…with cats being hit by cars.
Did I ever tell you the story about Peachy? Well – you better sit down for this one!
When I was 12 years old and living with my dad and stepmom Claudia out on a small rural ranch on Hillcrest Avenue, my cat Rusty gave birth to a litter of kittens underneath my bed. There was one kitten I wanted to keep as my own so badly – she looked like a little peach – but I was told we had too many animals on the farm. So, a week or two before Christmas, when the kittens were old enough to be weaned, I remember my dad taking all the kittens to my stepmom’s work to give them away to people who wanted to give their kids a kitten for Christmas. I was so disappointed and upset that my “Peachy” kitten was among them. When my dad returned home with the kitty carrier and asked me to put it in the garage, I was even more upset, thinking how cruel he was to have me put it away when he gave my kitty away.
When I picked up the carrier, to my surprise, I felt something in it. I opened it up and my dad explained to me that she was the only one that didn’t get taken but that he’d try again to give her away after the holidays. I was so happy to have that reprieve with her. A few weeks later, as I was opening up Christmas cards and gifts, I received a card with a coupon in it that said, “Good for one ‘Peachy’ kitten” (I still have it!). It meant so much to me – this gift.
So, through the years Peachy grew and grew on me – she was my definitely my favorite cat. She was extremely beautiful and unique looking – a muted calico of grey, white, and peach and she was very affectionate. When outside, she’d often come to my window and meow to be let it. If I wasn’t quick enough, she’d even jump on the screen holding on by her claws and meow incessantly to be let in. She was definitely demanding, but I loved her nonetheless.
On the day of my 17th birthday party, I left the house and headed out the long driveway to the road that would take me to my cousin’s house for my party. As I reached the top of the driveway and pulled out onto the road, I noticed something lying on the ground. I stopped the car, opened my door and looked down. I couldn’t believe what I saw – didn’t want to believe what I saw, but it was Peachy – dead on the road. There was no mistaking it was her; her gray and peach fur was matted and bloody and she wasn’t moving.
I remember screaming and turning the car around and running back into the house. I was obviously hysterical and incoherent because I remember my dad telling me to calm down and asking me to repeat what I said because he couldn’t understand me. Finally, I was able to get the words out, “Peachy’s dead on the road”. My dad groaned, patted me on the back and told me he’d go take care of her.
He scooped her up off the road, placed her in a bag, and buried her in the back yard. Needless to say, I was a complete wreck for the entire day and was crushed when I finally returned home and knew she wouldn’t be sleeping in my bed that night.
Like usual, early into the morning, around 1am, I was on the phone with Janet – this time lamenting about the loss of Peachy. All of a sudden I heard a meow at my window. I remember telling Janet, “Oh my god, I just heard Peachy meow” and her telling me, “It’s not Peachy, your dad buried her. It must just be one of the cats that sounds like Peachy.” Then, I heard it again along with what sounded like claws hanging onto window screen. I started freaking out. Janet told me to look, but I was too afraid! I begged Janet not to hang up the phone with me. I asked her to call my dad on his phone line from her parents phone line so she didn’t have to hang up with me. I asked her to ask him to come to my room because I was afraid. And, being the good friend she was (and still is), she took on the task of calling him at 1am and waking him up.
I heard her conversation on the other end, something to the effect of, “she thinks she hears Peachy outside…”, “oh, okay – bye”. Before I could even ask Janet what my dad said, he knocked on my door and opened it up. By this time, my head was under the covers. He said, “What’s this about Peachy being outside? Honey, I buried her this afternoon.” “I know”, I replied, “but..” and then he heard it. A single meow. Not only was Peachy distinctive looking, but she also had a distinctive sound. I knew my dad was a bit alarmed when he let out a “hmmm, what’s going on here.”
In a few strides, he made his way to the front door – I was still glued to my bed. I heard him open the front door and call “kitty, kitty, Peachy” and then heard, “What the… Claudia!”, and in my room ran Peachy. I remember saying to Janet on the phone, “Peachy is alive and she’s in my room” but other than that I don’t remember anything other than looking her over and noticing that besides having some dirt in her fur, she was fine – no blood, no broken bones, nothing.
We never went to her ‘grave’ to check on it, but I swear on my life that I saw her on the road, and my dad swears that he picked her up off the road. Like I said, she’s very distinctive looking.
Peachy lived to be almost 25 years old and provided me many years of happiness. She eventually passed away due to old age but I’ll never forget her; she was the best cat I ever had!
And speaking of cats getting hit by cars…
A few weeks ago, T and I were out walking the dogs and Pieces (our Calico cat) decided to come along – it’s nothing new. But this time, she crossed the street at the wrong time. A Toyota Forerunner came speeding down the street at about 35/40 miles per hour (in a 25mph zone!) and hit her. I couldn’t bear to watch as I threw my hands up over my face and screamed. T on the other hand witnessed the whole thing. He said the car hit Pieces, she went under it and somehow flew out the side up on to the sidewalk and hit a trash can. She then proceeded to run away.
It was 11 o’clock at night – dark – we looked for her with flashlights for two hours and couldn’t find her. I was hysterical and kept saying “She’s gone off somewhere to die – aloneeeee!” Needless to say, I was up all night crying; T did his best to comfort me. Pieces, although not my favorite cat, holds a very special place in my heart; she is the first cat T and I got together. Well, actually, he stole her from a residential neighborhood and gave her to me as a gift almost 11 years ago — come on, how could I NOT fall in love with him! <3
The next morning, as I was preparing myself to face the day at school, I heard T yell from the garage… “Cathy, she’s here – she’s okay!” I remember shouting, “Are you kidding me? What??”
And there she was. Not a single scratch on her – eating and drinking like nothing happened! We immediately took her to the vet, and with a head shake of disbelief, he gave her the thumbs up.
Just my luck… with cats that is.