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Eulogy - Paddy the Cat

We found Paddy living at the bottom of our block one day. She was really clean and had a really white coat for a stray. No one came and got her for a while and there weren't any notices in the neighborhood for a lost cat so we all kind of adopted her. She was so domesticated and tame that she must have spent most of her life in someone's home. All the people in the block immediately took to her, petting her, and giving her treats whenever she came around. We decided to give her a name and that's how she ended up with Paddington Cat, Paddy for short. We know that the others gave her their own names as well but we liked Paddy and stuck with it.
No matter what time of the night you got home, Paddy would be waiting in the parking lot. Sometimes she wouldn't get out of the way when you drove in. You would actually have to get out of the car and carry her out of the way.
She had a strange meowing sound not like other cats. Almost like she was choking. But she wasn't one of those cats that would meow just to hear the sound of her own voice. In fact, she would only make a sound when you went up to her and petted her. In the couple of years that she was here, no matter how heavy the rain or loud the thunder, Paddy would be absolutely quiet (when she was in the block).
She met all the other cats living in the apartments and I guess just wanted to have a home again. We would pet her and play with here everytime we got home. I guess it was the least we could do since we already had 2 cats living in the house. She did come into the house one day a long time ago, just to take a look around and say Hi! to the other cats. But most of the time she just stayed out on the landing waiting for company.
She spent most of her days in the parking lot perched on whoseever car was warmest. She never slept on mine. My wife says that it was because she liked me, but it was because I always parked in the sun!
Late last Sunday, there was a huge racket from the lot and we looked out to find another cat (huge!) mauling Paddy. Paddy was desperately trying to get away from the attacker but was having no luck. By the time we got downstairs. the other cat had run off and poor Paddy was dragging herself across the parking lot with her front legs. She didn't look too badly hurt but she couldn't stand up. We grabbed her and went to the Mt Pleasant Animal Hospital. All the way there she lay in my wife's arms wrapped in a t-shirt, breathing loudly (hyperventilating) and drooling. At the vet's, we discovered that she had a cut on her back leg, but she still couldn't stand up. They gave her a pain killing injection and took her in for an x-ray. The news was not good. She had a broken tail and a broken spine. That was why she couldn't stand. We figured the big cat must have landed on her and by a freak accident broke her back. It also turned out that she had broken her leg before as there were pins in the hind leg. So we were right, someone had taken care of her and then decided that it was too much trouble and threw her out. We were heartbroken. There wasn't much of a choice. The vet said that the tail could be fixed but that she wouldn't last very long as she couldn't control her lower body. The vet said that we had to decide what we wanted to do. It was the most painful decision that I have had to make. I know it sounds lame since she wasn't really our cat, but we really liked and cared for her. So at 6:25pm we decided to put her to sleep. She kept trying to stand up, as if to say 'Look, I'm alright.' She finally lay back down and the vet gave her the injection.
The parking lot is empty now when we come home. Paddy isn't around to greet us or lie down in our way. She doesn't jump up on the newly washed cars and trim her nails on the car tires anymore. The only thing I have of her are the 4 pictures I took of her last year and the memories of the cleanest most well behaved stray cat ever.

??/??/?? - 06/08/00

Paddy
Paddy posing for me.

All she was looking for was a home and some people to care for her.
Until that day came, she just kept herself clean and out of trouble.
We'll miss you Paddy

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