6 months have passed this past Saturday since I lost my very best girl, Bella. My heart hasn’t healed and still loss has come again.
Yesterday I learned that Bobo the cat is no longer with us. He wasn’t mine exactly, but he was mine more so than anyone else and I loved him.
We bought a house a bit over a year ago, and it wasn’t quite ready when we needed to move. So within our same housing complex, there was an apartment to rent just a few doors down from our house. The very first day, there was a little kitten that came to our sliding glass door. He was so sweet and funny, and we could pick him up. He would antagonize my Bella (she didn’t like other animals besides her brother, Sammy). I soon named him Bobo.
It seemed like he lived next door. That’s where the kitten always returned. A few weeks later when our house was ready, we moved a few doors down. The kitten found our house and started visiting fairly regularly. There were occasionally stretches when I wouldn’t see him for about a week. We thought maybe he had a family that would bring him somewhere if they went on vacation. I thought he had a home.
Time went on, and our sweet Bella girl passed in August of 2021, unexpectedly and tragically.
By this time, the kitten had grown into a cat and we noticed he would have some injuries. A cut on his neck, limping. I was worried and messaged my vet a couple of times. We could no longer hold him as he spent so much time outdoors, he wasn’t particularly socialized. Previously we had seen him on our outdoor cameras running across our lawn occasionally in the night. I still hoped maybe he had a home, because he wasn’t skinny – he was definitely being fed. As it got colder, we had gotten him an outdoor house with a self-heating mat, and soon he was sleeping every night it in. It got to be every day he was at our house, and not just in his house at night, but during the day too, or sleeping in our planters or laying on our patio. While I couldn’t hold him like when he was a kitten, he’d roll around on the ground near my feet, and once on Christmas, I gave him treats and was able to pet him.
Just a few weeks ago, after continuing to see injuries and he seemed to not be feeling well, I wrote a letter to who I thought may be his owners…renters within the housing complex. I said if I didn’t hear, I would bring him to the vet to get him checked and neutered. I hadn’t hear anything, and so I was planning my next move. I had also previously emailed another woman in the complex a couple of times asking about his owners, since I didn’t have contact information outside of the mailbox for the renting family.
Sunday, February 13, my husband had noticed that Bobo coughed. Even though he had previously seemed well-fed, I quickly ordered food online so that I could also buy antibiotics to mix in. Our puppy and indoor cat, Sammy, had just gotten over a bout of coughing and recovered with antibiotics. I thought I could win his trust with some food.
That was the last day I saw him. 2 weeks ago yesterday. He had been missing since then.
Yesterday I received a message from my real estate agent who has an office in our housing complex. She sent his picture, saying she found him…he was not alive. She asked if it was the cat I had inquired about. I had messaged her a few times before saying I was worried about him and wondering if he had a home, and if she knew who the owners were.
It was him. Bobo is gone. The agent said someone was coming Wednesday to pick him up and I said no. I couldn’t bear for him to be discarded like trash. Unclaimed like he was unloved. He was not unloved. I loved him and I was his family, even though I failed him.
My husband took Bobo to our vet so that he could be cremated and returned to us in a box with the name that I gave him. The vet scanned him and he did not have a microchip.
Bobo, I am so sorry. I should have tried to bring you inside sooner. I should have tried to tame you so you could come inside. I should have written to who I thought were your owners sooner. I should have brought you to the vet.
You were a good boy. You liked to curl up in the planters of our spiral cypress trees on either side of our front door. You would climb the fence in our yard after we put up the covering on our front gate, and you would perch on the top post like a little lion statue. You loved your house and you slept in it just about every night, and many days. You had a cute little small cry. For Christmas, I made you a felt toy with feathers in the shape of a heart – just like the one I made for my Sammy inside. On Christmas Day, I fed you treats and was able to pet your head.
You were loved and you will be remembered always. Now you can stay at our house forever, resting under the magnolia tree. When it blooms each spring, we will think of you.