I had an animal trauma. This happened the night before Cinder died but I haven't been ready to share it until now.
I was driving home from work. It is a 60 km/37 mile drive as we live in the middle of no where. We live in the hills off a road that is curvy and hilly. The speed limit on a lot of it is 90 km/ 55 miles. After driving this road for the past few years, I know all the hills and curves.
The night in question, I was driving behind someone who was making me crazy with the going fast and then slow. There aren't a lot of good places to pass so I was practicing patience (something I need a lot of help with). There were at least 2 cars behind me, not tailgating but following close enough that I had actually thought I hope I don't have to slam on the breaks.
Suddenly, out of no where, a cat came darting onto the road. It happened so fast I had about one second to decide if I try and swerve to avoid it, slam on my breaks, or hope and pray.
What to do in this kind of event has been on my mind lately for 2 reasons. One - we have a lot of wildlife in the area and I am a planner. Two - in a recent case in our province a woman was found guilty of manslaughter for stopping her car for baby ducks on the road. A motorcycle came around the corner, couldn't stop, hit her car and the passenger died. Mainly because of this story, the Man and I talked about, if it is small, you can't risk your life of the lives of others in cars behind you. If it is big (like a deer let's say), you actually have a choice to make. I do feel horrible putting myself ahead of animals in this way, but I think knowing I killed a human would be much, much harder emotionally (not to mention I would be fine with never going to jail and that a criminal record may take my livelihood away).
So I picked hope and pray. Unfortunately the cat didn't turn away and I hit it. I can say the cat died quickly and will spare you all the horrible details. I cried and wanted to throw up, but know I did what I had to do in that situation. I know if in the exact situation again, I would have to make the same terrible choice. I do feel terrible and take responsibility for my actions, but I also feel angry at the owner for having an outdoor cat and putting me in the situation where I had to decide which lives to risk. I am working on letting this anger go because judging others is not productive.
Almost exactly 12 hours later, we said goodbye to Cinder. I can tell you, the cat accident was harder for me. Also, even though I tend to have atheists tendencies, I felt like maybe this was the universe evening out.
2 hours after Nin died, I was reminded of the circle of life and the irony of life. A co-worker sent an email saying she had rescued a mother cat and 3 kittens and was looking for homes for them. We declined to take one, the reasons why to be explored in another post. But for a second I laughed. I didn't laugh because 2 cats had dies, no I laughed because for some weird reason in a 14 hour period the universe surrounded me with cats. What are the odds?!?!?!?!
RIP unknown cat. Please know I grieved your death like you were my own.
|Angel Bagheera because I needed a reminder of a peaceful cat and the joy of cats|