My dear friend Carol said one way to heal a broken heart is to write about it. So..... here goes. Our best, most wonderful cat Toto (short for Totoro) was killed last night accidentally in a car accident at the base of our driveway. She was just two years old and truly an exceptional cat.
Toto came to us as a stray kitten one rainy night in late November 2011. Our dear neighbor Sharon knocked on our door about 10:00 that night with this tiny wet fur ball in her arms. She asked if we could please take her in because no cats were allowed in her house. I said we could take her in for the night, but that was it. We had recently put our old cat Tilly to rest after 18 wonderful years. Tilly was blind and incontinent when she finally died. I had recently had all the oriental rugs cleaned for a small fortune and vowed no more cats in our house. Ken was in Japan at the time. Yumiko and I gave her a little warm milk and she immediately went to the bathroom on the newly cleaned rug. I knew then that Toto was just with us for the night. She slept with me on the pillow with her little paws kneading on my neck and just purred all night. In the morning I took a number of photographs and sent them to all our neighbors and various vets asking if anyone had lost a kitten. For the next several days we waited to see if anyone would claim her, but in the mean time Yumiko and I had all fallen in love with this funny, sweet, and oh so smart little cat. Yumiko was in school, but I had a new playmate. We ran around the house and played all day.
About the second week with no one claiming her I took her to the vet to get her shots and saw that my picture of her was still hanging in the vet's office. I asked the vet to take the picture down. Toto had wormed her way into our hearts and was now officially a Kono. She was just a total delight - playful, wonderful sense of humor, always getting into trouble, totally loving.
At first we didn't want her to to go outside. Too afraid of the foxes and the hawks and other cats and the road. But a cat is a cat and Toto just begged to go outside. So little by little we let her out. We got her a collar which she lost in a few days, and then another collar and then another. Finally, we decided the heck with the collar. She loved our property - the birds, the trees, the butterflies, the chipmunks, the other neighbor cats. She brought everybody inside - dead and alive. There probably was not a week that has gone by in the last two years that we have not escorted some form of wildlife back out of the house.
She had a habit of jumping onto the aquarium and playing with the goldfish. She would sit up there and just watch and hope that someday the goldfish would also come out to play.
In the past year when the weather was good she spent much of the day outside. We could see her often stalking in the back yard or lying on the patio. When she wanted to come in she would knock on the door by banging the cat door. At night, if it was chilly, she would come to bed with Ken and me. She would get in under the covers and sleep next to us. We were always afraid to move for fear of disturbing her. The night before last, even though it was warm outside, she was back under the covers sleeping in the crook of my legs behind my knees.
Last night against my better judgement I let her out about dusk. I knew she would come back. Around 8:00 our neighbor knocked on the door. He had a very sad expression on his face and said he had hit our cat and she was lying in the road. I ran out to find her with another neighbor. She was not moving, but still warm and beautiful and sweet. We brought her inside and called the cat hospital in Trooper, PA. Then we rushed her there, but it was too late. Too many internal injuries. She was gone - just like that - in a flash.
I cried for most of last night and woke up early to the morning rain. Ken said at breakfast that Toto came to us in the rain and left us in the rain. Oh, it is so sad. We will miss you oh so wonderful, joyous, most lovely dear Toto.