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Goodnight, Sweet Butt-Head

CuddlesThis is Cuddles. He's a stray cat that wandered into my life about five years ago and decided to stay. He was insufferably adorable, with a little sad-sack mew and a propensity to head-butt your leg if feeling ignored, which was pretty much all the time. Among all of my outside moggies, a clowder of black cats otherwise known as "The Horde", Cuddles was the one who had the best chance at snagging a forever home. I made the attempt several times but he never took a shine to prospective owners, deciding that I was much more to his liking. So he stayed.

Monday night someone killed Cuddles. The evidence is clear that it wasn't a car and it wasn't an animal attack, it was at the hands of some charred, ragged wreck of a human being. I have no doubt that Cuddles head-butted the wrong leg at the wrong time and he paid for it with his life.

I found his body Tuesday morning in a vacant lot not far from my house, only feet from the spot where I suspect he was born. In the shade of a nearby tree I opened the earth and commended him into its cradling arms, his broken body swaddled in a soft blue towel. A circle of small white stones now stand sentry around the loamy scar of Cuddles' final destination on his strange journey, a reminder to all that whatever he took from this life he now gives back.

I'm not sharing this story to elicit karma or pity. I just wanted the world to know that Cuddles lived and that he mattered. Before his light is forever extinguished I needed to celebrate the gift of joy he gave me, if only this one last time.

Thank you sharing his memory with me.


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