Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Shannon's story...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

As those of you who know me can attest, I am not a big cat "fan"! 
This was not always the case...
If you love cat's great! More power to you...I'm just more of a dog guy. 

That's not to say there have not been exceptions over the years...

The most memorable of which was our Shannon...

Where we got Shannon, I don't remember...
But she was just the sweetest little long haired turquoise calico cat I've ever seen.

A better natured kitty, you've never seen...just a lover!
Her "best pal" was our Irish Setter "Rip"... so named because he ripped up EVERYTHING!

Now Shannon never grew to be big, always on the small side she looked like a kitten compared to Rip who was on the big side of normal...about 80 lbs.

Shannon wouldn't leave him alone. Inside, wherever Rip was that's where you'd find Shannon. Curled up next to him!

Outside they played this weird game...
Rip was a high energy dog...90 miles an hour all the time! Shannon would watch him lapping the yard...when finally he'd come to a stop Shannon would trot out to him and start weaving through his legs...purring and rubbing up against him.
As she got up by his front feet, Rip would reach down and take Shannon's head in his mouth...pick her up and swing her around his head like a rag doll.
Obviously this FREAKED US OUT!!!
We thought he was killing her...after a couple revolutions he'd gently set her down and she'd go right back to loving on him...and he'd give her a lick or two and off he'd go again!

My sisters were drawn more to Anna's white and orange short-haired tabby "Kelly", but Shannon hung with me more...because I was also with Rip. Maybe Shannon accepted me more because Rip did...but for whatever reason I considered Shannon more "mine".

She was no angel though...several pet fish came up missing, only to reappear...mummified, in one of my shoes!

Our cats were "outdoor" cats mostly...only coming in when they wanted. Of course winter changed them to house cats until spring!

The problem with being outdoor cats is that there were other animals out there.

There was a large black tom that prowled our neighborhood, feral, wild and mean!!! He did not belong to anyone, never had a collar...we'd tried to find his home several one in the neighborhood would claim him.
He made a habit of sitting on back porches and yowling at all hours of the night!

He killed indiscriminately anything that moved...birds, rabbits, even puppies we heard....didn't matter! Animal control was called repeatedly...they could never find him.

One day I heard a terrible commotion in the back yard, as I came outside the big tom was after Shannon!

We had firewood and kindling stacked by the back door and I snatched up a piece of kindling about a foot long and the diameter of a broomstick and hurled it at "Tom"! It hit him right behind the front shoulders and rolled him a couple times...when he got his feet under him, he was gone in a flash!

Shannon came limping towards me, mewling pitifully.
Her left rear leg was ripped open from hip to foot, I called mom at work...she came home and we took her to the vet. 17 stitches and a shaved leg later, we had her home with oral antibiotics for a week!

Once again animal control was called....once again they couldn't find him...

Shannon was a indoor cat until she was healed and her hair was back...then she started wanting out again. We tried to keep her in, but she was determined to get out into the world again.

Eventually she snuck out when the dog went out.
And that was that...for the next several months. Our cats never roamed far...a couple houses down on either side, and in at night.

It was a September evening when Tom came back to finish what he'd started...
It was my Mom this time that caught him in the act...and despite taking a broom out after him, it was too late! Shannon was still alive...but just barely.
Again off to the vet, who pronounced her to far gone and we had to euthanize her.

I was devastated....and MAD!!!
The kind of mad where bad things happen....
The problem was there was no target for my anger...
Old Tom was laying low.

We didn't see him again for a month or more.
Then one night I was home alone. Mom and Step Dad were out to diner with friends, my sisters at a party.

When I heard the yowling...

At our back door.

I was putting a stop to this once and for all!!!

I loaded my .22 pistol and walked to the back door.

I opened the back door, and as I did I turned on the porch light.

Tom looked up, blinded by the light...and I stuck my arm out the door and put two shots right between his eyes. Shut off the light and closed the door.

Most of the lights were off in the house and I watched from inside as a couple of porch lights came on as folks looked out, and see nothing untoward shut off their lights and went back about their own business.

I unloaded my pistol and put it away.

I waited a half hour, went out and picked Tom up by the tail, put him in a garbage bag. Tied it shut and put him in the garbage can...Tom's reign of infamy was over!

I should have felt better about it...
I had exacted revenge for Shannon, and eliminated a vicious feral cat from the neighborhood...I felt justice had been done.
But it brought me no joy.

In the end, he met a more peaceful and pain free end than our Shannon did. Who spent her last hour on this earth in agony.

Don't know what made me think of Shannon today...but I still miss her!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear


  1. This is the saddest thing I've read in a long, long time. So sorry for your pain. I could not have killed the killer, but I would not have cried if someone's else did.

    1. Thank you's been 35 years now since this all happened, but still seems like yesterday.

  2. lump in my throat. I'm so sad about Shannon and sad that it had to come to that. Russell despises cats, esp. outdoor cats, because they do kill everything. I'm allergic so we won't ever get one anyway.

    1. Thanks JoJo, little Shannon sure didn't deserve that...

  3. So heartbreaking for your Shannon and I think the cat got exactly what it deserved.

  4. Thanks MiMi, I did agonize over sharing this...thank you for your advice.