I ought to have written this post around Easter time but didn’t, oh well!
Before we had the 22 cats (yes that’s correct, 22 cats loose indoors) Tish visited a local vet looking for a kitten. She returned home with Casey. A butterscotch colored male with Mane Coon features, longish hair and a wandering personality.
As he grew, his wandering would take him to places we never knew. He was particularly fond of neighbor’s garages. Once a neighbor was gone for a week, during which time he ensconced himself in that neighbor’s garage, only to be found by another neighbor who opened the garage to put out the trash 5 days later. As the door opened Casey bolted out, ran around our house and dashed in the pet door to the sliding patio door. We chased after him only to find him by his food dish screeching at us to feed him.
On our property a small all season creek flowed, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a torrent. The previous owners had attempted to cement in the banks of the creek with some moderate success. However they abandoned the attempt one winter, leaving several bags of concrete on the ground. Given that we lived in the great Northwest, land of rain and more rain, the concrete in the bags became wet and subsequently hardened. When we took over the property I hauled the now blocks of solid concrete up to the upper level of our property. The poor wheelbarrow could barely make the trip. I deposited them in the back reaches of the property and forgot about them.
The neighborhood had 10 homes with 1.5 to 5 acres each, we had 2. Casey was well known to all the neighbors. He would come by one or the other during lunch or dinner and sit somewhere conspicuous hoping for a handout. Not that he wasn’t well fed at home. Our next door neighbor, while loudly professing a disdain for cats, took great pleasure in feeding and photographing the wayward feline. Every so often when we returned from work, a pack of photos of Casey would be sitting on our stoop. We had requested that she not spend any of her money on photos but she demurred saying, “I thought you might like pictures of Casey in his travels.” We once saw a receipt from a photo shop in town indicating she had bought 3 copies of each picture. Go figure!!
On a Good Friday, Tish and I were returning fromGood Friday services (when we attended such events). As we turned into our driveway, one of the local kids approached and asked “Do you have the yellow cat?”
“Yes.” I replied.
“I think he’s on Arnold’s porch dead.” Arnold had the property across the creek.
I pulled up to the garage and went to see the cat on Arnold’s porch. “Sure looks like Casey.” I yelled to Tish. “Come look.”
She came over and acknowledged that it appeared to be Casey and began to cry.
I examined the corpse. It was stiff. I could find no apparent reason for it’s death. Just looked as if it laid down in the sun and expired. Tish yelled “You need to do something with it.”
“OK.” I thought, and went to the garage and brought 3 black plastic garbage bags. I put the body in the bags taking time to tie off each bag in sequence.
I then carried the whole thing to the side of the house and was prepared to put it in the garbage can until Tish came around the corner, sat what I was doing, again yelling, “You can’t put Casey in the trash. You have to bury him!”
Now my immediate reaction was “The damn cat won’t know the difference.” But I knew better. “Yes, dear.” Every husband’s go to response for avoiding conflict. “I’ll bury him.”
One thing you should know about the great Northwest. You can dig for maybe 6-9inches before you hit solid granite. So here I am digging my arms off, using all my digging tools to bury this dead cat. Finally, I get down about 3 feet. Did I mention we have 2 Bassett Hounds – very sensitive noses, and proficient diggers. I put the 3 bags and Casey in the ground, cover up with dirt and lug 2 of the rain hardened bags of concrete and cover the grave so the dogs can’t dig him up.
Saturday we were both off, went to see the in-laws. Sunday Tish was off I worked the day shift crisis intervention. Tish went to Easter services. About 10am I have a call from Tish. “You will never guess what just happened.”
And began hyperventilating. “What just happened?” Says I.
“I pulled into the drive and was getting out of the car and guess what.”
“I refuse to guess. Tell me.”
“Casey came up to me he’s alive.”
After a few seconds I exclaimed, “Woman go check the grave if the concrete is off and the grave is empty we have a new religion. Would be worth a fortune!”