Goodbye, Bijou

He had pulled an all-nighter before so I did not panic, but by the afternoon I was frantic. My next-door neighbor Gigi heard me calling and said from her side of the fence that she was coming over. She told me she had seen a black cat lying on the side of Skyline Blvd the day before. I’ll take you there, she said. Gigi had not made the connection to me when she spotted the cat but now realized it could have been Bijou.

But Bijou’s body was gone from the spot where she had seen it. We searched the area, then I came home and posted a message on our neighborhood network, Next-door.com, asking if anyone had noticed a black cat’s body and to please contact me if so.

At least five responses came back, and one of them was specific. Yes, the jogger had seen the body, and he would have brought it to me had he known my location. His conjecture that a vulture might have taken the body or that it may have been dragged off by another animal could have been omitted. I did not need to think of that, though I would have on my own anyway. And he must have been hit by a car.

So that’s it. No more sweet Bijou, whose little face I kissed whenever I picked him up to cuddle. He loved to travel, that one. I could no more have kept him locked inside the house than I could have kept a soul trapped in a box.

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