Someone phoned the number on the collar, and a minute later a woman and her teenaged daughter came out. The woman seemed OK as she approached, but then stopped abruptly. We somehow mumbled that the cat was dead, and she instantly broke into loud sobbing. Poor woman... I can relate to her, having lost Meiko a few years ago.
The woman placed a blanket she brought one her fuzzy friend, pulled it up to his neck as if tucking him into bed. Shaking, she said, "I can't look at his face!" and continued wailing loudly.
We all agreed that the cat should be moved, but where and how? A cyclist on the scene disappeared and returned with a few pieces of corrugated cardboard. My running friends and I slid the corpse onto the cardboard, and we wrapped it all in a sheet that a neighbour brought out. Handing it to the woman and her daughter, then cried as they took their lost friend home.
One thing that struck me as odd... in the middle of the ordeal, I expressed to the lady that I could understand her feelings for her cat because we have cats too. She stopped crying at looked directly at me, and asked "Are they outdoor cats?" I said "yes". I think she felt guilty for letting her cat go outside. Vets tend to suggest that indoor cats live longer. In my opinion, a short life outside is better than a long life inside. But that's purely a value judgement.