How ‘Bout That

May 17, 2010 by  
Filed under How 'Bout That

A Tribute to Tomkins

by Junie Merkle

by Junie Merkle

Sometimes something happens, and you just don’t know what to make of it.

Last fall, a stray kitten ended up in the animal shelter before he was 6 weeks old. He was black with white feet, long white whiskers and a white band around his neck with black bow tie markings. So cute, he didn’t look real.

My husband and I rescued him, and my friend gave him a home. She named him Tomkins. She took him to the vet for the sniffles he caught in the shelter. He got his kitty shots, and the Milton Project took care of that pesky reproduction issue. He thrived and was a delight.

Since Tomkins had lived his formative weeks outside, he loved the outdoors. When he was a little older, he got neighborhood privileges. Always timely for meals though. And ready to share the evening hours inside with my friend. As Robert Duvall remarked in Lonesome Dove, “he was a fine companion come supper time.”

The cold, rainy winter kept him indoors, so when spring finally came this year, he scampered and climbed trees and raced like the wind. We were all looking forward to seeing how big he was going to be when he grew up.

He was hit by a car on a beautiful, sunny afternoon and killed instantly. It was no one’s fault.

There’s no need to describe how my friend feels. Either you know or you don’t know. The others of us who delighted in hearing about his antics are just sick for her and for him.

Bad things happen in life. The over-used word of closure won’t really make it better. There’s nothing to do besides suck it up and move on. Like my big, black Bouvier Teddy, Tomkins was so dear and such a joyful presence, it seems impossible that he’s gone.

And maybe they’re not..

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