Thursday, February 04, 2010

it couldn't really be helped, but that doesn't make it suck any less...

this is not fiction, though i wish to god it was, o my beloved non-existent readers...

i wasn't speeding. i wasn't talking on the cell, or texting. i wasn't even distracted by any number of things that might distract a driver as he travels at 35 down a road.

which means i saw the black and white streak with plenty of time to brake hard.

but not quite enough time to prevent myself from hitting it with the opposite-side back tire.

"oh, fuck. fuck fuck fuck." i exclaim as i pull the car off ten feet further, throw my door wide, and leap out, heedless of traffic.

"oh, goddamn it. no no no! calm calm, stop." i yell at the cat as it tries vainly to run away from its own pain, the parts of its body that have become enemies and are attacking it. a disconnected and analytical part of me admires it for its fighting spirit. the rest of me goes sick to the stomach to see it spinning on its side, droplets of blood spattering across the blacktop, the grass, two trash cans that it ended up between; frantically thrashing its legs in rythmic running cycles that would carry it far away were it not for the damage to its skull.

"oh, shit. shit fuck shit. no no, calm now, calm." i place a hand on its side and it relaxes some, gasping breaths.

i should've known that even as my hand rested on its side, the cat's spirit was wending its way to warm angel arms and happy mousehunting amongst cotton-tufts of clouds, but some panicky chunk of me was playing manic optimist like nero sawing his fiddle as rome turned into an inferno around him:

"fuck fuck, who do i call. where is the nearest vet? shit, why didn't anyone stop?"

i waffle between the cat, who is renewing its efforts to escape on foot, and a nearby house.

i should've known that all the cat wanted was a warm, loving, calming touch as it expired on the side of the road. i should've known that no owner would want to see their pet in this state. i should've known the dice had already been thrown and had come up snake eyes for me and this ill-fated feline and done what i could to ease its passing. i should've known. i should've fucking known.

i went to knock on the door. no one answers. i run back to the cat, who is still but breathing, albeit increasingly shallower; staring blankly with one sunken eye and one bulging. the red blood pooling in one ear makes me dash to another house. no answer.

dammit dammit dammit. i check on the cat again, and this time i know it is no longer fighting, not even in spirit.

i want to puke, or cry; as if the ache and agony i feel is a tangible object and doing one or the other could excorcise all the bad feelings like so much bile and salt.

i still feel as if the owners of the cat should know what has become of their loved one. there is no collar. i knock another door, and an old gentleman with a refined kentucky accent and a waxed mustache answers the door. i ask him if he owns a black and white cat, or knows who might. he replies that he believes it might belong to one of the houses i have already knocked. he goes on to say he has seen it dashing across the highway many times, as if knowing this self-destructive behavior on the cat's part will ease my own anguish at having hit it.

"i can tell you're very upset about it, young man. but if you have to choose between having an automobile accident or hitting a cat, well, i think you have to go with hitting the cat."

the analytical part of me knows that this is his attempt to make me feel better about it without really knowing me or how i think or feel. the analytical part of me quietly says, "thank you for that." while the rest of me fights to not feel indignant at his words.

i thank him, and go back to the cat. there is only one final act of futility to accomplish in this, a series of futile acts: i lift the lid to one of the trash cans that will be picked up in another hour or so, lift the limp body while repeating "sorry sorry sorry sorry" like all my higher brain functions have been shut down, and gently place the cat inside.

thanks for playing along.

darth sardonic

Labels: , ,


Blogger Sandrine said...

Sorry you had to go through this.

5:28 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

ty sandrine

6:30 AM  
Blogger lady macleod said...

Oh you poor love, such a feeling of helplessness I know. You did all you could and I do think the cat's spirit knew your intent. Rest easy.

5:11 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

ty m'lady, i sure hope so.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Wine in Thyme said...

I felt the same way when I hit a bird. Small or large, it's a life ended. feelings we have to deal with.

5:52 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

agreed wine, and ty for stopping by, hope to see you again, though in all honesty, i know scratch about wines.

11:30 AM  
Blogger twirl unabashedly said...

so... i ran over my own cat about 6 years ago (while leaving in a fit of anger during a fight with my ex husband, a fight that was -coincidentally- ABOUT my pets). she was an oddly albino siamese that was crosseyed and brain damaged from almost dying from lack of oxygen at birth, and was just loping along, trying to follow me when i left. i never even saw her.

it was nice of you to try to find the kitty's people.

making things die sucks.

...if i offer hugs, would that be weird since this is an old post, and we just met?

oh well.


8:14 PM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

twirl it is never weird to get hugs, and sorry about your cat.

11:03 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home