Saturday, July 12, 2014

A River Cat Dies

Precious Scratch has died.

She was 19.

She was something else, a treasure, from the river.

I met Scratch during a very hard time in my life, a time I'd rather forget, but it was also the time that saved me.  The cats existing along the Willamette river, born to discarded souls, became my family.  I lived along the banks with them.  They gave me love and in return, I got them fixed and tried my best to find them homes.

This effort became desperate when the city of Corvallis embarked on a project to revise the banks of the Willamette, where the cats lived and create a park.  I fought that park, me, a little nothing, a nobody, but a somebody terrified for the safety of her new found family.

This family did not only include the river cats, but also the other animals who inhabited the banks of the river, including beaver, otter and even a disabled mother duck.

She'd sleep with her brood next to me, knowing she'd be safe.  Her foot had been badly burned in a fireworks fire that caught grass along the banks ablaze.  I fed her also until she healed.

Scratch went to live with my bus driver friend, after I trapped her.  She was skinny, skrawny and loud.   She took to life there.  She climbed their backyard apple tree and walked its branches to the roof.  She slept in the barn with the chickens.  She loved those chickens.  Once, they saw her fly off the roof and into the apple tree and were astonished to see the target of her vengence was a huge red tailed hawk, hunting her beloved chickens. 

That hawk took off in a flurry of feathers and fur.

The hawk was twice Scratch's size. 

Scratch never walked anywhere, she always ran or trotted.  Towards the end, she still wanted out, and would flop immediately to watch the fields, even to her last day.  It is tragic such a beautiful soul, so in love with her life there, had her time run out.  But that is the only tragic thing about her story.  Her life was glorious.  She was cherished.

A river girl, unwanted and struggling, became a loved member of a family.

Rest in Peace my blessed Scratch.

I love you.


  1. Beautiful. Like so many of the much loved animals who have left us.

  2. Fly free, dear little Scratch xx

  3. Thanks EC and Everycat. Vision, her compatriot here, from the river, is weak and 20 and probably will not be with me more than another month.