But I really cared about Sox, I guess you could say I fell in love with him. He was born under one of the houses across the street about 9 months ago. He was the only one of the litter that sought human contact. His brothers and sisters would never allow me to touch them. Sox sought me out and demanded attention.
I gave him that and made sure he always had something to eat and water to drink. He moved into our backyard about four months ago. He had his own little bush he lived under and when the weather was bad, he would sleep in the cat house my son built a few years ago for me.
He was so sweet, always craving a stroke or a pat on his beautiful little gray tabby head. He was a lover and he would talk to me.
So when I saw him dragging his back legs tonite, trying to get to his safe place under his favorite bush, I screamed bloody murder and ran to him.
I gently scooped him up and put him in a box. His pain was obvious in his eyes and his constant moaning ripped me apart.
We raced him to the emergency vet across town. I sat in the back seat with him, trying to comfort him. He didn't try to get up, he just laid there looking at me as I cried and talked to him.
We figured he was hit by a car but the vet said she didn't think so, that he had fallen from a high place. That was when I thought of the roof, and how he would run around up there, chasing birds.
She said he would be paralyzed and would never have control of his bodily functions. They gave him a shot to dull the pain while I paced around the tiny examination room trying to make up my mind on what to do. The vet refused to tell me what to do, she said it was my decision.
But I knew what I had to do. I sent the Ball n' Chain out to the waiting room as I cradled his beautiful head in my hands and told him goodbye. The vet gave him the shot and he was gone in the blink of an eye.
So I closed both his eyes and then picked him up and held him for what seemed like an eternity, sobbing into his still warm little body. I told him I was sorry I let him down. I was sorry I didn't bring him into the house to become a house cat like he so wanted to be. If I brought every single abandoned kitteh into the house, the county would lock me up in the nut ward. He seemed to adapt to being an outdoor cat, but last week we talked about bringing him in. We had the certificate to get him neutered...now I will use it on another of the 15 or so cats we feed and watch over. Bless the Cat People for all the free neuter and spay certificates they have given us over the years. If it wasn't for them, there would be 50 cats to feed outside instead of 15.
I will miss Sox so damn bad. I will miss him showing up every morning and evening at the back door precisely at 7am and 7pm, meowing for his special treat of canned cat food. I will miss him winding his body around my legs and his talking to me as I feed him and all the others that don't belong to anyone or were tossed away like a piece of garbage by some ignorant asshole that refuses to get their pets spayed or neutered.
Damn it hurts. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. It never stops hurting, there will always be another Sox as long as there are people who refuse to be responsible pet owners.
Rest in peace little man and know that you were loved the short time you were on this earth.