Monday, March 29, 2010

SIR THOMAS MOORE (TNR: March 2009; Died: March 29, 2010)

I found Thomas Moore lying by the side of the road, less than a quarter mile from the colony, presumably killed by a car. What a terrible feeling to see him that way. It was purely coincidental that I happened to be driving near the colony, having already fed the group two hours earlier. I am so grateful that I discovered him when I did; rather than hours or a day later, after the crows had gotten to him. He was lying along the edge of the curb, on a strip of grass, as if he had simply stopped to take a nap in the middle of his busy day. Only a tiny bit of blood dotted one side of his head. I took him home to Stone Ledge and buried him under a budding forsythia bush, overlooking the colony. I only wish that he had been able to have one more precious summer. It seems especially cruel that, after such a long and bitter winter, he should miss out on “his” season.

Thomas was the first cat I trapped and neutered on my own. He acted like a tough guy, but he was so terrified when I tried to release him after his neutering that he refused to leave the cage. (We were both terrified!) Even when I turned the trap upside down, Thomas clung on for dear life. He loved to sun himself on a boulder near the edge of the parking lot while he waited to be fed each morning. Thomas could be "turfy" with the other cats, and there were days when I would chase him away from the feeding station, so the others could eat. I don’t think I will ever do that to a cat again. Thomas taught me that it is better to let cats work out a pecking order amongst themselves: they always do. Bless you, sweet boy. I will always feel your sweet spirit romping in the woods and field when I am at Stone Ledge. And I know that you will continue to greet me each and every morning.

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