The Final Mystery


Roscoe is gone.

I came home one evening, when it was still light out, and found that Roscoe wasn’t in the house. I called him to no avail. Since it was a rainy and windy night, I thought he’d be home soon, but he wasn’t. I was up most of the night, calling his name with increasing desperation in the stormy darkness, but he never came home.

Roscoe was the most skittish cat I have ever met, reacting instantly to the slightest noise. He was smart, fast, athletic – he could climb trees in seconds, and do a mouse drive by in less time than that – and invisible in the darkness in his inky black fur. He grew up here in these woods. It seems all the odds were in his favor, and I never thought this would happen to him.

Rob helped me search all the sheds and outbuildings, as well as the logging road and the Ridge. He told me that the logging companies have been working on the haul roads around here, and between that and the drought, it has flushed out many creatures like foxes and wildcats, who probably took my beloved boy.

Rob told me that you have to feel your feelings and take it a day at a time. It is amazing what a huge hole one feather-light, stealthy cat can leave in your heart and your house, which suddenly seems empty with only two cats in it.

It’s especially painful since Roscoe really blossomed over the past few months, sitting on my lap every morning and often in the evening as well. He maintained his Mysterious Mr. Roscoe way of slinking around the house and being super skittish, but he was more openly affectionate than ever. He slept with me every night, and one of my greatest pleasures was smelling his strangely rough, yet soft fur, which had a unique scent of piney woods and warm Roscoe. He had an inherent dignity in everything he did, and I always felt like it was an honor to be part of his world. His loss is almost unbearable, and I’m spending a lot of time crying in the car and coaching myself to keep it together at work, at least on the outside.

I don’t know how to get through this. And I don’t know how to live with the new and terrifying knowledge that something terrible can happen to my few remaining cats in the daytime. When the Beautiful June Bug vanished on the night of my birthday several years ago, I naturally assumed it was the monsters in the darkness that stole her away, and if I kept the remaining cats inside during darkness, they would be fine. Since that is not true, or is no longer true, I don’t know how to find peace with the knowledge that when I pet them goodbye in the morning, I may be petting them goodbye forever. How do cops’ wives do it?

I also feel like I failed June and Roscoe and that I am a terrible pet parent. My cats’ survival rate is 50% at this point. Not getting any more cats after Clyde and Audrey leave my life (may those horrible events be many years away and be peaceful, please) would be a solution, but a catless life is a sad thing to contemplate. As usual in life and death, there are no good answers.

And now there’s no Roscoe, either.

A YEAR AGO: I had all three cats. The Christmas tree was up and there was some weather coming.

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13 comments on “The Final Mystery

  1. Alison

    I’m so sorry, Suzy. It’s hard to lose a pet.

  2. Guy

    Losing a friend, whether people or of the animal world is never easy. They make the best friends ever because they know how to return the love and attention you give them, it’s called unconditional love and in todays world, a rare event. I know you feel bad Suzy and the pain is real but you must remember that he died doing what he was meant to do. A cat like many other animals are predators, and as you mentioned he did well as one but as cruel as it sounds to us humans, the strongest survive, he unfortunately met his fate. Do not blame yourself for this please, you gave him the love and attention he needed and his spirit will forever remember this. He died free, not locked up in a cage and he died having had a loving and caring person in his life. They, the animals are only loaned to us, so many are abused, he was loved.

  3. tom

    So sorry for your loss and for the unanswered questions. Carry the memory of time together forward.

  4. tim

    darned autocorrect. tom=tim

  5. suzy

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your kind words and thoughts. xo

  6. LisaB

    Oh Suzy – I’m so sorry to hear this. I know exactly how you feel – trying to keep it together at work when you’ve got a giant hole inside. It sucks. You are a good cat mom – we can only do so much to protect them (and they will only tolerate so much)… life is full of risks we have to accept. Think of all the cats out there that never get a shot at the fun-filled life your cats have. Wishing I could do something to help you feel better.

  7. suzy

    Knowing you are there makes me feel better! Thanks for your warm words and caring heart. xo

  8. Joy Fielder

    Would it be possible that someone has ‘adopted’ him?

    In the meantime….remember Guy’s words, he always knows how to put thoughts into words for us all….Such a wise man.

  9. suzy

    Cats are really territorial. Roscoe lived here his whole life and I can’t believe he wouldn’t come home if he could. Also he was super skittish. There’s no way a stranger could have picked him up or gotten him to come into their house.

    Guy is the wisest person I know!

  10. Mike Charbonneau

    So sorry, Suzy. While I know it’s difficult right now, think of all the love and positivity you gave to Roscoe. Only a good pet parent can do that.

  11. suzy

    Thanks, Mike. You made me feel better!

  12. Jennifer

    Oh Suzy, I’m so sorry. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug. xo

  13. suzy

    Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate the love! xo

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