At the tender age of 8, Rayden Sazama of Logan, Utah learned some of life’s very toughest lessons after an animal shelter employee forgot to write a note to save his cat from being euthanized. The death of Toothless taught Rayden that lost pets don’t always make their way back home, grown-ups make mistakes and†some adults tell lies.
To ease his pain, the boy dictated a†eulogy about†his beloved†cat†to his grandfather and the two of them sent it to the editor of their local newspaper, The Herald Journal. The letter which is titled, “Grown-Ups Killed My Kitty” has received the fourth-most comments on the newspaper’s website and has since been reprinted in countless newspapers, news websites and television news programs across the country.
Rayden’s letter begins by telling the story of his beloved pet and his worries when Toothless didn’t come home. He said he wrote it to tell people how much he loved Toothless and that “people shouldn’t lie.”
To the editor:
My name is Rayden. I am 8 years old and I live in Logan. Yesterday grown-ups killed my kitty, my best friend, when they werenít supposed to. Because I really donít know how to write, my PaPa is writing down the things I think and say.
My kittyís name is Toothless. When I got him I had just seen ďHow to Train a DragonĒ at the movies. My kitty looked just like the dragon Toothless with big green eyes and the hair around his head. Toothless, my cat, has long fluffy hair and sleeps on my bed and loved to play with my brother and me. Toothless would let us carry him around all the time. He was our best friend.
Last week he didnít come in at night. Sometimes he does that, but this time he didnít come back. After two days my little brother Devin, who is 5, and I went to every house on our street and asked everyone if they had seen Toothless our cat. Everyone said no. We were worried and scared something was wrong.
On Wednesday evening Rayden’s father Jason stopped by the Cache Humane Society animal shelter to see if Toothless was there. Although the shelter had already closed for the night, a worker allowed him inside the building. Sazama saw the big fluffy black cat sitting in one of the cages. The employee would have released Toothless to Sazama, but he needed to pay an impound fee and that government building was also closed.
The worker assured Sazama the cat would be fine until the morning and stated a note would be put on the cage telling other employees that Toothless had been claimed and would be picked up the next day.
Sazama was thrilled and returned home telling Rayden the good news. “I found Toothless! We’ll get him tomorrow,” he said.
Sadly when Sazama returned the next morning with his impound receipt in hand he was told that Toothless had been euthanized. The employee had been busy training a new worker and had forgotten to leave a note on the cat’s cage. Sazama had the difficult job of explaining to his son that Toothless was gone because an adult made an awful mistake.
My dad went back the next day to get our kitty and they told him they didnít have any long-haired black cats. They only had a white fluffy cat. My dad waited a long time for the lady to come back and talk to him. The same lady that told my dad to come back the next day said she was sorry. She 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. She had just forgotten to write a note to save a member of my family. They killed him and I donít know why.
While Rayden was absorbing the idea that grown-ups make terrible mistakes he also had to try and understand that other adults are capable of lying. Even though every neighbor on his street said they had not seen Toothless when he was lost, one neighbor lied.
My dad found out where he had been picked up and it was our neighbors down the street that donít like cats and dogs. They had caught him in a trap and gave him to the police to take him away. When Devin and I knocked on their door and asked if they had seen Toothless they told us no, and that was a lie. My dad and mom tell me and Devin not to lie and that is right. I didnít think big people lied because they are grown ups and know what is right. Now I donít know what to do. My cat Toothless is dead; the people that killed him didnít even give him to my dad so we could bury him. What do I do now?
Photo Credit: puuikibeach