Cat Memorial: Benjamin Franklin from Brush Prairie
by Camryn Lee
(Brush Prairie, WA USA)
I got my cat, Benjamin, at the Oregon Humane Society. The minute I saw him, I wasn't even in the door to the building, but I could see him from outside and I knew he was THE ONE.
He was a feisty little kitten. All the other kittens were trying to sleep and he was going bananas trying to get everyone else to play with him, he was playing with toys, batting things around, amusing himself, bugging them.... much to the annoyance of his kitten mates.
He was a cute little grey tabby. I told the Humane Society Asst. that I wanted to see him in a private room and she said "I'm sorry, but somebody already requested to see him". "WHAT!?" I said "Can you ask them if they would let me go in at the same time?" She said, "I'll check on that" ....and she came back and said "Yes, it's OK."
So, I went in the little visitation room with that cute little kitten and another lady. I started talking about how crazy he was and how he would be a holy terror, ripping up furniture and drapes. She looked at me in horror.
I asked her if the cat was just for her and she said "No, it's for my husband and I don't want a crazy wild cat in the house"... so I said "Well, if you don't want that kind of cat, I wouldn't get this one" and she said "Thank you, I'll look for another one instead."
I said to myself "Thank you, G-d!" and with that, he was mine! After we checked out, he got his papers, and I paid for him.
My phone rang and it was a friend of mine asking if I could go sailing. I said that I would love to, but I just got a kitten at the Humane Society, so I can't. She said "just bring him on the boat"!
I thought about it for a minute, asked him if he wanted to go sailing and off we went. I told him he was the first kitty to go straight from the Humane Society to go sailing on the Columbia River.
When I got to the boat, we took some pictures of him at the helm and he was the hit of the party. He explored the boat awhile and then as we were about to leave the dock, I put him below, where he fell asleep in the cabin.
I love Benjamin, he was soooo sweet and loving. He would crawl under the covers and go into his "cave" between my legs in the sort of tent I made with my knees bent.
The last time I saw him he was pawing at my face to let him into the covers and I so much regret that I didn't shut the cat door that night. That was the last time I saw him or heard his little plaintive cry.
If only I had gotten up and shut that door, I knew better, I knew I shouldn't let him out at night. He wasn't there for his breakfast and I knew something was wrong. I called all over for him.
I didn't want to think the worst, I only wanted to think he was snuggled up in the barn, but eventually I just knew something was really wrong. I called him as I walked up my country road, hoping I might hear him injured and crying in the bushes.
I walked for awhile and then I crossed the street and walked back towards my house and there he was ... not 50 feet from my driveway. He had crossed the street and was hit on the other side.
It looked like he was killed instantly from a head injury. There was very little blood at all, he just must have been knocked out and I pray he went fast and without pain.
I miss you my little friend, Benjamin. You were the warmest, sweetest, most lovable cat anyone could ever wish for.
It breaks my heart he only lived 5 years. His "brother" Webster will no longer have a loving companion to care for, to lick and groom, they were such love birds together.
No more evening outdoor excursions, it's just too dangerous. I have learned a hard lesson. After having cats for more than 25 years, this is the first time I've had one hit by a car. I live out in the country and there's so little traffic, but cars go fast because they know the police won't catch them.
I buried Benjamin in a shady spot where I can see him from my bedroom window and will make a marker for his grave. Please hear me in Heaven, Benjamin, I love you so much.
You were the best cat in the world, you made me laugh and now you've made me cry because I would give anything to hear your little meow and feel you snuggle up to me. I will miss you forever.
Until we meet again, I know you'll be chasing squirrels and birds in Heaven...; laying in the sun and playing with toys. I love you my little friend. I will always love you and we will always miss you.