Kirk is the big gray cat on the left.
Well late Sunday night I heard a large dog growling fiercely just outside the south fence. I looked out the side door but it was too dark to see anything and by then the dog was gone. I thought no more about it until Monday morning I went out to feed my strays as usual and saw Kirk (as I called him) laying on the patio. Right off I realized something was wrong because he didn't jump up to greet me as usual and I could see blood on his gray coat. I poured the food in the bowls and the other cats began eating but kirk just lay there staring at them. Not a good sign.
After the other cats left I took a slice of ham out to give Kirk but I didn't see him anywhere. This was strange- how could a cat who couldn't get up to eat manage to get over the fence- and why? I went around the front and after much looking found him laying behind a bush just outside the north fence. I put the ham down in front of him but he just stared at me with big sad eyes. It was unsettling.
I went back in to tend to some things but a little later I went back out to see if Kirk had ate the ham. No- it was still there- but now Kirk was gone. I'm pretty sure he had used his last strength to crawled into the heavy brush that's in the next lot. Well there was no way I could find him in there so I went back in, but I had a feeling I would never see him again- and I haven't.
I realize now he must have had internal injuries and hemorrhaging inside and that long sad look he gave me was saying "Thank you for taking care of me- and Good bye". I guess animals know when their life is over.
. . . . .