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He was 'just a cat.'

There has been a battle scarred tom cat patrolling our area for the past few years, he had lost the tips of his ears in numerous fights with other toms, he always had blood stained fur and to top it off he was incredibly scruffy. It was impossible to get near him, he would leap over the nearest wall or dive under a parked car if anyone tried to offer him a bit of human contact. I don't know if he ever belonged to anyone, but he wasn't feral, probably homeless, or simply a free spirit. On Wednesday afternoon, Cooper (I gave him the name after Henry Cooper the boxer) was hit by a car and killed outright. He lay at the side of the road for a little while until I scooped him up and laid him just inside the churchyard, where I hoped his owner, if he had one, could see him and claim the body. He was still lying there, stiff as a board, on Thursday morning, as alone in death as he was in life. I was suddenly overcome with an incredible sense of loss for someone that I had no connection with, other than the fact that he was a solitary soul, as indeed am I. I could not allow the warmth of the day and the flies to have their way with his battle ravaged body, so I borrowed a spade and dug a cat sized hole under the graveyard wall and lowered him gently in. A few minutes later the job was completed, and now Cooper will be a part of me for as long as I live. I'm going to make a little plaque and fix it to the wall above his final resting place so that visitors to the graveyard will wonder, 'who was Cooper?' That way he will always be Cooper. I have no idea why the death of this little man has affected me the way that it has, can anyone offer an explanation?

Created By on 06/05/2016

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3rd Nov 2017 09:22:09
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You really cared about him
16th Jul 2016 11:13:51
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I currently have seven cats, all dearly loved. Over the years I have had many others, some for only a short time, some for many years, but each and every one of them has a place in my heart. Perhaps Cooper was sent to you as he knew that you would care for him, even after death, and that his memory would live on through the plaque you intend fitting. A cat may not take up much physical space, but can occupy an enormous space inside one.
29th May 2016 12:37:34
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That is a beautiful story, made more poignant for me by the fact I lost my furry friend of 20 years a few days ago.

A few years ago I went to visit my Spanish friend in southern Spain and I came upon a feral cat in the local park who I named Bonito . He came to meet me every day , in the same place until the day of my leaving.

Your story tells me you observed this little chaps habits and identified with him in some way. It also sounds like you respected him.

I am really touched by the effort you have made.
16th May 2016 18:38:41
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Take comfort in the fact you cared.
13th May 2016 14:55:58
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we to have a stray cat bur he is ferral,he gets fed regulary by me and various people and we call him errol(errol the ferral) he has fathered many kittens round here and l have tried to catch him for cats protection but hes to wise to go near the cage
my cat bella hates him with a passion and hes not to keen on her either but l would hate anything bad to happen to him,worry about him in the bad weather but all l can do is feed him,so sad hes unloved
7th May 2016 12:42:15
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Hi Celtwitch,
It's amazing how animals can affect our lives just as much as people can, and I can well understand how this seemingly unloved and lonely cat has had an impact on you.
Some 9-10 years ago we homed a boxer from the dog's trust and at first (for whatever reason) this dog disliked men. However after about 6 months, "Harvey" regained his trust in male humans and became my virtual shadow. I'm not sure how old he was when we adopted him but in 2011 after he was with us for 4 years he took a massive stroke and the vet was called and had to put him to sleep. In his short time with us he became an inseparable part of the family, so much so, that it prompted me to write a short poem about him. Here is that poem ,for what its worth:-

What a quirky dog so loyal,
What a quirky dog such fun,
You took some getting used to,
Now the memories linger on.

Always ready to go walking,
Catch a stick or chase a ball,
Now those items lie discarded,
But the memories linger on.

The trips to beach and forest,
And "George" in Donegal,
No longer will take place again,
But the memories linger on.

That day in mid September,
Is a day I won't forget,
It took you from the four of us,
But the memories linger on.

You're now at peace and sleeping,
In the garden you once roamed,
Near the river that is babbling,
Where the memories linger on.

I now have another dog, "Cody" who is a rough collie and has become just as much a part of my life as Harvey was, and just like my ancestors will always be remembered.
Thanks for sharing your story.
June V.
6th May 2016 17:43:14 (Last activity: 6th May 2016 17:47:11)
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps, as you say you are a solitary soul, the incident has brought you face to face with your own mortality ?
Sad to say this often happens.
Something similar did to me 3weeks ago when I long standing friend on Twitter (who I had never met & probably never would, but we really related about everything) died after a very short fight with cancer.
When her husband Emailed to tell me (she had said nothing) I was filled with a huge sense of loss which has remained with me. I chat with a lot of people on there but its not the same !
I understand how you feel & I wish you well.
Response from celtwitch Original Poster made on 6th May 2016 17:47:11
Thank you for that June

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