Thank you for your comforting thoughts.
I was horrified to hear what happened to Ollie. It’s sad that people can do things like that. I cried and cried and cried, and J- and W- put their arms around me and comforted me. There was nothing I could have done to prevent it or to call him back, and there was nothing I could do to prevent that from happening to other animals in the future.
When the initial shock passed, I found myself faced with a decision: I could either let this close me up and discourage me from caring so much that I could get this hurt, or I could defy that and keep myself open. I realized that–at least for me–the only way to fight the darkness within the world and within ourselves is to blaze even brighter with light. The only way to deal with random acts of sickness is with kindness. The only way to deal with hate is to love more fiercely. The only way to face death is to live.
Ollie was a good cat, and I’m glad I had that time with him. You can read about the time my dad rescued this poor drenched little kitten off the street and our daring cat rescue when Ollie decided to go and get lost on the roof. It was more than just the adventures, though. Ollie taught me a lot about the kindness of my parents, Kathy, and the other people at home. That’s what I treasure most about him: that a rather dusty orange cat with an endless appetite for food, the most piteous kitten-like meow (really quite out of place on a tomcat), and a penchant for getting stuck (in the same place! sweet but not very smart – that meow certainly helped persuade us to keep rescuing him), could teach me more about people and love.
I am sad that people can do such things to a cat, but I will not let that eclipse the goodness of other people or the happy stories Ollie was part of. I’m happy I got to know Ollie.
(And I am trying very hard not to run off and adopt another stray cat.)
UPDATE: My mom said that Ollie might have been in an accident; no one knows. But it’s beautiful that a stray and fearful kitten could find in our house something to call home.