It was a textbook New Year this year: dinner in the Adelaide Hills with three of my oldest friends. A yummy fresh-Adelaide-food dinner it was too, a triumph for the cook and hostess, who has been a close friend since school and I am not saying how long ago that actually was but we're talking decades here. She and I saw the New Year in while Glad-Wrapping the remains of the summer pudding and clearing up the snapper scraps. The cool change swept in overnight and in the morning we sat around in the dressing-gown stage, exchanging views, memories and philosophies as is our wont. It was an excellent way to see in the New Year.
But on the rainy drive home, less than a kilometre from my house, I caught sight of something in the gutter that resolved itself, as I drove past, into the terrified face -- big eyes, big ears -- of a grey and white kitten. While clearly still alive, it would not have been in the gutter in the rain unless it couldn't walk.
Long story short: irretrievably and desperately damaged kitten (broken leg/hip, obvious internal injuries, possibly dog-mauled for good measure) retrieved, brought home where I then could not bring myself to kill it, so given a pile of clean bedding in the corner of the garden shed where it could die in relative peace, dry and unmolested, overnight. Came the dawn and the little bugger was STILL alive -- just -- so I hauled him off to the Animal Welfare League, who were extremely nice, and who relieved me of my tiny, filthy, mangled, unbearable burden.
1) If you have a cat, (1) have it spayed, (2) have it microchipped, (3) make sure you know where it is at all times.
2) If you run over a cat, or a dog, don't just keep driving. At least have the decency to stop and make sure it's dead or do something if it isn't.
3) Read J. M. Coetzee's *Disgrace*. If you've already read it, read it again.
4) If you have any spare cash, pet food, bowls or bedding lying around, take them to the Animal Welfare League or the RSPCA. Today. Now.