that he died…but, everything Happens for a reason. I would sometimes see blacky or shawdow 🙂 at you and your husbands House it would always bring a smile to my face cause I knew that he was in a good place:)

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