Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Dead Cat. (topic a little morbid)

A friend had just left, when a moment later there was a knock on the door. I thought she'd forgotten something, but it turned out that she'd found a dead cat in the middle of the road just outside my place.

I went out and had a look, and I think it was the black tomcat (I'm pretty sure it was a tom), that used to hassle some of the other cats hereabouts. I'd only met it once before.
It looked like a car had clipped it too hard - it wasn't squashed but there was a big wound over its shoulder region.

The cat must have only been dead for a short while - maybe within the half hour? We wondered what to do. She didn't want to pick it up - its eyes were still open, as was its mouth - its stillness and the shoulder wound being the only indicator that it was dead.

But we both figured it should be moved out of the way of any other cars. I don't know who owned it, but I just didn't like the thought of it being "squashed" (and imagined that the owner wouldn't like that either, even though the cat was already dead). So I got a plastic bag from the house, and with the bag over my hands, I gingerly lifted it by its feet. I let go almost straight away on the first attempt, as it felt disturbingly alive - the warmth and the weight of it - no rictus had set in yet.
The second time, I lifted it just enough to bring it over to the side of the road, and let it lay in the gutter area.

As I write this, I am thinking that it's the first time I've been that close to a creature newly dead, let alone lifted one. (And I'd first typed "an object newly dead", just then. Hm.)

I like cats, but I couldn't bring myself to touch it without the bag. It was quite scary to look at - as if it were still in mid yowl. Eyes wide, mouth open, teeth visible. And being a black cat of course. Poor chap, quite handsome, yet shy, on that time I met it. It peeped over my doorstep - I think I may have even mentioned this on the blog earlier.

I find myself concerned about getting its gender right! (one must be specific in these weighty matters, no?) Yet I'm too much of a wuss to go and double check now. It had the bearing of a tom though. I think it's because I don't want to be writing a memorial to a cat and inadvertently offending it! I can see why the Egyptians revered the cat. And also why they wrapped them up in bandages too - too scary otherwise!

Ah well. A strange and somewhat disturbing experience.
I hope that the owner (if any) finds the body, so they know what happened. I think it was quick and not messy, which is merciful at least. HIP, black cat, (Hunt in Peace).

I haven't heard or seen the little grey one around for quite a while now either, so I'm hoping that one is still about, just keeping indoors over winter.

No comments :