I have a cat named Moses; he's about 13 years old and an outdoor cat. This means a few other outdoor cats have become friends with Moses via food stashes. About two months ago a new cat emerged on the scene - a very striking Siamese cat. I would see him often darting off in the mornings.
Last Tuesday I was returning home about 9pm and I saw the Siamese cat on the side of the road right in front of my house. I knew immediately he had been hit by a car, but as I pulled into my drive he lifted up his head and looked at me. Another car had stopped too. I dashed inside to get my flashlight to check on the cat. Since he had looked up at me I was hoping maybe just his leg was broken and we could take him to the Emergency Vet Clinic.
As soon as I went over to check on the cat I knew he had died. And I knew he had died a painful death. I felt awful.
The passengers of the other car and I knocked on my neighbors' doors to see if anyone knew who owned the cat. No luck. My dad was visiting last week and decided to call the police. He ended up calling 911 - who promptly told him they did not handle dead animals (which makes total sense to me). They did transfer him to our local police who said they would let animal control know. All day on Wednesday - no animal control, but many sad children and adults as they passed by the poor cat. Late Wednesday afternoon my dad physically arrived at the police station to ask animal control to come out. He was told they had no record and he could talk with the dispatcher (which he did). Still nothing.
By Thursday afternoon my dad could no longer stand it. His words to me, "It's just irreverent!"
I've thought a lot about that and how we each are distinct, valuable creatures. And I have thought a lot about my response - I could barely look at the poor creature. I felt awful, but I also didn't really do anything.
Later on Thursday the cat was gone. My dad had gone out, scooped the cat up and buried him in my backyard. In some small way he returned the cat's dignity. A 'proper' burial - a little reverence.
I wonder what would happen if we all appreciated and revered the dignity of others instead of covering up our eyes or closing our ears to the things which are hard to see and hear.
Liturgy of the Passion: Awake, Awake
1 day ago