We decided to get both her and her brother — it seemed mean to separate two kittens who had always lived together — and I'm so glad we did. They were best friends. They would play-fight, and chase each other around, and wash each other. Sometimes a play-fight would turn into a real one — especially lately, I think Mitsi was getting too old for Toby's games — and Toby bears a token from Mitsi at the moment, a little scar running down his nose from when he attacked her unawares and she swiped at him.
But Mitsi was always the good one. Toby would miaow loudly if he wanted any food; Mitsi would just sit there, looking up at me hopefully. Toby's a little rebel, jumping up on the kitchen bench even though he knows he's not allowed to; Mitsi, once she learned from the first couple of smacks, never did.
She was always so affectionate. Every morning when I wake up, she's there to greet me, running in from outside when I get up. I go to the loo and open the door, and she's always waiting outside. I go to wash my hands, and she jumps onto the bathroom windowsill, rubbing her head against it and generally trying to look as cute as she can.
I joked that Toby was Dan's cat and Mitsi was mine — she always came and sat on my lap in the evenings.
She wasn't there to greet me in the morning. Unusual — but I was in a hurry, and got ready quickly. As I was leaving in the morning, I thought I should text Dan and ask him to look out for her at lunch-time (he comes home for lunch); then I saw the time, forgot all about Mitsi, and drove hurriedly off.
It wasn't till past 11 last night that Dan made some comment about where Mitsi was that night, and I remembered. I hadn't seen her that morning. I hadn't seen her that evening. There was no doubt something was wrong.
We searched through the house, opening any cupboards she might have strayed into (she's been shut in the hall cupboard for a few hours before), going out to open the woodshed. I wished the garage had been closed all day — she could have been shut in there, which has happened before as well. But if she was anywhere near, we'd have heard her miaow.
There was only one alternative.
We live by railway tracks.
Dan took the torch and headed out. I followed. He warned me not to come, because if he found anything I wouldn't want to see what it was. I didn't care. I was worried. She's my cat.
He searched for a few dozen metres up the tracks. No sign of her. I think we both felt inordinate relief; but we hadn't searched down the other end of the tracks, and there was no other explanation.
Then as we walked back along the tracks, he saw her. A little black-and-white body lay stretched out a couple of metres from the tracks. She'd been hit hard, it looked like — her body was almost intact, but her pelvic area was a big, bloody mess.
Dan thinks it could only have taken a couple of seconds for her to die. I hope so. I can't bear the thought of my sweet-natured, affectionate little cat dying, bleeding, wounded, alone.
She was only a year and eight months old. She was a young, affectionate, playful cat. She was so scared of trains she'd always run inside when one came past — we can't figure how she was anywhere near enough to one to be hit by it.
Toby seemed to know something was up. We took the body into the backyard to bury it, and Toby came over to sniff at the body, to sniff at her wound. We shooed him away. Dan started digging the hole, and I looked over at where Mitsi lay. Toby was sitting beside her, not doing anything. Just sitting. I thought it would be better for him to be inside, not to see his poor dead sister; but whenever I came near he ran away, obviously frightened, not understanding why his little playmate was just lying there like that.
He came over to look at the hole we were digging; Dan scared him away with the spade.
But he came back as Dan lowered her into the hole, and he was watching as Dan started shoveling dirt over her body.
In the morning, Toby was waiting for me when I got up. He can't know, of course; but it was a small comfort to me. When I sat down to start writing this post, he came and curled up on my lap, purring.
I think the best a cat can have is a good life and a quick death. I hope Mitsi had both of those. She loved us, and she knew we loved her. She grew up with a playmate she loved, who played with her and who looked after her and washed her.
She would sleep on our bed on the cold nights — and had done so that last night. (Apparently, Dan woke up one night to find her asleep on my face.) I'd fed her chicken skins when I was making dinner that night — I know you aren't meant to feed your cat non-catfood, but I'm glad I did. I hope she had a good last night. I hate that she's gone; I hate that we only had just over a year with her. I hate that she was so young when she died, and that she was stupid enough to get hit. I hate it took us almost 24 hours to realise she was gone.
But there was nothing we could have done. All I can do is hope she had a good life — and a quick death.