Skip to main content

The cat and the road

If I had arrived three minutes earlier, I would have seen the exact moment that the murderous car took the life of the majestic feline on the intersection of old Houston and gentrification. I still don’t know what I would have done: would I have chased it? Would I let it go free from impunity and guilt?

The blood was still fresh and warm. An eyeball was completely removed from the eye socket.  His jaw was wide open, frozen in a scream of terror with his little sharp teeth echoing the shapes of the downtown Houston buildings in the backdrop. The cat, tabby and gray, looked exactly like mine and this thought brought shivers to my spine. I parked my car in front of the crime scene. A man with his name written on his baby blue shirt holding a bottle of Coors Light stood still looking at the corpse. It was so fresh its soul still hadn’t had time to process it moved to a different realm of existence. I rolled down my window. “Is it still alive by any chance?” was the first question that came out of my mouth, so disappointedly inappropriate. Shock was all I could see on that handsome face that framed stunning blue eyes. “That was my cat,” he said with a sight of disbelief. And shaking his head, he burst it out with the strange slow motion cadence that comes out of horror: “Those motherfuckers…they killed my cat.” I stood silent for a moment and then asked if I could help him remove the animal from the road. All he could say without ever letting go of my pupils was “those motherfuckers…those motherfuckers killed my cat.” I said I was sorry for his loss, rolled up my windows and drove back home, shaken by the whole experience. There was no opportunity for an 8th life that night.


There were too many vivid colors in that horrifying scene: the gruesome red of the blood, the shining black of the asphalt, the infinite blue of those suffering eyes and the uncertain gray of me not knowing exactly what to say or what to do. And yet, more vivid than any memory or color, was the absence of the embrace I should have given that man when he most needed it.

Comments

  1. Love the learning that comes from reflection. I once had a boyfriend who hit (and killed) a dog while we were driving his car. He didn't stop. I asked him why. He said that it was too late, the dog was dead, and there was nothing we could do. I later thought...well, we could have stopped to honor his life, to see if he had an owner, or to remove him from the road...either way, we should have stopped. The image and thump from running over the dog is still with me...but the boyfriend is long gone!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dani, thanks for your comment. I loved what you said: your boy-friend could have stopped to honor his life. Interestingly, a similar story happened to me in my teen years. A guy took me out on a date and right before he dropped me off at home the ran over this beautiful cat just because he didn´t like cats. Miraculously, the cat survived, but I decided right there that I never wanted to see that man again!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Lust or gore? Your opinion matters!

Popular posts from this blog

Quarantine

In that apocalyptic spring of 2020 when the world stopped on its axes and humankind moved indoors, when hoards of humans caught themselves diving and drowning into the depths of their fears and souls, Delia realized that her marriage had been pulverized from the outside in and the inside out. It was the end of romance, the end of lust, the end of tiny gestures that could keep alive the flame that brought them together. Somewhere between raising child number two, the money that never came, her morning breath and his overconsumption of television, their story was the clone of all other marriages that flatten into a dumpster of colorless tediousness. Now it was only the two of them and their silence, if not for the occasional sound of someone spraying disinfectant in the boxes that came in the mail. She didn’t even have the strength to create an escapist illusion. “Live in the present,” she kept hearing from her colleagues over Zoom. So she did. Her present was now a pan of bori

Past life regression: what I learned from my previous death

The author in an alley in Pienza, Italy, December 2018 The polar vortex had swallowed the city. A thin blanket of snow folded over Houston, another abnormality in the oddity of the current times. Day three of on and off electricity, water shortages, the chilling of bones and the cloak of the COVID-19 plague still omnipresent. I found warmth in the crevices: the soft, luxurious fur of my cat oblivious to everything, green chili soup leftovers, Internet humor. Then another opening, this time in my chest: I was ready for a past life regression session. After months exploring the subject as a path to self-knowledge, I chose a sub-freezing afternoon to descend into a spiritual ladder that took me to the underworld of long lost memories.   

The web

When I moved to my new home a tiny little spider decided to build her web in my front yard.   Her silky thread expanded from the cypress tree to the nearby bushes, almost imperceptible except when the sun rays caught the exact angle of the carefully sewn fabric. Otherwise, for most of the time the little spider seemed to hang freely in space, defying the laws of gravity. I liked that optical illusion right there in my newly acquired front lawn. Each day I would get back from work and observe her resting after a day’s labor. Each day her web seemed more beautifully crafted, such stunning geometric precision that I confess I was slightly jealous. I once tried cross stitching a gift for a friend’s newborn, but I failed miserably. It’s not that the little clown I weaved wasn’t cute: it’s that the reverse was a complete mess. My mother always said that you know a good weaver when the reverse is flawless. My mother is a perfectionist and even though I’m a Virgo with perfectionist tendenci