Before Sadie moved into the neighborhood, there were lots of cats, both pets and strays. They started disappearing shortly after she arrived.
The cats had kept the mice and rat population under control. There was a wooded area and a creek that ran through it nearby. The rodents would make their way to the houses and invade the homes in our area mostly in the Fall. This significantly increased as the cat population decreased.
At first, we were all puzzled as to what was happening. A stray cat or two goes missing, that's relatively normal. They come and go as they please. Even a pet can fail to show. Sad, but it happens. And the depopulation increased over a period of weeks.
Proportionately, the rat and mice population began growing at an alarming rate. Just about everyone had a problem.
The only person oblivious to it all was Sadie.
In a neighborhood, especially after living there for a time, you can notice little things that people just visiting even regularly, might miss.
The tree cut down, the rosebush planted, birds' and squirrels' populations shifting. That's the same for raccoons, possums and other animals making their way back into cities.
Things got oddly 'quiet' after Sadie settled in. Oh, there were still 'wild animals', but the atmosphere changed. It seemed stranger, darker.
Negativity seemed to bleed slowly from people's psyches and even the area itself.
Arguments started over seemingly petty things. A couple of fights broke out. Cops were called several times, something that hadn't happened in a long while.
It centered in Sadie.
It wasn't too hard to figure out and after the tragedy of the cats disappearing, made sense.
She was always complaining and hated the pets folks had round her.
It was as though her negativity was contagious. People who were harmonious were at each other.
Several of us sought peace, not at any price, but the expulsion of the source of discord. We watched and waited.
One time after a storm, there was a hazy rainbow that seemed to hang over Sadie's house. It was a house that had been owned by an elderly lady who was the salt of the earth. She was always thoughtful and was first to help, to see what could be done.
Now, in her place, came someone who seemed to thrive and feed on discord, who was happiest when such things grew.
When the rainbow was pointed out to her, she seemed at least to be uncaring, vaguely distraught.
Then, casually, she admitted poisoning the cats. Perhaps it was the rainbow. Maybe she felt 'secure' and thought that such an admission would go unheeded or unpunished.
Nothing legally could be done. There was no proof she had done such a heinous thing. And she had admitted it to only one. It was enough. It was heard by more.
That night, dark, for no moon shone, yet serene just the same, many in the neighborhood dreamt of cats.
Lost pets. Old friends. They appeared, one, two, then more, their mewing and meowing built from a chorus to a crescendo.
Somewhere amidst the growing cacophony, were the screams of a woman, as the cats drowned them out, til there was quiet and purring, purring......
The next morning was bright, sunny and quiet for another reason. It was the quiet of peace. Sadie was gone.
She had disappeared. There was no trace of her. All her things were in the house. Yet it was as if she had fled, never to be seen again.
What family she had came and cleared out the house. They said Sadie never contacted them and the police were completely stumped. She was simply gone.
In time, very short time, cats returned. Pets and strays alike once again took up residence round us.
The rats and mice, though not completely disappearing, did not infest our homes anymore.
And at night, they would singsong, like they were crooning to the moon and stars. And in the daytime,after rain, they sang of the rainbow.
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