Thursday, November 02, 2006


The stranger had tears in her eyes as she stood at my door last night, asking if we had an orange cat. Well, yes we do. She apologized repeatedly that she couldn't avoid it, but had hit an orange cat with her car. It had just darted out in front of her. Something in me didn't react right away, not believing it was our Jack (named for Jack the Ripper, as he also was a prolific killer in his youth). Somehow, I just thought I'd know if it was him.

She looked past me at William, I am sure thinking she'd hit our child's beloved pet.
"There are a lot of red tabbies around here," I said, "it may not be ours. Is it very big?" Jack is very big, weighing in at 15 pounds.

She wasn't sure, and clearly still shaken. The woman, wearing a Hoosier Horse Park hoodie, turned to go. "Please don't blame yourself," I said.

"That's going to be hard to do, " she said, getting in her small, dark blue car.

She drove off as I grabbed a flashlight and garbage bag. "Oh, Jack," I shook my head. Still, I didn't feel it. Jack, to our knowledge, has never crossed the road. With five acres to roam, he seems instinctively to know that the road is his boundary.

My flashlight picked up red eyes on the road, and I steeled myself for an unpleasant sight. As I neared the cat, I saw it's size. "IT'S NOT JACK!" I called to my daughters.

"I know!" she yelled. "He's asleep on your bed!"

As I neared the cat, I saw it was sitting up and it turned and looked at me. It wasn't dead! In fact, I tried to touch it and it got up and ran off. I gave chase and when I reached it, it again ran off. It appeared to have no injuries that I could see, and I could no longer find it. I hoped that it had a home and could go there to get warm, but it was nowhere to be seen.

I went back home, upstairs to gratefully pet Jack, and worry for a woman that was having a bad night, feeling guilty for unavoidably hitting a cat. I've put a sign in front of our yard, "ORANGE CAT OK! but not ours" hoping that she'll drive by, and be happy that the cat, like Lazarus, rose from the dead.


Mary said...

How kind of you to think of the sign so that if she does pass by, she will see that she didn't kill someone's pet. I'm glad it turned out ok both for you (Jack was home) and for the cat in the road. Many people keep their cats indoors these days and/or walk them on a leash like a dog, just so this kind of accident doesn't happen.

Becky said...

I found a little orange tabby kitten on the trails in L'Esprit two sumers ago, we brought him to Henry's barn, and everyone fell in love with the little cat we named "Tango". Remember him?

Well, he got hit by a car. I'm glad I didn't find him (our friend Henry did). I can't remember ever loving a cat, but this one I did! After all, he rode with on my horse for 3 hours the day I found him! What a champ!

I'm glad your Jack is okay! Ond day, I will hopefully have another orange tabby, in memory of Tango!

Camflock said...

I am so pleased to hear that Jack is fine. I would miss him circling endlessly around my legs on the front porch while Crisann chased the chickens in the yard as you all are on vacation. I will be making sure I don't go even a mile over the posted speed limit near your house. I too would be horrified to hit someone's beloved pet. Now a squirrel is another matter. (just joking)But I do have little to no compassion for a snake or rat.


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