|See you in the next life, buddy. You will be missed.|
I learned today that Coco, one of the stray cats I take care of, has passed away. The last time I saw him was a few days after Christmas, and he was lounging around near one of the neighbors' houses watching people pass by. Being a stray and an un-fixed cat, he would usually acquire a few wounds, but it was nothing fatal that he couldn't handle. I usually fed him, along with Scrappy and Momma Cat, in the afternoons, but I found it odd that I hadn't seen him around for the past couple of days. I thought it was probably that time of the day when he's in heat and he goes around the neighborhood looking for female cats. I thought it was just one of those things. But I was already feeling anxious.
My mom informed me today that the neighbors saw the body of a dead orange cat a few blocks away from our house. They thought it was a dead rat because of the bad smell, but found the body when they tracked it down. I'm not sure whether they threw the body away or buried it. What makes me sad is the thought that they may have thrown Coco to the trash instead of burying him; I know I would've if only I was there when they found him.
I've never felt a loss like this. We didn't have any pets growing up, and it was only until I was earning my own keep that I got to have pets around the house. I know they will eventually pass on, as all living things do, but I just feel bad not knowing what happened why Coco died so suddenly. I will miss the times he would look up and ask me to pet his head, or the times when I'd call the cats and he'd be the first to come running. He was the first stray who warmed up to me after giving them snacks and treats on occasion until I finally took to feeding them on a regular basis. I miss him already and I know his passing will leave a hole in my heart. I don't think I'd be able to look at a ginger cat and not think about Coco, but I hope wherever he is right now, he's also thinking about me.
Safe travels and see you on the other side, buddy. I'll take better care of Scrappy and Momma for you.