Yesterday evening, on my drive from home to my parents’ house, a cat darted across the road in front of me. I saw it coming, and I tried to swerve out of its path, but it zigged just as I zagged, and ran right under my left front tire.
I’ve never hit an animal before. The bump was awful, and I pulled over immediately. I walked back to check on the cat. Poor thing, it was lying on the double lines, its legs folded awkwardly under it. There wasn’t any blood visible, but it was in a bad way. It was gasping for air, and its gums were nearly white. It was purring very softly, and hissed when I knelt beside it.
I was beside myself. There wasn’t a vet for forty miles, as far as I knew. I heard some traffic coming, so I got off the road. By the time those cars had passed, the cat died, which of course, upset me even more. I couldn’t just leave it there in the middle of the road. It had probably come from the houses just ten yards back from the other side of the road, and I didn’t want some child to find their pet crumpled in the middle of the road.
So, I picked up the cat and carried it (him) over to the house. It just broke my heart. He was such a handsome cat - thick white and marmalade fur, yellow eyes. All I could think of was how scared he must have been and how he must have hurt. One of his back paws was badly broken, but other than that, there was no visible damage. Halfway to the house, though, I caught a whiff of some truly awful stink.
I “lucked” out, in that the first house was where he’d come from, and the woman in the backyard said he was hers. I was much more upset than she was. She told me not to feel bad, since they’d lost four dogs in the past year on that very road. Of course, that didn’t make me feel any better. She couldn’t decide whether or not to tell her daughter that her cat, Lucas, was dead.
On my walk back to my car, a man pulled over on the other side of the road and asked if I needed help. I managed to thank him and say I was fine, but he turned around, and his wife asked me again, to make sure I wasn’t scared off by a man asking me if I needed help after dark on a lonely county road.
I cried for about ten miles, and it still hurts to think about it. I know things like this happen, but I know how devastated I’d be if my cat were killed. Between Lucas suffering and the little girl who owned him maybe not finding out what happened to her cat . . . let’s call it a rotten night all around.
When I got home, my dad was blase, my mom was sympathetic, and I ended up having to change my shirt because I couldn’t convince myself that I didn’t smell dead cat on it.