RIP Beautiful Kitty

I was driving home on Tuesday night, just about to leave the city limits of White Plains when I saw a cat laying in the road.

I swerved to avoid the cat, saw motion out of the corner of my eye, and pulled over on the nearest side street. There was more traffic behind me and I held my breath as I approached, worried that one of the passing cars would drive over the injured feline.

Using my iPhone as a flashlight, I finally got close. The poor cat was dead. There weren’t any obvious injuries, but his mouth was filled with blood. In retrospect I believe the movement I saw earlier was just the wind blowing his fur.

I picked him up, carried him off the road and set him down on the grass near a street sign. Then I called the police.

He was well-fed and well-groomed, with a striking coloration — medium-length fur that was pure white except for a single black stripe on his tail.

This was someone’s beloved cat, and that person was going to be rattling a bag of treats and calling out for kitty to come home, wondering where the little guy had gone.

Someone hit or drove over that beautiful cat and kept driving.

It’s one thing to know the statistics, to understand in the abstract that outdoor cats only live three years on average while their indoor counterparts live an average of 16 or more years, and quite another to see a dead cat up close with my own eyes, left there as roadkill.

Feral Cats
A group of feral cats. Image credit: Cats On Broadway Animal Hospital

Many people labor under the assumption that cats belong outside as if it’s their natural habitat. The truth is, cats don’t have a natural habitat. As domesticated animals they’re no different than dogs, pigs or cows — the process of domestication has rendered them human-dependent. They’re genetically distinct from their wild ancestors, molded over thousands of years to be companions to humans.

Domestic cats aren’t as swift or agile as wildcats. While they retain some of their wild instincts, they’re ill-equipped to deal with danger.

Life as a feral or stray is tough, brutal and short. Some can survive for a short while. Most don’t.

They should live indoors, and there’s no reason an indoor life should be boring for them. As caretakers it’s our responsibility to keep them entertained, to provide them with toys, perches, hiding spots and window vantages. Most of all, it’s our responsibility to give them attention and affection.

Please keep your cats indoors and safe from the many dangers of the outdoors.

Note: The featured photo at the top of this post is not a photograph of the cat I encountered, but a similar-looking cat. Header image credit /u/phlebotinum/Reddit.

5 thoughts on “RIP Beautiful Kitty”

  1. Oh man. This just broke my heart and made me cry. That poor baby. At least you did something about it. Thank you for doing what you could for the little kitty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a grown-ass man and I shed a tear for this poor cat. It was definitely upsetting. Afterward I thought maybe I should have knocked on some doors, but that area is dominated by two huge golf courses, and the homes are practically palaces, set far back from the road on winding side streets. It would have taken hours, and I had no idea which direction to start. So I put up a post on Craigslist’s community section, but apparently people use that for nothing but pitbull adoption ads and casual sex hookup ads, so who knows if anyone will ever see it.

      Like

    2. Someone in my neighborhood ran over someone’s poor pet cat. I stopped and got it. I then was worried the owner would think I did it, but quickly got over that thought. We have “next door,” so I posted a description of the cat, hoping the owner would learn of its demise and contact me. It took 2days, but the owner finally contacted me and was grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

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