We had all come inside. I was on the couch with a tummy ache. I saw a flash of a person through the porch window. Someone was on the porch but the door bell did not ring. I yelled to King Daddy that there was someone on the porch. By the time I got to the door, I heard "orange cat" and watched as King Daddy and this stranger moved off the porch in search of a wounded cat.
He said he slammed his brakes on, but he knew he hit his hind quarters. He saw him run onto the porch and then off into the yard. He helped us look all around the yard for him. He cried as he left and said how sorry he was. He asked if he could stop by on his way home to check in, we said of course. He returned prior to kitty's death.
King Daddy gave him the most recent update and they talked. They talked about how he had moved back here to care for his elderly parents after being away 20 years. They talked about animals and about his change in careers. He apologized again and said if there was anything he could do to please contact him. He asked that we call him to let him know how kitty was doing and left his number.
I called him yesterday morning and left a brief non-descript message. I didn't hear back from him, so last night I called again. I told him that Pumpkin didn't make it and I shared with him the story of the staff bringing in their cats to donate blood, he agreed it was a moving heartfelt gesture. He told me that he had to put his cat of 18 years down just two months ago. I told him to take care and that if he ever saw us outside in the yard to please stop and say hello. He said he would. He commented how nice of a family we were and again apologized for the whole thing. There was a pregnant pause, an awkward silence and then he said, "I just wanted to let you know that I, ah, um, I tracked down the vet and made a payment on the bill. I couldn't take care of the whole bill, I am not a well off man, but I know money doesn't grow on trees and well, you guys are so nice and I just wanted to help."
I was, I am, absolutely overwhelmed. Pumpkin is gone and my heart aches, but the beauty in these gestures extended to us dulls the pain. Such beauty in a tragic end to the cat that moved into our barn and ultimately our hearts.