For the past three years, this sweet black cat named Loki has been Nathan Sonoras’ beloved feline companion. Loki started out life as a stray, but after wandering into Sonoras’ life one day, the two quickly became best friends.
“He’s the sweetest little thing,” Sonoras told The Dodo. “He likes to jump on my lap and cuddle with me. He’s very lovable.”
Although Loki has a loving home, he still enjoys taking himself on walks through the neighborhood and surrounding areas — and Sonoras had been happy to give the cat that outdoor freedom, since he always knew to return.
Recently, however, it appeared certain to Sonoras that his time together with Loki had come to a tragic end.
Returning home from work this week, Sonoras spotted something that made his heart sink.
“I saw this black thing in the road up ahead as I was driving. I thought it was a sweatshirt or something at first. But I got closer and saw it was a black cat,” he said. “My greatest fear of having an outdoor cat had been suddenly realized.”
Sonoras stopped and approached the lifeless cat, in tears. After calling his girlfriend to come to the spot, he examined the cat’s body and found markings that confirmed to him it was dear Loki. It appeared that he had been hit by a car.
“I was incredibly emotional. I was crying, saying, ‘My cat’s dead — I can’t believe this,’” Sonoras said. “It was pretty traumatizing.”
Loki was no longer. Or so it seemed.
Together, Sonoras and his girlfriend took the cat’s body to her house nearby with a quiet corner of yard where they could lay him to rest. They then held a heartbreaking little funeral in remembrance of Loki.
“We dug a hole right by a nice tree,” Sonoras said. “We cried and shared good memories, and talked about how we hoped Loki was running around free in kitty heaven. It was very sad saying our goodbyes.”
Little did they know at the time, however, was that those final goodbyes were premature.
Sonoras and his girlfriend returned to his house after midnight, and their mourning over Loki’s loss continued: “We were just crying,” he said. “I just wished and wished so hard that he was still alive.”
The next morning, just hours later, Sonoras woke up early to give his father a ride to work; his parents live across the street, so they were well familiar with Loki, too. It was then that Sonoras gave his dad the news — and then learned some of his own.
“I explained that Loki had died and we were up pretty late burying him,” he said. “At that moment, right behind me, I heard Loki’s exact meow. I turned out, and there he was.”
Like his usual self, Loki appeared to be returning home after a casual morning stroll — not a care in the world.
“I jumped back. I was so in shock about the whole thing. I told my dad, ‘What’s going on? I just buried that cat last night,’” Sonoras said. “My dad was shocked as well. Loki is alive somehow.”
Mixed with the disbelief, of course, was sheer joy and relief.
Loki was actually still alive and well.
“I just held him and bawled my eyes out like a baby,” Sonoras said. “Did I wake up in a parallel universe where Loki hadn’t died? Or did I wish him back to life?”
Sonoras now believes that he must have buried a cat very similar in appearance to Loki, and hopes to spread the word so that cat’s family can be made aware.
Loki is back at home with Sonoras, who is rethinking whether he should give his cat so much freedom outdoors (having experienced the heartbreak that can result). But though it seems he didn’t know the cat for whom he held that little funeral, it’s still meaningful to him all the same.
“I believe all life is sacred,” Sonoras said. “Even if it was another cat, I’m glad I got to honor it in that way.”