Once upon a time i killed a cat with my friend, in her car, with her car.
I didn't say it was going to be a happy story. In fact, with sad stories, one should probably just begin by informing everyone of this, so people know what they're in for. That said, it is a pretty good story, with twists and turns and even a moral.
Once upon a time, I killed cat with my friend, in her car, with her car. We didn't mean to. We were casually driving around the bend, (<-- turn) discussing art and politics when out of the corner of my periphery, a flash of orange leapt out in front of the car. What happened next went something like this:
First, simultaneous screams:
The slamming of breaks, simultaneous gasps as we waited, and not for long:
"Ohhhhhhhh!!!" Hands up to mouths, eyes closed, and then:
Note: I do not find humor in the killing of cats.
"Ohmygosssssh! What was it??" "I think it was a dog! Did we just hit a dog??" "I think it was a cat! It was orange. Ohmygosh! We just killed someone's pet!!!" LAUGHLAUGH (not funny.)
Have you ever had this happen? The resulting emotions were similar to those experienced when I've been in a car accident, or witnessed an accident or i guess any traumatic event. There's a lot of adrenalin, some shock, a bit of giddiness, and my natural inclination toward laughter. It's bizarre.
There have been few predicaments in my life where I felt i would never actually figure out what I should do. Real dilemmas, if you will, and this was one of them. What does one do? What do people do? What should we do? What would I want someone to do if it were my cat? These were the questions we asked ourselves repeatedly, and that you should too, should you ever find yourself in such a situation. I wish I had, previously.
Finally, we decided that first, we should confirm our fear. "Turn around and see if we can see it in the headlights" (turn) Sure enough, there it was, next to the curb, lying, contorted, in an unnatural position in the road (twist). (<--get it? ok no more of that) Second: what do we do now? We felt so bad leaving a dead cat in the street. I have had pet cats in my time, and they all died, like this cat here and like cats before them. One was hit in the street. One died due to injuries sustained in battle. I have only stumbled on one of my dead cats, and it wasn't something I remotely enjoyed and would have chosen another way, if given the opportunity. (It was in the window well, and at least a week later)
So we decided that secondly, we should try to find the owners and confess. We looked at the house in the direction from whence the cat flung itself to its demise, and tried there first. No answer. We walked back to the road, got soaked by the sprinklers, and tried the house next door. A man opened the door and my friend (Brooke is her name) started out by saying, "Do you have a cat?" Still somewhat hysterical, it was now that my failing contained laughter let loose, even before the man answered the question. Fortunately the cat did NOT belong to him, because my laughter could be seen as rather insensitive & offensive. I may be wrong.
Well, we hadn't thought past this point so we stood there, on his step, stupified, looking at each other and wondering what we should do next. We kindly invited the man (inadvertently) to join in on our quandary. He seemed uncomfortable but he didn't just kill a cat. Not a cat lover, he offered to scoop up the cat himself and toss it over his back fence into the ravine. Not two to shirk from duty, we declined his offer and accepted responsibility in taking care of our own messes. (ew) We also accepted his shovel, and a shallow wide cardboard box.
I took the shovel and Brooke took the box and car facing the cat, we said, "should we turn on the headlights?" "No! The less we see, the better." We approached the dead cat and I said, "now that i'm here, I don't think I can do this." Think about the logistics of this. How does one easily scoop up a cat? Without danger of making a grand mess of things. Not easily. I began to shimmy the shovel underneath the cat's girth and remarked, "Geez, why did it have to be the world's hugest cat?" LAUGHLAUGH. Our lucky day, we stumbled on a guinness book world record holder. He was a fat cat. And dead cats don't comply at all with your efforts to move them. (not funny!) I half had the shovel under it and told Brooke, "here, get the box and prop it up next to it and i'll try to roll him in."
This worked well, and Fluffy flopped into the box, lying on his back, paws resting on his belly, legs wide, tail hanging over the edge. Hushed: "Oh... it looks so peaceful..." LAUGHLAUGH
Now what do we do? We had a dead cat in a box. We decided to try the house across the street. We knocked on the door and a girl holding a baby appeared. "Do you guys have a cat?" "yeah..." "What does it look like?" "It's white and little." "Oh, ok. Goodnight." And we turned and walked away. When we went back to the street, the neighbor man's wife came home and he apparently told her the tale (HA) and she came out and told us that the house next to the one we'd just tried, did, in fact, have a big orange cat. So we sullenly sauntered to our 4th and final house. "I'll come with you" neighbor man's wife said. She stood back off the steps while Brooke and I knocked on the door and waited. Neighbor man's wife informed us they were an older couple who took care of their 3-year-old granddaughter. Brooke, shaken and upset at the prospect of telling a tiny girl her fluffy pal was flattened in a cardboard box, was worried. I tried to console her: "Brooke, these things happen... it happens all the time!" But I too was feeling regret and dreaded what we had to do. At the last minute I suggested:
"Can't we just leave it on their doorstep and drive away? They'll figure out what it means..." "What?? Yeah, after they get over the initial message of 'YOUR CAT IS DEAD. YOU'RE NEXT.'" LAUGHLAUGH.
Ahhh death threat jokes are always funny. Later, when I recounted the story to my sister, she said something like, "what if the cat hadn't even belonged to them?" And it was even funnier, picturing sending someone a death threat with a dead cat that wasn't even theirs. See? Totally funny.
Well, finally the light came on and a nice man came to the door and we saw his adorable granddaughter peering around the corner. I think someone started to ask him if he had a cat when Neighbor Man's Wife said, "Hey Bob.. is Lucky in?" "No, he isn't..." he said. Uh oh. Sure enough, it was his cat. We told him we hit it and we were very sorry and he said "oh no... well, let me get my shoes." And he told us he'd go down and get it and we could leave. We said goodbye and thanks to Neighbor Man's Wife and on the way to the car, I somberly said, "Ah man...she knew the cat's name."
"Lucky wasn't so lucky tonight..." LAUGHLAUGHLAUGH.
Still freaking out somewhat, on the drive home, Brooke lamented the dead cat and her bad luck and a week gone horribly awry. Again, as one might shake a friend who's out of control, i, also freaking out, told her sternly, "BROOKE. Lucky.. was dumb. Lucky.. was slow. It was his time to die. It was just his time!!" LAUGHLAUGH.
Aaaand, that's pretty much the end of the story. Moral: um... try not to kill cats. Faretheewell, Lucky. We took your 9th life, and we are sorry. RIP.