There are cats, and cats. I did not come with papers from the breeder, to sit on a special chair and be played with and fed delicious morsels in my own bowl with their name for me on it, to drink from a fountain of fresh water, and be respectfully, gently groomed. I was disposable. I could be thrown away.
At first I lay in a cardboard box with my soft and warm mother. The children played with and petted me. Then came the ride in a car, and the toss out onto a gritty road by a creek. For a long time I wandered by the stream, drinking the water and finding no food, until I stumbled across a field into a large space with enormous animals and other cats. We fought for the scraps the man threw on the floor. I managed a bite or two and caught a mouse, and lived. I made a friend: the large cat, black like me.
The large black found the house across the creek where we had food several times a day, and water in a bowl. In good weather, we lay in the sun and didn’t have to fight and weren’t afraid of the people. At night we returned to the large place.
Then a machine caught my front leg. I managed to pull it out, and dragged myself to the house across the stream, and slept in their small barn for a while. The people fed me, and one meal each day was a wonderful one of special food they called salmon, mixed with something they called bread. After that meal I would lie on a bed of dry leaves on top of the lavender, and sleep and sleep. That’s when I began to heal. One person there helped me clean myself until my leg again had fur on it. But my paw never returned to being like it was before. Now I could clean myself; the dot of white fur at the end of my tail really shone in the sun. But from then on I limped.
We continued our better life, the large black and me. As the growing things in the field by “our” house across the creek grew tall, we caught mice there. They were looking for food too. When the snow came, we used to go to the house along the road and up the path. A huge machine always cleared the snow from them.
But then came more machines at the large place where I slept. They dug up a huge mound of earth and me with it, for you see, I am deaf and could not hear the shovel coming. I died for a long time in pain. I couldn’t breathe under the soil.
The people across the river will never know what happened to me, the cat that could be thrown away.