The Futility of a Dead Cat
About a month ago, I ran over my own cat.
She was 17 years old. I'd had her since she was a tiny little fluff ball. My ex-husband, boyfriend at the time, spotted her in the woods by our high school parking lot. He darted out of the car and grabbed her. I took her home. She became my kitten.
She was very, very sick and tiny. My mother and I nursed her back to health, and we loved her and raised her as our little baby. I'm allergic to cats, so my family hadn't had a cat for a long time. At almost 18, I guess my mom decided I was old enough to decide to sneeze all the time if I wanted.
When I went to college, she stayed at home with my mother the first year. Once I got my own apartment, she joined me. She moved with me through various college apartments, and she lived with me in New Jersey while I was going to grad school in Brooklyn. She survived 2 other cats, 3 dogs, 2 marriages, and the birth of my daughter.
She was always an inside cat. I'd never lived anywhere I felt comfortable letting my cats go outside. By the end of her life, though, she'd kind of lost her mind. She would meow all night and wake everyone up. I had a baby who still, at 2, doesn't sleep through the night.
One day, I let my cat go outside. I felt all this peace about it, thinking that she'd enjoy the last years of her life being outside. My daughter and I walked her outside the first few times, and eventually, she started standing by the door and meowing to go out. She stopped yowling at night and enjoyed lying in the sunny patch on our front stoop.
I felt great about it.
It lasted about 2 months, and then, I ran over her. I have a Prius, and it's very quiet. The cat wasn't very good at being an outside cat after all.
Isn't it dumb? You take in a living being, love it and care for it for damn near 20 years, and then just run over it one day. For no reason at all.
The cat never was sick in her life except for a few colds. She was very pampered. She was neglected some after the birth of my daughter, which I regret. But I was doing the best I could.
Kitty...if you're able to read the internet in cat heaven, I want you to know that I'm so grateful for your friendship. You were a quiet presence with me through more of my life than not. You were good to me, and I hope I was a good kitty mama to you. I miss your crooked tail and your fuzzy toes. Eva misses you, too, and talks about you all the time. You are the first creature to teach her about death.
Thank you, and I'm so, so sorry.