|Birth: ||Sep. 1, 1999|
|Death: ||Mar. 6, 2000|
Even after all these years and of all my pets' and feral cats' bios, RedBoy's story is too painful to recreate for this memorial. The following is what I wrote on my domain when he was murdered, March 6, 2000.
"Violence is violence is violence, and all animal abuse should be taken seriously." ~ Randall Lockwood, Psychologist and Vice President of the National Humane Society ~
March 6, 2000: Our neighborhood is over-run with ferals. Once, some twenty years ago when my parents first bought this place where Craig and I now own and live, one never saw a cat or dog unless the animal was in his own yard. Somewhere down through the years, some irresponsible person(s) decided it was "uncool" to spay/neuter or for some ungodly excuse, got rid of their cat by dumping him or her out here in the quiet rurals. And so, the feral population has grown tremendously.
Craig and I do what we can knowing if we feed them, they become our responsibility. We continue to reach deep into our pockets for food and vet care for these unwanted, unloved cats and their offspring. Here in the Deep South, kitten season has been upon us for a full month, so we know the cats who haven't yet been trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and released will be bringing more kittens soon to our food and water dishes. But it's something we MUST do - we cannot and will not watch these cats and kittens starve to death or die off frightened and alone with horrible, deadly diseases. It's our neighborhood: we pride ourselves in our property and we care enough about animals that we'll do more than our share to help control the feral population.
One little cat we've been feeding I'd dubbed RedBoy. He had been a shy, but cunning little man. He ran like a streak of greased lightning - he watched us from a great distance when we put out the food and water, but never had let us get within 20 yards of him. But patience and determination are the backbone of all feral cat workers. Without those two qualities in one's character, one won't last a first kitten season.
In the last two months, RedBoy had been slowly slipping closer to the feeding area, getting closer and closer in our presence. He gradually began to trust us. And in the end, trust of humans is what killed this beautiful, golden-eyed orange and white young cat. A cat who should have had years and years of good food, proper shelter, routine vet visits, plenty of catnip and toys, and much, much love.
Today, March 6, when I went to the mailbox after the postman had run, I found him on his side in the right-a-way of our property. He had been thrown into the drainage ditch, his battered little body badly beaten and broken. Somehow, somewhere, he trusted someone to get close enough to him to be beaten to death.
Craig was at work; the little cat had to be buried once the sheriff's department left. I couldn't let him lay out in our yard waiting for Craig to arrive home late this evening. I don't know how I managed to dig his grave and get him properly buried with a few spoken words of love and little endearments he will never, never hear, but somehow I did. I only know now that RedBoy's at the Rainbow Bridge where there's no evil, cruel bastard to inflict pain and horrendous death on innocent cats; cats who never asked to be born into this world of self-serving humans.
Note - March 13, 2000: I wish to express my appreciation and thanks to the internet community who has read of RedBoy, taking the time to email me with words of consolation. You will never know just how your emails and cards have touched me. Thank you so much for your prayers and the thoughtfulness each of you have shown; but most of all, thanks for caring about a frightened, forgotten little feral who deserved a better life in our world. I'd also like to thank a very, very special lady and long-time friend, Franny Syufy, for the following - a deeply moving article she wrote after learning of his brutal death. Thank you, Franny, for the love and support you have given Craig and me during the anguishing ordeal of RedBoy's loss.
Somewhere tonight, a fuzzy kitten sleeps on the pillow next to her master, dreaming of butterflies and playmates and saucers of milk.
Somewhere tonight, a woman with sparse white hair and rounded shoulders dozes in a rocker in front of a forgotten television set, her wrinkled hand resting on the elderly cat who sits in her lap, vibrating with love for the woman who holds him.
Somewhere tonight, a band of young men, bored and broke, seek out some fun of a different kind, something daring, something they can brag about to their friends.
Somewhere tonight, a woman sits in vigil, alone in a cold ditch, with only a blanket, a thermos of coffee and her anger and despair to keep her company. She sits, hoping against, but still waiting for the return of the brute who, last night, beat to death one of the feral cats she feeds.
She is not a crazy woman. She is a woman impassioned with love for all of God's creatures, and she does what she can to protect those who cannot protect themselves. All she can do tonight is wait...and pray the rest of her feline charges will be safe...at least for tonight. That's the kind of woman she is.
Her name is Susie Bachman and her web site was my Feature of the Week this week. But don't go there tonight. The main page is black; a measure of Susie's grief, rage and fright -- fright for the remaining kitties, fear that they will meet the same end, and rage against the subhuman who committed this evil act.
So she sits...and waits...and thinks about little RedBoy, a frightened, timid feral kitty, who in the past two months had learned to trust the humans who had been feeding him. Alas, the embryo of his trust was his final undoing.
Somewhere tonight, another woman sits at a computer with tears streaming on her cheeks, frustrated and angry because she can do nothing else tonight but write.
So she does. Somewhere tonight.
Franny Syufy is a freelance writer and author of a children's book. Franny has been writing about cats for About.com since February 20, 1997.
FancyBoy Stallings Dog (1973 - 1983)
JoJo Stallings Dog (1967 - 1983)*
Cuddles Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 2000)*
Kaitong Chang Stallings Bachman Cat (1984 - 1998)*
Danielle Stallings Bachman Cat (1985 - 2005)*
Spook Stallings Bachman Cat (1987 - 2000)*
Missy Hedge Cat (1991 - 2003)*
Sylvester Bachman Cat (1992 - 2008)*
Samson Bachman Cat (1992 - 2002)*
Autumn Bachman Stallings Cat (1994 - 2009)*
Lucky Jax Stallings Bachman Cat (1994 - 2005)*
Goblin Bachman Cat (1995 - 2009)*
JacquiLee Bachman Cat (1995 - 2002)*
Tigger Bachman Cat (1997 - 2005)*
Midnight Bachman Cat (1998 - 2009)*
RedBoy Bachman Cat (1999 - 2000)
Penny Bachman Dog (1999 - 2011)*
Smut Bachman Cat (2000 - 2001)*
Breeze Bachman Cat (2000 - 2011)*
Spic Bachman Cat (2000 - 2012)*
Susie The Cat (2000 - 2002)*
Princess Bachman Dog (2000 - 2008)*
Puglena Bachman Dog (2001 - 2014)*
Rebel Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Skeeter Bachman Cat (2004 - 2004)*
Cheerio Bachman Cat (2005 - 2014)*
Sputnik Bachman Cat (2006 - 2015)*
Li'l Craigster The Squirrel (2013 - 2013)*
Specifically: He was the first AngelKitty to be buried in our back yard pet cemetery.
Created by: sniksnak
Record added: Jul 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93721365