Four or five of the Kibble Kids had romped off with Uncle Fred to the far perimeter of the farm, happy to be in the cool grass after a terribly hot day. The mockingbirds were diving, swooping down to try and peck them, and I was threatening the birds with a stick and equally futile words.
Sundown was approaching. Too early for owls to be hunting, and too late for hawks to be out. But just the right time, apparently, for an evil from hell to be watching and waiting a chance to snatch a five-month-old kitten. Big, brave coyote, to pick on a kitten I could still pick up in one hand.
I shouldn’t have walked back from the perimeter, thinking they’d follow me; they were having too much fun jumping, pouncing on and chasing each other. The mockingbirds kept me busy as I tried to retrieve each kitten, and Uncle Fred was outrunning or outwitting the dive bombers most of the time. I got everybody into the building in which they spend the night … and then realized Annie hadn’t come with us.
We’re all still in shock after the loss on Monday, July 27. Animals grieve too, don’t let anyone tell you they don’t. Fred hunted for Annie until dark, just as I did, and Uncle Pete kept watch all night for a tiny little all-black body to slip into the yard and curl up with her wooden pillow.
Annie Rose, you were named for your grandma, Mama Rosa, and for Annie Oakley. You were a very personable little character, with legs a bit shorter than your brothers and sisters – just like your father, Vader, from the neighboring farm. We on this side hope and pray you’re at the Rainbow Bridge together, and we expect to see you again someday. God bless, sweetheart. We love you.
Annie Rose Oakley: Feb. 25 – July 27, 2020