A few days ago I walked up into the park north of the house as I do about once a week. It was there, by the lagoon, that I saw the black cat and spoke to it. Something like, “Hey, baby, what ya doing?”
On my return, walking the same route, I came across the same cat. It was laying in the parking lot dead. Run over by a car. I later wrote this in my notebook in ink and pen and now wonder what provoked me to spend, what, 15 minutes? writing about it.
“I had spoken to it not an hour before as it stalked a bird hidden from view. The cat, so full of life then, knew not that it had only about an hour to live. Flies gathered on it now, around the eyes and the tail. It was a blessing, though, to not know the coming moment of death.
“Nearby, maybe 25 yards away, another cat, a young one, lay with its back up against the curb, the hot day sucking the life out of it. It was black too only with a little brown. It was lethargic and did not move as I approached, emitting only a feeble mee-ow.
“I walked home and drove back with tuna and water. The cat hadn’t moved. I placed the bowls close to it and walked back to the car to watch. It headed for the tuna first and then drank. It repeated this several times. As I drove off I saw the cat had lain down again. I wondered if I had done nothing more than put it out of death’s way for only a few more days. I’ll come back tomorrow and may take the cat home. At the end of it all, I felt depressed.”
I did go back the next day with food and water again. I found it this time laying under a car in the shade. It made me shudder. I stopped to tear off a piece of paper and wrote a note to the driver: “There may be a cat under your car. Please watch for it before you back up.” I placed the paper under the windshield wiper on the driver’s side.
Finding the cat under the car provoked me to pick it up and place it in my car. I would take it home where I have two outside cats and an inside one named Ares. But it put up such a howl and was in such apparent distress that I gave up, let it trot away to some palm trees. I placed the food, hard food this time, and water close by. Then I left. I came by the next two days but did not see it.
I’m still trying to understand my motives for feeling as I do. The only thing that comes to mind is innocence. Unlike people, animals live in the moment. I don’t think that even a snake or an alligator has a mean bone. Sometimes, I think I care more for animals than human beings.