Voice: "Mr. Saylor, this is ... from the Carrollton Animal Shelter. I wanted to let you know we have your cat. Please call us at...."
No big deal, I thought. Nero had gone outside last night when I walked the dog before heading to bed. He's been doing that a lot lately. He usually doesnt go far from the house, usually choosing to sprawl out on one of the patio chairs.
This morning when I got up to take Sparky out for his morning walk, I expected him to be at the door begging to get inside. He wasnt there. I looked for him in his normal spots and didnt see him. I figured that he was just crashed out somewhere.
I called the city back and asked when I could come pick Nero up. The voice on the other end paused and said, "Mr Saylor, Nero is dead. One of our workers found him as he was patrolling the park near your house today."
It was all I could do not to break down and cry. I've had Nero since he was a kitten, rescuing him from the Pittsburgh Animal Shelter. I didnt pick him, he picked me. For years, he was always there when I was having a bad day. Now, he is gone.
I called Dad and left him a message to tell him what had happened. He called me right back and we talked. He asked if I wanted to see about getting another cat when we get back from LA. I told him that I would pass. We have Sparky now and one pet is enough for right now.
Good-bye my friend.