Last night our family cat was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The coward must have been driving at quite a speed not to be able to stop for a cat who had large white patches and would have been easily visible in this well-lit residential street. Our road is short and leads nowhere, so whoever thought this quiet street would make a nice race track should be hung, drawn and quartered.
Luke was born in our garden earlier this year to a wild cat who roams the neighbourhood. This was the second litter she'd birthed in the safety of our garden. After the events of last night I'm really glad we haven't managed to catch her yet to get her to the vet to be spayed.
As a kitten, when he was just old enough to be weaned, we brought him inside. He slept on my pillow and in no time at all he'd become the perfect house cat. Though his mother and sisters remain wild, eating our food but refusing to be touched, Luke (or Lucy as he was known for most of his life - until he developed irrefutable evidence that he was a boy!) was a gentle creature. He adored being cuddled, would brush up against our legs, and never got fed up with my daughters no matter how often they disturbed his sleep to pick him up or play with him. He'd sleep on their beds during the day, and between his catnaps he'd play happily with them. They dressed him up, carried him all over the house as young children do, and he never once raised a paw to them.
In less than a year he grew larger than any of his siblings, and though we gave him the freedom to rove, he always came back to us. We usually left him outdoors at night, to go hunting with his family, but just yesterday he learned to come in through the window. Less than an hour after I'd commented that he would soon be sleeping on the bed with me again, he was dead.
I won't bore you all with the gory stuff. I am immensely grateful to the good samaritans who rang our gate bell to tell us there was a cat injured in the street. They sat with me, stroking him and holding him down as he fought through such terrible pain. I'm not good with blood. I just have to see blood and I pass out. So to sit in the middle of the steet watching my beloved cat cough up blood was traumatic. The nameless couple who'd stopped to help were calm and understanding and thanks to them I managed to stay calm and collected. And thanks to them my children weren't the first to discover Luke's body this morning.
It appears that Luke's mommy is pregnant once again. As she now seems to know us and trust us, I hope she will once again entrust us to love and care for her babies. Though none will ever be able to replace Luke.