Back in November last year, I let Maverick out of the back door along with his buddy, Urza. I’d do this every morning. 5 minutes later they’d be back at the door, yowling to come back in. It was their routine and I loved it. Loved letting them out into the garden knowing I’d see the pair of them trying to open the door, pawing at the glass in a few minutes. Only that day Urza came back. And Maverick didn’t.
Mav had been an adventure. A 4am start to drive down to Wales to collect him, getting lost when relying on Google Navigation on my phone to get us to where we would collect him. A 2-day journey back to Shetland with him – trains, boats and automobiles. Settling him in, watching him play with the other cats and the kids. Magic. And then he just went somewhere.
All the while, the not-knowing was a kind of hope. Not knowing he was dead meant he was alive. Very Schroedinger, I know.
This morning, though, we got the visit we had been expecting. Mav had been found. Dead.
Surprisingly, he wasn’t roadkill. It looked like he’d slipped climbing a fence, got his head stuck, and his own weight had broken his neck. It seems to have been a quick death, there were no signs of a struggle. Little comfort, I know, but comfort nonetheless. And he hadn’t been there very long, days at most. But this is where I get into things I don’t understand.
We lost Mav in November. He died in early March. He didn’t look like a cat who’d spent the winter, mild though it’s been, surviving in the wild. He’d lost none of his muscle, his coat was as gorgeous as it had always been. Someone‘s been feeding him, sheltering him, generally looking after him. When we lost him, we asked everyone to look out for him. We’re a small village. Everyone knew we’d lost the cat, everyone knew we were desperate to find him. And yet someone, knowing all this, still kept quiet.
I just want to know why. Why, knowing all of this, did you not pick up the phone? Why, when you knew we were looking for our cat, did you not tell us you had him? Why, potentially, did you lie to either my wife’s or my face and deny having seen Mav? He’s a fucking Bengal, you moron! They’re not common! What you’ve done is stolen my cat. It’s microchipped, I can prove ownership. You’ve obviously never taken him to the vets – they knew to look for him.
So. I owe a debt of thanks to the neighbours who broke the news today. It’s never pleasant finding a dead cat in your garden, much less when you know whose it is. And I owe something else to whoever’s been looking after him these last four months. Pray I never find out who you are.