Your Pet Loss Stories

'Baby, the Indoor Only Cat, Doesn't Survive'

by Linda McFarland
(Whitmore Lake, MI,USA)

My name is Linda and I had my cat, Baby, for 19 years. Last Friday, Sept. 9, I was out of town and received a frantic call from my husband letting me know that Baby was no where to be found. I felt so helpless. I asked him if he checked under the beds, hampers, laundry baskets; he had. He checked every inch of the house. Turns out, our neighbor, who was letting our dogs out, briefly had the door open, and Baby escaped. We are still unclear about the circumstances.

Of course, I hit the road immediately the next morning and was convinced I was going to find her. We live on a dead end street and there is thick brush all around our property. There is a lot of standing water, so I felt she had to have gone in the other direction. Looking back now, both my husband and I kept being drawn back to the area where we eventually found her.

I live in Michigan and one of the biggest games in history is taking place and I have tickets to go Sat. night. My husband asked me if we could stay home and look and I remember being relieved because I wanted to keep searching.

We made signs, went door-to-door with flyers for our neighbors, and had everyone searching for our precious "Baby". I set my alarm for 2am every night hoping to catch a glimpse of her. I read plently of research that said indoor cats' normally stay close and will roam in the evening and they may be in protect mode so they won't make a peep. I called the humane society and was going to pick up humane traps to try and catch her that way. We left food, water and her cat carrier on the front porch in hopes she would return. We left the gargage door open and every light on, outside of the house. Still after 3 nights, nothing.

Last night, Monday, my husband said that no matter what, I am going to find Baby. I had pretty much lost all hope, but he was on a mission. He bought a high-beam hand held light and we set out on our final journey at 10:15 pm. At about 11:25 pm, we were in the clearing about 4 houses from ours. We were walking along the tree line and caught wind of a horrible smell. I didn't smell it at first, but then as I moved toward my husband, it became much stronger.

There was a small, wire fence separating us and I asked my husband to go over it and use the flashlight to check. He walked about 5 feet, and informed me that he had found Baby. By the tone of his voice, I knew it was not good. I asked him if he was lying to me and he said he was serious. I walked over and saw her lying peacefully on the ground all wet from the previous rain we had. I immediately asked him if she had been attacked by another animal and he said she was intact. There were maggots already starting to move in. He asked me to go back to the house and get gloves, a trash bag and box. I ran from the spot, hysterically crying and wanted to get her home as fast as we could.

Once in the house, the dogs knew something was wrong. I was flying around the house trying to find what I needed. I looked like a tornado hit when I was done. I ran back to the spot and my husband wrapped her up and handed the box over the fence. When we got back my husband asked me to get a pair of scissors. I didn't think twice. I find out that he wants a lock of her hair to remember her. He washed it off, dried it, and put it on the mantle next to a picture of our dog, Cinders, that passed away 6 years ago.

We immediately looked for a place to bury her and decided on a nice spot by our pole barn where flowers were planted. Baby was home!!!

Today has been heartwrenching. I put flowers and a ladybug garden ornament next to her grave so she didn't have to be alone. Tonight we are placing an order for a stone marker that will have her name, Baby, 1992-2011.

RIP my sweet, Baby.

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