Grown-Ups Killed My Kitty

Rayden and Toothless

Rayden and Toothless (courtesy of Tiandra Sazama)

I was surfing the web earlier and came across this story from last year. It was so touching that I thought some of you might enjoy it.

Last October in Utah, 8-year-old Rayden Sazama and his 5-year-old brother were playing outside when they noticed that their cat Toothless was missing. Since it had been a couple of days since they last saw their pet, the boys decided to go door-to-door in their neighborhood.

No one had seen Toothless.

Rayden immediately told his father, who went to a local animal shelter just as it was closing. Sitting in one of the cages there was a fluffy black cat with piercing green eyes.

It was Toothless.

“When my dad made his funny meow sound that he does to make him come home, Toothless jumped up and came to the screen and rubbed up against it and was so happy to see my dad,” Rayden said later. “And he wasn’t scared anymore.”

For some reason, the shelter wouldn’t let Rayden’s father take the cat home that night and asked him to return the following day. One of the employees assured him that Toothless would be waiting, so dad went home and broke the good news to his son.

Unfortunately, the good news didn’t last.

When Rayden’s father returned to the shelter the following morning, he was told that they had no black cats. Further investigation revealed that Toothless’ cage had not been properly marked and that no one knew he had been claimed. As a result, an employee mistakenly euthanized Toothless just before Rayden’s father arrived.

“She [the shelter employee] had forgotten to leave a note to tell the people my dad would be there for Toothless, and they had just killed my cat that morning,” Rayden later wrote in a heartbreaking letter published in The Herald Journal. “She had just forgotten to write a note to save a member of my family. They killed him, and I don’t know why.”

Despair isn’t something young children should have to experience, if you ask me, but Rayden was understandably upset and felt betrayed by adults. And who could blame him?

“I didn’t think big people lied because they are grown-ups and know what is right,” Rayden lamented. “Now I don’t know what to do.”


Toothless (courtesy of Tiandra Sazama)

After accepting responsibility for the mix-up and Toothless’ execution, the Cache Humane Society (who run the shelter) offered Rayden a new cat, but he wasn’t ready yet. I have no idea if he ever changed his mind, though.

One silver lining to this whole mess is the important lesson it taught Rayden about forgiveness. Shortly after the unfortunate incident, the young boy returned to the shelter.

“He went to the shelter and talked to the lady, and told her that he’s not mad,” Rayden’s mother recounted later. “He’s learned that it’s good to speak about how you feel.”

I hope Rayden is similarly forgiving with his neighbors, who don’t deserve the kindness, if you ask me. Rayden’s family eventually learned that some of their neighbors–who hated Toothless–were the ones who took him to the shelter in the first place!

This poor kid got a raw deal all around, but at least there’s hope for him becoming a kind, understanding person someday.

I wish I could say the same for his sorry neighbors…

Posted on February 4, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I give the kids credit. Not sure that given the circumstances I could be that quick to forgive.

    • Me neither, Marty. Sadly, revenge might be my first thought, even though I’m pretty sure I would never act on it. Those neighbors wouldn’t be getting any help from me, though!

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