Another shocking revelation from the land of Hillmomba. If your are the tenderhearted sort, please click on that X to close this window now. The following account is not for the faint of heart, nor for animal lovers, nor those who might wish to have their pet buried beside them when they pass on. It might, however, be acceptable reading for those who would have their pet buried WITH them, since it would mean an unfortunate euthanization, or a Cask of Amontillado kind of forced expiration.
Last chance to bail! Here goes:
This morning Farmer H sat down on the short couch soon after I got up. This usually means he wants to chastise me for some imaginary transgression, ask for money for a project, or break some bad news. It was bad news.
"Genius is dead."
Let the record show that Genius is the orange-striped cat that the #1 son picked out of two litters of kittens way back when he was in 3rd grade. We went to the home of a fellow teacher, who had two mama cats and their new babies put up in a playhouse where dogs couldn't get them. We climbed the steps to that playhouse, and stood beside two cardboard boxes of kittens. #1 picked them all up and looked them over. "It's so hard to decide," he said.
The Pony grabbed one immediately. He was only six, but he knew the kitten he wanted. "That white one."
"Honey, there are a bunch of white ones. Does it matter? Some have spots. Some have long hair. Some have short hair."
"That one. I know that's the one I want. It has one gray toe." And thus Snuggles was chosen. We would not be able to pick them up yet. When they were old enough, my crony would bring them to school.
The #1 son stood looking over the two boxes. As he did so, an orange-striped kitten climbed out of the box and sat on his foot, looking up at him. Crony scooped him up and put him back in the box. #1 leaned over the other box. That orange-striped kitten tumbled over the side of the box again. He started climbing up #1's pants leg.
"I'll take this kitten. He's the smartest one. He keeps coming to me because he knows I will take him home. I'm going to name him Genius."
Yes, Genius was smart. One autumn he disappeared for 30 days. Then all at once he turned up again. We never did find out where he went. Farmer H thought he might have been sleeping on the silver toolbox in the back of his truck, and taken an unplanned ride to town, and jumped out at the feed store. I thought he was catnapped, because he disappeared on Labor Day weekend, with a lot of unfamiliar vehicles up in here. Then one afternoon when we got home from school, there was Genius, laying on the porch. He wasn't bedraggled or thin. I can only assume that somebody took him, kept him inside, and then he escaped. Because before he left, he never tried to get in the house by standing on his back legs and grabbing the doorknob with his front paws.
Anyhoo...Genius was 11 years old. He had appeared to be in perfect health up until now. He still jumped up on T-Hoe to sit on the hood and look in the windshield when we got ready to leave, necessitating The Pony get out and remove him before we started up the driveway. He still jumped down from the open garage door when we got home, landing on T-Hoe's roof with a loud thump, to slide down the windshield and sit on the edge waiting for his ears to be scratched.
Farmer H saw him yesterday when he came in the house to wait for auction time. He was laying on the back porch, his head under the rail, overlooking the fake fish pond. He used to sleep there all the time. When Farmer H left for the auction, he saw Genius still in the same place. He went closer, and saw that Genius had expired.
"Oh, that's so sad. What did you do with him?"
"I buried him."
"In a hole."
"No you didn't. It's too muddy. You didn't bury him. What did you do, throw him in the sinkhole?"
"No. I buried him in a hole."
"You're lying. Where is he?"
"I got rid of him."
"NO! What did you do with him?"
"I told you, I put him in a hole. On the way to the auction, there's a place with a lot of holes."
"You put him on someone else's property?"
"No. I put him in a hole. Along Highway 47 on the way to the auction, there's a place with several holes. It's state right-of-way property. I put him in there."
"That's not right! You probably just threw him out the window as you drove by!"
"No I didn't. I put him in a hole."
"What am I suppose to tell #1 when he asks where his cat is?"
"He doens't have to know. Just tell him he died, and I buried him."
"I'm going to tell him to ask you."
What is WRONG with that man? To dispose of a loving pet in that manner? I'm not saying we need a funeral with a headstone. Only that in the past, we have buried our departed pets in the side yard. Cubby is there, and Grizzly, and the little kitten that never grew up. Even the goat, dog-massacred chickens, and two turkeys got a cremation. I am really not happy with this turn of events.
Genius deserved better. He was our best cat.