We drove out to the farm early Tues morning to see if we could have one last look for our gentle Cindy. Sadly we did not find her, and as each day passes I have to let go of the fantasy that she suddenly emerges from the veld unscathed.
At best she died a natural death in the veld while free ranging. At worst, she was stolen by a neighbour for the pot. I think that the most likely explanation is that she was taken by a rooikat while scratching in the dirt, looking for food.
Although sad, I can get my head around this, and would have these chickens live in no other way. Cindy was rescued from a pet shop in Krugersdorp in August last year. She was in a tiny cramped cage, and had come from a battery farm. Her life for the last 7 months has been 25 veld hectares of chicken bliss, with a safe and warm home to return to at night. Cindy and Sarafina were rescued together, and were inseparable. Sarafina definitely showed signs of distress for the first 24 hours, and is showing distinct signs of a depressed mood this weekend. Again, witnessing such clear emotions, I have to wonder what a terrible dis service we do to these emotionally aware animals when we commit them to a life of misery and torture through our desire for animal protein – meat and eggs.
I will miss her holding her soft, but solid form, stroking her head while watching her close her eyes, and kissing the soft feathers on her neck, watching her take a dust bath. Om mani padme hum Cindy.