Farewell Ben

(Posted by Bill Schafer)

Bill Schafer here.

We lost Ben earlier this week, to some unforseen cardiac difficulties. My business partner, Tim, found him downstairs on Tuesday night, stretched out peacefully. Into the freezer Ben went for the night, a final trip to be cremated the next morning.

Ben came to us seven years ago. (He was only eight when he died.) He was hanging around my brother’s in-law’s barn, one of his hind legs so severely infected and damaged that it hung there, like rotting meat. The in-laws would check on Ben every day to see if he was still alive, but didn’t see fit to feed him or give him any care.

When my brother mentioned the stray, I saw Ben to my vet’s, credit card in tow, with the words “fix him.”

He gave us seven great years, of purring and playing, soft fur and an even softer miaow. He killed regularly when he was allowed outdoors, a privilege he demanded every few days. I imagine there are squirrels and chipmunks breathing sighs of relief right now.

Be kind to our furry brethren. Sometimes they’re not with us as long as we’d like.


11 Comments on “Farewell Ben”

  1. bill, my condolences on the loss of your small, furry killing machine. why do we love them so much, the predators?

  2. I’m sorry to hear about Ben. My neighbor’s cat sounds like Ben. The rather-aptly named Bruiser (the fluffiest, mellowest gray tabby I’ve ever met) hunts in our neighborhood. It’s not without its dangers, though — I saw him get chased across the front yard by a mockingbird one day. It would swoop down and peck him in the butt whenever Bruiser would turn to run from it, then swoop up and out of reach when Bruiser would turn around to paw at it. Thankfully, Bruiser has a safe home to return to.

  3. Condolences, sir. You gave Ben something he wouldn’t have had otherwise: A chance.

    Good on you.

  4. Sorry to hear about Ben. I adopted a stray from a local rescue organization and she’s ten times the dog my purebred that I’ve owned since puppyhood is.

    I wish there more people as generous and loving of animals as you: the world might just be a better place.

  5. We put a little love and effort into Ben, but trust me, he returned everything given to him, with interest. If Scalzi will tell me how to post a picture, I’ve got a good one of him. He was gorgeous.

  6. Jesus, it wasn’t until the fourth paragraph that I realised you weren’t talking about some redneck kid you’d taken in. I’m glad that John found someone with a fresh angle on blogging – we don’t get enough of people going on about their cats on the Internet.

    Sorry to hear your beast kicked the bucket, though.

  7. O Bubastis, Goddess of the Nile, keep watch for the arrival of a little kitty named Ben, who never scratched or bit without just cause, who did his best to defend his family from marauding squirrels and chipmunks, who was loved by Bill and all the rest of his people, and who returned that love in full measure. Guide him forthwith to the Eternal Catnip Fields, where he may enjoy his well-deserved rest.

    (When I hear online of someone else’s cat dying, I often feel moved to post a little prayer for the departed cat. As a staff member for two cats myself, I know how they can feel like children…and, when ours die, I’ll be sad, and my wife will be utterly inconsolable.)

  8. Sorry to hear about your cat, Bill. Me, I love the kitties, too.

    And to you non-cat people, well, mock us if you must. But we happen to have a special affinity for the only creatures on earth who deserve their superior attitude.

  9. I am so sorry to hear about Ben’s death. I too have suffered a lost of my beloved cay Isabella.However i now am raising one of her grand kittens that is an exact replica of her jet black with green eyes.I HAVE NAMED HER Isabella 2. It’s just as if she never left me.

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