Such a cold morning to wake up to; another Thanksgiving has come and gone, and my three-day visit with my parents was just about coming to an end. We had a specific plan on how the day would turn out. We definitely did not see the hurt that was coming our way.
I awoke from my bed; the box of ashes of my dear departed, Precious, right at my nightstand. Never has there been a time where she was not at my side wherever I slept. She is my partner in crime, even beyond this lifetime. I always felt her presence nearby, wherever I would go. I truly miss that cat.
My parents and I left home to drop off my car at our usual car dealership for an oil change. We wanted to make the most of the time we had left before I returned home to LA. We went to get some breakfast and catch up on some good times. We talked about the sudden cold weather and how amazing it was to see all the snow on the mountains. It was a bit bittersweet to say the least; my brother was absent so it felt out of place to laugh when he wasn’t around. His girlfriend had to work Thanksgiving so he didn’t want her to be alone. I then received a call from the dealership that my Chevy Cruze was ready for pickup so we decided to leave.
As we got in our car and left the parking lot, my mother noticed a car stopping abruptly as it was making a right turn. We stopped to see what was up. To our shock, the man in the car hit some unknown animal, dragged it off the road, and proceeded to speed off. Worried, we drove by and saw that it was this black kitten leering at passing cars. We couldn’t tell how bad the inflicted injury was, and as we parked our car, we kept asking each other what we should do. My mom didn’t hesitate with her decision.
We both walked over and noticed the kitten lying on the ground. The kitten was trying to protect its right thigh, with a large gaping bloody wound. Horrified, we decided best to take the stray kitten to a nearby emergency clinic and see if we could save it. My mother picks the kitten up with a small towel, and it tries to fight back, eventually accepting its fate letting us help it. We carry it off the ground and drive off in a hurry. We had just met this young little life, yet as many meows of agony it could muster, we attempted to calm it down like we would with one of our own.
We reach the emergency clinic, filled with concern and hope, only to be brought down hard with honest realization. We were given two choices from the nurses: if we save it we would be financially responsible for the kittens’ recovery, or, animal control would be called and the animal would most likely be euthanized. The look my mother’s face, the hope, the faith that it would all work out, flushed all the way down to her feet, and only tears followed. We both knew our family was in no position to treat the kitten, but we didn’t realize how swift a life can be taken. The nurses accepted the kitten, sullenly apologized to us, and I hugged my mother as we both exited, defeated. Nobody ever likes to see a family member cry when they get hurt. You always want to make them feel better, and console them that everything will be okay. But how could you, when it is beyond your power to do so? My dad and I said not one word. The silence was deafening, as my mother attempted to recover on our way to the dealership.
I drove my mom home, and she carefully began to open up. “I just don’t understand, Andy. I just don’t understand how anybody could hit somebody, and then just drive off like it’s nothing. Why Andy? Why do people do that?” I took a moment to craft my words carefully. I shared her hurt of what went down, but I knew deep down, as much as mom puts up a strong front, she has the biggest heart of the family. “There’s a special place in hell for people like that. I wish I had an answer for you, Ma.” She wipes her tears, “the kitten didn’t even have a chance. Poor thing, the kitten didn’t do anything to deserve that. Do you think I should’ve done more?” I grabbed her hand, and said, “you did enough, Ma. For as short as that kitten’s life was, that kitten experienced love and compassion. If it wasn’t for you, the kitten would still be on that corner, probably the worst place it could be. Nobody would’ve batted an eye but you did. You did good, Ma.” She squeezed my hand, and the rest of the car ride was in silence.