It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Buddy, the injured feral cat who reappeared in my yard last week (after being gone for two years).
Buddy's injuries were horrific, much worse than I could have ever imagined. His wound was extremely deep (the vet described it as the size of a human fist), infested with maggots, and his skin was peeling in layers. Because of the depth and severity of the wound, the vet does not believe it was caused by another animal. His neck was sliced by something (maybe a fence or broken window) or possibly by some poor excuse for a human being. He was surely in agony and it is a wonder he survived as long as he did.
There are thousands of stray and feral cats in Chicago. Many view them as nameless, faceless shadows in the night. But Buddy had a name and people who cared about him. And although he never let me touch him, I am grateful that he returned so that I could help ease his pain.
Buddy was humanely euthanized at ten this morning. I am heartbroken, but comforted that he is no longer suffering. Run wild and free, dear Buddy.