Now I know what your thinking, a tri-pod is usually something that has three legs. Yes a tri-pod usually has just three legs and so did my first cat. Our family actually had a couple cats before that, a black and white sister team who were killed together playing in traffic before I can really recall them..
Like most cats, Tri-pod started out with four legs. I can’t remember what we called him in his early days. He had an all black coat that my aunt’s describe as the most beautiful coat they had ever seen, we may or may not have called him Blackie. I had two cats named Greyfur’s for their grey fur so I’m sure Blackie wasn’t out of the question.
And he had four legs, untill he got one of the caught in a rabbit snare, and as legend has it, my father cut the limb off with hacksaw.
From then on my cat went by the name Tri-pod.
When Tri-pod was getting to mid age (seven or eight) he hissed and generally put up a fuss at pretty much anyone who would go near it except for me. That cat and I were tight, and I’m assuming the fits and commotion were in response to his civil war type amputation and the discomfort it left him with..
Because of the cats surliness my mother thought it best that the cat be put down as it was in obvious pain.
In these days my Mother was still in university and as such didn’t have a lot of extra money lying around to have a profession hitman come in and euthanize the beast so she did what any girl with a a brother who hunts would do. Had her brother do the job.
You have to remember this is also 1981.
My mom theorized that I should be at school when my uncle came for the cat, I was five or six years old. That way she could write off his death as ‘he must have went away to die. Cat’s do that sometimes when they get older.’. type of deal.
On the day in question I came home from school and went to my Mother’s room where she was sleeping and gently I nudged her away:
From my mother’s version of events I told her that Tri-pod was dead. At first it didn’t register and I had to tell her again.
This time my Mom respond’s with a “What do you mean?”
I told my my Mom that Tri-pod was lying in the backyard when I got home from school and that I went over too him and shook him and he wouldn’t get up.
With this my Mom sat right up in bed looking like she had seen a ghost and asked if he was there now.
I said “No Mom, he’s gone.”
My Mom says she called my uncle right away after that and my uncle confirmed that he took the cat to the local garbage landfill and put two slugs in him that cat wasn’t going anywhere.
I was seventeen when I heard that story for the first time and although I didn’t recall the events in question, I instantly had a picture in my mind of where the cat was lying in out backyard when I came home from school that day.