When our neighbors relocated six months ago, they moved about a mile away. With them went their adorable dog and two cats, all of whom had become an extension of our family. A few weeks later, one of the cats, Clyde, showed up at our back door. We called his family and they picked him up.
This was the beginning of a hundred such calls. Clyde was doing his best to move to our house. How he found his way here in the first place amazed me, but he was one of the smartest cats I have ever known.
Our former neighbors did not give up easily. They told us we best not let their cat in the house, never feed him, and return him as soon as we spot him. This started phase two of ‘Operation Acclimate Clyde’. I think I drove him in my car back to them at least fifteen times. He didn’t mind the car at all, and almost like a dog, he would look out the side window. That’s when he didn’t sit on the dashboard looking out the windshield window, obstructing my drivers’ view. You can imagine a cop waving me over to tell me, “Ma’am, do you know you have a cat on your windshield?”
We adored this fellow, but he was not ours, so we kept returning him. Then two weeks ago it all stopped. I hoped he was finally at his new home for good. A week ago our old neighbors Emailed to ask if we had seen him, for they have not, for a week or so.
This morning I got this Email:
I write with very sad news about our Clyde. We found him dead under the lemon tree in our back garden two days ago. He was not cut, nor outwardly physically harmed. Just before he disappeared last week, he had stopped wolfing down his wet food as he did, and we remarked that he did not seem like himself. I'd say he was sick, and he ran away to die in peace and away from us all.
So Clyde has been dead for at least two days. Now here’s an odd bit: yesterday evening (about six or so) my daughter heard scratching at our living room window. When she turned around, she thought she saw Clyde. When he disappeared, she was convinced he had fallen into the ivy below, and she ran out with a flashlight and called him over and over.
DH suggested I write to our former neighbors and tell them our daughter had spotted Clyde. I didn’t, because I thought she could not have been right about it. He never ever came in through that window before, and I just didn’t think it even possible for him, or any cat, to reach it.
A bit of Wuthering Heights with a feline twist.
I’m posting this as a memorial to a special cat friend. Just seeing his name up here makes me feel good.