Satchel is Dead

10 June 2002

[Satchel in the Tulip bed]

Satchel is dead.

Satchel came to live with us 12 October 2001. For eight months he played with our rafia, chased (and caught) birds in our yard, and enjoyed the expanses of our garden. For eight months he and Toto quarreled over territory inside the house, though they were beginning to come to an understanding. For eight months Kris and I resisted getting too close to Satchel because we knew this day would come.

Satchel was a social cat, quick to befriend the other cats in the neighborhood. He’d greet them and sit with them and play with them and sometimes fight with them. Occasionally he’d get the chance to chase another cat.

Today, just before Kris arrived home from work, Satchel got a chance to chase another cat, and I’m sure he was enjoying the pursuit. Unfortunately that pursuit led him into Elm Street during rush hour. Satchel’s friend escaped into the bushes, Satchel did not.

The young woman that struck Satchel with her car was apologetic; Kris and I assured her that we did not blame her in any way. Bill, our neighbor across the street, removed Satchel’s collar and placed him in a cat carrier for us.

We’re sad, but we’re not heartbroken as we were when Tintin died. Tintin had been with us for eight years, and his was a death of decay: he faded before our eyes. Satchel died instantly. Also, Satchel’s death was not unexpected. Kris and I had been reluctant to let ourselves love him because we suspected that he would die this way.

Still. We did love him.

Satchel was beginning to become part of the family. He was becoming more affectionate, sitting on Kris’ lap, joining me last night to watch the soccer match between the United States and Korea. He was starting to let us hold him. He showed great promise.

[Toto and Satchel with an unfortunate bird]

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