There is a cat in my neighborhood that is a stray. She is a rather worn Russian Blue, but sweet and affectionate. A few of the neighbors have ban together to keep an eye on her. The stray has had two litters of kittens, that I am aware of. Unfortunately, of those two litters, she has only managed to raise one kitten. After discovering this, some of the neighbors did what would have made Bob Barker proud, and got her spayed. Personally, I've never been fond of stray animals, so why mother and kitten hung out underneath my girlfriends car is a mystery. None the less, on regular occasions she would have to scare them off so she could back out. One morning she was running a little late to work. She told me in a frustrated voice that those cats were under her car. Not even bothering to look away from my video game my advice to her was to start the car, they will move. I was right, they did move. Mother ran to one side of the street, and kitten to the other. Just as my girlfriend backed out of the drive way and on to the road the kitten decided it should be by it's mother. The rear passenger tire of my girlfriends Kia Sportage came between that little kitten and her mother in an untimely and gruesome way.
The event was sad, there is no doubt about that. My girlfriend, already late for work, was rather shaken. It was unfortunate we didn't have the time to embrace and let her cry. She had to go. My role of the supportive boyfriend was cut short and I felt helpless because I knew, although it was an accident, she felt horrible. After she left I was left alone with a mother cat and her twitching kitten. The mother cat looked up at me, just as helpless as I had looked at my girlfriend. She looked at me as if my mighty opposable thumb could some how turn back the clock a messily 30 seconds and undo the tragedy. The best I could do was move the kitten off the road so that they could be together, out of traffic, as the kitten passed away. I wondered, as I watched them from my window, if the mother understood death? If she would grieve? Do cats even have emotions? There are some who would argue animals are nothing more than biological machines programmed to survive and reproduce. That, we as emotional illogical humans, personify animals around us because we don't understand them. While I agree we don't fully understand them, and to some degrees we do give our pets more credit than they deserve for their actions. After this event I know a cat can grieve. This morning I woke up to see mother Russian Blue, looking at the spot of discolored road where her genealogy ended.
As sad as the story is, I did manage to find some good in it. For one, I finally figured out what my argumentative topic is going to be in my English class that I've been racking my brain over for the past few days. The second is I've joined my neighbors in helping take care of the stray. Her life has been difficult to say the least. Perhaps she was not the best mother, or maybe she just had really bad luck. It's not my place to decide. I can decide to make sure she doesn't go hungry or thirsty for as long as she stays around. I figure, it's the least I should do.