I killed my cat today.
I wasn't going to mention it, but, like so much of my life, it was too good of a story to pass up.
Fred has been living at my house for the last five years. Before that he lived at the school. When they built the new school, after the students burned down the old one, they didn't install cat doors, so Fred was homeless. For about 10 minutes. Then he came home to my house.
Fred had enormous fangs and lengthy claws. His fangs were too long to fit in his mouth, so he looked like a vampire with his two white teeth resting on the black fur of his chin. When we got him, he was solid black. Now he'd developed a white spot on his chest and white hairs sprinkled through the rest of his coat. He'd also lost every tooth in his head, except for those two over-sized fangs.
And his had respiratory issues. That's what finally did him in. He sneezed blood all over my house, all weekend long. At 8:01 this morning, I was on the phone to the vet. Again.
The doctor was in and they told me to bring Fred in. The vet, a gentle, no nonsense guy, did the injection.
When I got back home with his body, I realized that, given my back trouble, there was no way I could dig the hole for Fred. I had to ask for help. Within moments of sending out a plea, my ex-sister-in-law volunteered my ex-brother-in-law for the job. She said she owed me for bringing her booze. Rick, the husband, would get to square the debt after he got finished at the school about eight o'clock tonight. (He's a football coach. They never go home.)
Today being the day after the end of daylight savings time, it was pitch black outside at eight o'clock. So he and I stood out under a pecan tree in the front yard and I held the cell phone flashlight while he manned the shovel.
Within moments, a patrol car (well, a patrol SUV) was pulling into my driveway. Mindy's son Matt was the driver. He's a brand new sheriff's deputy out here in the sticks. He and another new officer were out on the prowl for evil-doers.
Rick and I looked pretty much like evil-doers.
The deputies tried to convince us they'd had a call about suspicious characters. As if. They were just bored. Matt did point out that this was the first time he'd seen me, since starting with the department, that he didn't have a subpoena for me. I thanked him for that all snarky-like. Cause he's an ass. Cute as all git-out, but an ass nonetheless.
We tried to convince them to help Rick dig. They declined, citing the fact that they might look more than a little suspicious, digging a grave and burying a body. We couldn't really argue with that, but I insisted that they at least turn the spot light on and shine it in my yard so I wouldn't have to use the cell phone to illuminate the necropolyptic scene.
They turned on the lights and the three of us stood around, watching Rick dig.
A couple of minutes later, the neighbors' grandson came running out their front door. He stopped dead when he saw the lights, then turned and ran full speed back into the house yelling at the top of his lungs "The cops are at Rachel's house! The cops are at Rachel's house!"
It was at that point that Floyd County's Finest decided to flee the scene. I told Rick it was probably a good thing I'd not mentioned that I'd spent the whole evening cleaning up the crime scene in my house. There was blood everywhere. Little cat-sneezed drops of it. Everywhere.
A few minutes later, my neighbor arrived, at the urging of his grandson. "Is everything ok?" he asked.
I explained what we were up to. He laughed when I told him the cops wouldn't help us bury the body. The neighbor hung out for a few minutes until the grandson got bored and decided it was time to go.
All the while, Rick dug.
When the hole was big enough we added the towel-wrapped body. Covered it over, and added a stone cairn. I owe Rick a six pack.
Hopefully Fred will rest in peace beneath the pecan tree. But, given how things go at my house, that's not a sure thing.
I'll miss ya, buddy.