I Think I Killed a Cat

I was coming home in the dark. In the rain. And I hit a cat on the road. I wasn’t even going the speed limit. And I tried to stop. But I felt the impact of her furry little body on the car. And saw her dash off into the weeds beside the road out the mirror. It was minutes from my house so I went and got the brightest light I have and went back and walked up and down looking for her. A deputy stopped to check on me and helped me look until the rain went from steady to deluge. Then he walked me back to the car and promised to keep looking until he found her or got called.

I’ve never killed or hurt anything like that. I’ve done some pretty rotten things. But nothing that counts as taking innocent life.

I came home and fed my cats and prayed and called my sponsor. What else is there to do?

I’m still sobbing. I hate thinking of her injured and hiding in the weeds and soaking wet. And probably hungry too.

I know these things happen. I know sane people probably don’t get all twisted up about accidents. I know that God looks after little creatures. He’s got a track record of insisting animals get rooms on arck and sending prophets to wicked cities because “and there were animals.” (Jonah might be one of my many favorite stories.) But I’m not sane people. I care. And care most about little innocent things. I can’t help it. I’m wired this way.

This caring business sucks. It always has and it always will. I fucking care, OK? I know that’s just not cool in today’s jaded materialist world. And I don’t care. Because I care.

I don’t know what to do other than write about it at this point. I’ll go look again when the sun comes up. And keep praying.

I see dead animals on that road all the time. I’ve buried a few I didn’t hit but wouldn’t just leave there rotting in the desert sun. But this one I hit. And oh my God, I’d do anything to have been able to find her and get help.

I’m specially soft for cats. It’s happened too many times that my cat was all I had. I’m rather lacking in the sympathetic friends and family department. I really don’t need cheap words about it not being my fault. I just want someone to hold me and let my cry my soul out. But I live alone and on the wrong side of town. These cry my soul out nights happen. I know the tears won’t kill me. I know the feelings won’t kill me. I know I am powerless. I also know that when I have these cry my soul out alone nights it’s my cats who sit with me. Cathy gets up beside me and places a paw on my shoulder and just sits. I wish more people knew that kind of empathy.

The person I really wish I could call would probably just blow me off, angrily. That’s been the pattern most of the last year. I am an inconvenience at best. It took me a while but I got the message – he doesn’t care and I don’t matter. Oh. Fucking. Well. But there was a day I knew who would hold me and let me sob my heart out. It just isn’t today. So I’ve been learning to just let myself feel. Alone for the most part. I guess that’s the difference between me and the world at this point. I’d rather just feel it out to the bitter end alone than be with people who want to cheer me up for their own comfort.

I did at least get reassured that I am not alone in feeling like this. I have a wise old sponsor. She’s been on the road long enough to have been here and done this. I know I will get through it. I know it’s OK to just feel rotten. I know there is nothing I can do that will make a damn bit of difference. I am powerless. Again. And so I write.

I should be working on a school paper. It’s due in 48 hours. I’ll probably have to miss church to get it finished now. Oh well. God knows where I am and why.

But if anyone tells me God’ in control and it’s His plan for an innocent cat to die I’ll probably amputate their toes with rusty nail clippers. I know full and well that’s bullshit. Yes, I know it is still up to me to learn and grow from this experience. I know it’s another lesson for me. But God doesn’t have to kill animals to teach us. No. It’s just one of those things. I can honor the poor kitty best by finding away to make her short, brutal life count for something. After I work through this grief and guilt.

Yes, guilt. I know it was an accident and that I did everything I could and that I wasn’t even speeding so it’s not quite right to blame myself. But I still feel guilty and miserable about it. And that’s OK. Feelings aren’t meant to be logic-ed in or out of existence. Feelings just are. I know it’s me who needs to forgive me. But I want someone to tell me it’s OK and God forgives me. I want the cat to forgive me.

I’m finally settled down enough to be hungry and able to eat. I was supposed to be sitting down to a pre-homework post-meeting snack two hours ago. But I was out tromping through wet rag-weed looking for the cat.

The thing about writing like this is it never fails to help me find the root of the issue. I want to feel that the cat can forgive me. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Jesus and all that. He can forgive being crucified. Who am I to sit here having a sob fest over a cat? Well, I’m me. I fucking care.

I debated for a whole half a second what to do. But I knew. Get a good light and go back and look. I couldn’t live with myself not trying. This I will get over in time. But not looking I couldn’t. I’m just put together this way. God didn’t make us to live in isolated little numb bubbles. No, we are made to feel and relate and be in partnership and take care of all the animals and plants. There’s a whole lot I don’t know I think I’m right on this one thing.

Maybe I’m not sane by current cultural standards. But I think maybe it’s a sign of health to have a soft heart and care about people and animals and plants. Especially innocent furry things.

I know there’s even some small chance of a miracle. I will go look again in daylight. Maybe I will find her and she will be OK. Maybe someone else will find her and she will be OK. Maybe the deputy found her and had animal control take her to the shelter. They have a very good vet there. I’ve seen little miracles happen before. I have a little miracle child.

Thank God I didn’t have my little miracle child with me. He has a heart that works, too. My little soft-hearted Poka Bear who goes out of his way to help animals and smaller children. Yeah. He would be crushed. And probably never trust me again.

I’m going to have a hard time trusting me again for a while. Accidents are like that. They wake ya up and leave you painfully aware of how fragile life is. Blink. And it’s gone. Blink and life will never be the same again. Blink and I have blood on my bumper and my hands. Blink. And I can never again say that I have never killed anything. Blink.

It’s time to go tell people and pets they are loved. Because who knows what tomorrow brings.

And little kitty, I am so sorry. I hope you are well, I hope you don’t hurt. I looked and looked and looked. I did the best I could to find you and help you. I know apologies don’t undo what is done. But please, know that you live on in my heart and I’ll keep looking for you. And if you get to heaven I hope there’s lots of good mice for you and angels scratching your ears and soft clouds to bat around and warm sunny spots to nap in.



About m

My ego wants to think I'm a writer but my heart knows I'm just another one of God's Kids who sometimes has words to say. 2 human kids and 3 feline kids call me Mom. Or Mooooooom. Or mewom, depending which you ask. I'm kinda-sorta busy being a student again; this time I signed myself up for a bizarre torture known as Graduate School. Theoretically in 4ish years I'll have earned some more nice letters to put with my name. Let's face it, I'm addicted to learning and probably need rehab to restore me to sanity and remove the obsession to read books. I don't remember what free time is but I think I like to spend it sleeping or playing in the mud on a river bank.
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1 Response to I Think I Killed a Cat

  1. Pingback: Getting Over the Cat | the liminal life of m

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