Monday, August 10, 2009

Yellow is the saddest color

It finally feels like summer here in Chicago. After a cold and wet June and July, ninety-degree days remind us of why people used to abandon the city. There are few things more dispiriting than summer heat radiating off of scorched pavement.

And, in this heat, a door was left open too long. Our cat Yellowboy is gone. I've plastered the neighborhood with fliers, walked the alleys in the wee hours and called all the shelters. I even visited the city shelter, a very melancholy place--a dump for unwanted animals. Last night, a teenager came to the door. He said that a yellow cat was hit by a car nearby. His family called "the vet," which I presume was really Animal Control, who came and got the cat. There's no way to confirm the story, or to even if it was Yellowboy. The city is not forthcoming with information, and seeing the enormous volume of animals housed at the shelter, I can understand why.

I am somewhat resigned to never seeing him again. So, here is Yellowboy's eulogy. He was a good cat. (Well, most of the time. Two weeks ago, he snuck an entire bbq chicken breast off of the counter.) When I came home from work, he greeted me. Cynics might say it was a plea for food, but he did so even when he had already been fed. He jumped on a chair near the door, and stood on his hind legs, his paws on my chest. His purring was ecstatic. It was flattering to have someone be that excited about my arrival.

Yellowboy loved dried apricots, and could hear a bag of them being opened from across the house. He enjoyed sitting in laundry baskets and boxes. He was also a direct communicator. One technique for rousing my husband for breakfast: gently gnawing on his toes. When he wanted to go on the back porch, he would start out meowing loudly, gradually rounding his catlips until the cry resembled the howl of a coyote. It was very annoying. I wish I could hear it again.


We found him. He had become entangled in a neighbor's central air-conditioning wiring and electrocuted. From the look of the body, he had only been dead a few hours, which makes it especially hard. Cats will sometimes hunker down when frightened. We both were in the alley behind that house half a dozen times, day and night, calling him. He must have been too terrified to even answer us.

He was a good little soul, and I will miss him terribly.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to be said that can be comforting. So Sorry.

The Fifty Foot Blogger said...

Well, he had a hella good life for eight years. We found him, perhaps a week, maybe two weeks old, in the basement of the building next door. He was with three littermates, all of whom had been shut off from their mother when workmen left the building. It was a struggle to keep him alive at first, but he thrived and became our spoiled rotten little man. My husband used to say that he had more personality than most of his coworkers. Note to intellectuals: most of frontal cortex is garbage. Neurotic worries, passwords, rationalizations about bad behaviors: Yellowboy had none of that. Just Id and melting golden eyes.

Wow, they get under your skin. Pets, I mean.

kw said...

this is really sad news and i'm really sorry.

Virginia said...

OHhhh. I'm so sorry. I can imagine how you'll miss him.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Poor Kitty...I know you will miss him.

On a side note, It would appear your neighbors central air conditioning is not up to electrical codes. all exposed electric wiring must be enclosed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.

The Fifty Foot Blogger said...

Hi cuz, Mom said you were going to make a comment.
The building is rented to an organization running some sort of group home for either mildly mentally disabled or autistic young adults. I told the house "parents" that they needed to
contact the owners before one of the kids gets hurt.

Anonymous said...

My belated condolences. One of my most endearing memories was the ground-level view of Sadie (O'Grady) running back home after her morning romp. I also associate it with the voice of Bob Edwards, who I heard for the first time on Morning Edition.

Larry B.