Monday, January 02, 2006

Too good to last

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.

Morals:

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.

5 comments:

Zoe said...

Poor little beast.

elsewhere said...

This is like my mouse story from same time last year, only my cats were perpetrators, and I ultimately had to drown the mouse.

I think you did the right things...

Pavlov's Cat said...

Oh God isn't it dreadful. I once, many years ago, had to kill a starling that had been mauled by the family cat, and of course it all came back to me during the kitten saga.

I have been meaning to ring the Animal Welfare League and volunteer my services ever since. Tomorrow ...

genevieve said...

High time I read Disgrace.

Ms Smack said...

You know, I once heard a little cat meowing out the front of my house but when I checked, I couldnt see or hear anything.

The next day, I found the headless, mangled carcass of the baby kitten, (no bigger than your hand) and i was absolutely shocked, and revolted.

I dont know to this day if it were an animal, turf war with another cat, or some vicious human being, but dear me, it makes me feel better when I read your lovely story.

My cat is by my side ALL the time. Shower. Washing. Dinner. Television. Sleeping and sometimes, he even pokes his head into my toilet! When I'm at work, he's asleep on his pillow by the window, waiting patiently.

Good karma to you!