August 6th, 2006



I killed a cat yesterday.

Not on purpose and not personally, but nevertheless it has had me really down and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all day.

I wasn't even sure it was a cat, it was so dark, and there was a moment when it looked like a rabbit* and its eyes reflected in the headlights as it raced straight for the front side of the car, and then it was thumping under the wheel before I could brake or swerve or even react more than to cry out. I stopped but I couldn't see anything behind me, couldn't find it, couldn't think what to do, before shakily driving on in tears and in shock.

Coming abrupt and awful, immediately after one of the most relaxing and convivial evenings I've had in awhile, it really threw me.

Over and out, just like that, with no warning, no meaning, no conclusion. Just a thumping and a stopping and a silence.

Intellectually, I know that cats are a dime a dozen, that the average life span of outdoor cats is vanishingly small, that if I HAD swerved I would have been likely to have endangered or injured myself, but still I have found that that silence has coated my whole day today with sorrow for a small life so violently interrupted.

*It wasn't. It was a cat. I called the friend whose home I was at, whose village I was still in when it happened, and she found it this morning.