One of our cats, Ben, died this week. He’d been missing the last couple of days, and I went looking for him at the local vets and shelters today, but no luck. I had looked in the basement for him, but not well enough. Martin found him tonight lying on the carpet in his band room, dead probably for a couple of days. He’d been getting thinner, and I’d commented that maybe we should take him to the vet, but otherwise he seemed fine. Saturday was the first time he acted a bit strange. He liked to sleep under cars, especially if they were parked in the driveway because the driveway is grassy and soft, but he would always jump up and walk away when we got in the car or started the engine (if we hadn’t noticed he was under there.) Saturday, as we were leaving for the Russian River, Martin pulled out of the driveway and there Ben was, still sitting on the driveway where the car had been. We’d driven right over him, but the clearance was high, and he was fine. We thought it was strange that he hadn’t even moved, and commented again that maybe we should take him to the vet. Ben was an old cat, and I often joked that I wished he would run away or die because he’s the cat who chased my cat (the wonderful, perfect Bustopher Jones) away when I moved to Berkeley. I eventually forgave Ben and made friends with him, but he was never a warm or snuggly cat. He liked to stay outside all day and would sometimes run when I tried to pet him. Still, I’m sad. I’ve been missing seeing him on the sidewalk every day when I come home, and I think our other cat, Xeno, misses him, too. I wonder if Xeno knew he was dead, if he’d found him before we did. I’d post a picture of Ben, but all my photos are on an external hard drive, and I don’t have the energy to look for them. I wanted to get another cat after Ben was gone (I figured he’d go first since he’s older than Xeno), but I’m not sure this is a good time, just 10 days before the baby is due.