On the way to work this morning, in the wee early hours, goin' relatively slow for the weather, but just fast enough...
Suddenly, I can see out of the corner of my eye, this cat jumps off the sidewalk right out in front of me. I had very little time to react;, I swerve a little away, but by then It'd already hit my car. I'd already hit it.
They say it's a soft whump or thump. Not this one. An audible crunch. Obviously I broke bone or something.
I continue on to work, acknowledging I'd killed it, but life moves on, right? It was an accident. Oops, oh well...
Or so I thought. within minutes I was shaking. I couldn't focus very well. After a few minutes, I drove back to find it. I did, saw it lying there right in the middle of the lane. It'd spun around and flopped over; apparently it was dead before it hit the ground.
So I go over to it, to check on the damage I suppose, or something. Well, I figured I should get it out of the road, so it doesn't get all mangled up or flattened. Funny thing was, it wasn't already. I pick it up gently, the thing lying limp in my arms like a rag doll. Pitiful thing. There was a small pool of blood just under its face where it was lying, and bloody whiskers and cheek, but no visible damage. I hug it close, like I would if it were still alive, gently carrying it over to the sidewalk, covered in snow. It was strange, how I could move it without so much as a squirm for comfort. I could just move it in my arms to get an easy hold on it.
I lay him -- her, it, I don't actually know. Looked like a him to me. I lay him on the sidewalk gently, I pet him for a little while.I gently rub his other cheek, the undamaged one, looking at his face. He was a nice looking cat. I just stare at him, on the verge of tears. The eyes look weird though. Obviously lifeless, but the irises are dilated and misshapen.
Finally, I sigh, I have work to do. At least he's out of the road.
Later, though, I still can't focus very well -- and ho-shit, I forgot to close its eyes. I wonder what eyes look like congealed.
Oh, that's what they look like congealed.
I can't get them to stay closed at all. They don't close, apparently. So instead, I gently pet him again. There was no life in this cat, but still. The light had gone out. No ore cat in the body.
Dead things have no life. No bioelectricity, no chemical processes, no flow... no movement. The machinery of the body just... ceases function. Gone.
Damn. Someone's cat just died today. If it had a collar and tags, I would have called. Yes, even that early in the morning. I would've left a message at least.
Well, I should get back to work, I don't want to be late. I'm glad at least I have no-one looking over my shoulder, telling me what to do, when or how to do it, or anything of the sort. I can make my own hours, to an extent. I get paid rather well for it too.
Towards the end of work, I'm feeling a little bit better, like normal, I suppose. All they see at night are the headlights, floating in the middle of darkness. I pass this house, the one that usually has a cat perched on the doorstep. I usually like to go up at pet it, play with it. I think it's a she, it's something like a seal-point Berman or something, a dark Siamese, maybe. Anyway, she's very friendly. Likes to climb up to my shoulders, even as big as she is. She did today too. I spent more time with her than usual, I gotta make sure I don't lose attachment to living things. I saw death, after all. Hell, I caused death. Oh, damn I caused death.
So I pet her for a while, she walks up my front as I kneel down to pet her. Eventually, though, I need to leave, continue my work. Gently, I set her back on the doorstep, pet her behind her ears, and walk away. She follows. She never follows. So I pick her up again, petting her. She calms down, sitting comfortably in my arms, like she intends to stay there for a while.
She has this meow, a nice, quick meow when she wants to be pet. "Mrah! Mrrrah." It's cute. I mimic it a lot. I still have to go, though, so again I gently set her down, this time on the little wall thing next to the driveway, because I'd already made it that far out to get back to my car.
I can't stop thinking about that dead cat, though. It's been about twelve hours since I killed it, but damn.
Finally, I'm finished, an hour and a half, maybe two, later. I have to resist the urge to go check on that cat again. Come on, dude, the cat is dead. It doesn't need to be checked on.
When I get home, the first thing I do isn't to go find my cat, Christy. I have breakfast, try to keep myself calm. Yogurt, cereal, and a bagel. Comics in the paper.
After a minute or so, though, Christy hops up onto the bench. "You ain't supposed to be up here, girl." Even so, I cuddle her gently, petting her and hugging her close. Usually she'd squirm to get down, and sit next to me, but she doesn't now. Mm, I hug her close, petting her gently.
After a moment or two, though, and it seems I'm saying "though" a lot now, she squirms a bit. I put her down on the bench next to me, but I keep petting her. What's weird though, Christy almost never purrs. Like, ever. She's very nice and warm, though. Somehow, even though she's not purring, you know she would be.
Today, I killed a cat.