After being completely crazy out of mind about Benjamin being gone, we finally have our resolution today.
In my insistence that Benjamin was still alive and being cared for by someone, I had Matt fax fliers to area vet clinics saying our cat was stolen and that we hoped they would be on the lookout for him.
Tonight one of the clinics called me back. They told me Benjamin was taken to them on Saturday the 26th in severe respiratory distress. They called the animal shelter to see if anyone reported him missing, which we hadn't until noon the following day. The decided to euthanize him. The person who called told me some of his identifying features that we knew were his (like one of his canine's was broken off).
So now, I'm amazingly sad. I'm amazingly mad about how insistent I was about his theft. About how completely I believed the obviously bogus pet psychic. About how pissed I was about the people who left us the note even though they were acting purely out of care for Benjamin. I'm so mad at myself. I'm mad that I let myself get so wrapped in my grief that I let myself believe anything and everything but the truth about the situation.
Benjamin is gone. I'm okay with that, he was about 18 years old, after all. He had a good run. The day he walked out the front door for the last time, without any tags (stupid, stupid) he seemed as normal as ever. I will always be curious how he got so sick so fast, but you know, that's like a really small detail at this point and I won't be searching for the answer.
For what it's worth I'm sending a check to the vet clinic to thank them, along with a nice note. I am also sending along a note hoping they will forward it to the anonymous person who took him in and left us the note on the light pole.
I'm asking for forgiveness from the universe for how angry I was at the world about this, when in actuality, we were very lucky that someone helped give him a humane death. I always considered myself a loving, trusting person, but that all went out the window this past week. My dear friend Julie was helping me to be more gentle with myself, but likely that will be a work in progress.
Thank you to ALL of you who sent your well-wishes to me during this horrible time. It helped alot, it really did. Thank you.