I had just set about lighting a fire on this chilly May day when Viv burst through the front door in tears. Startled, I jumped and swore. Viv said, “Possum…” and I replied with certainty, “Possum’s dead.”
Viv led me down the front steps to the edge of the driveway, and our darling baby girl cat lay stiff and cooling in the grass, a bluebottle fly on one open eye. I laid my hand on her; she was still warm. There was a smudge of blood on one hind paw, and her collar was missing. Since she never fought her collar off, I assumed it had been knocked off by the car that hit her. A bit later in the day, I thought to check the street in front of the house. Sure enough, there it was.
Much later, after burying her and planting a pineapple sage bush atop her resting place, I realized that Possum must have been hit in the five minutes between my running out the front door to get the wood for the fire and Viv’s horrifying discovery on returning to the house.
Of the three cats in our little herd, Possum was the one who was closest to me and I will miss her keenly.