Friday, February 21, 2014

Oh, What a Terrible Week. (On Cats and Life)

This has been a sorry week. It's not just paying $267 in AP fees (for three AP exams). Money problems make me anxious, but I could have gotten over that. It wasn't missing two days of school and feeling guilty for all of that missed time and makeup work.

I suppose I'll have to tell you the actual reason, though I hate to say it: someone ran over my cat.

Now, it sounds like something you grieve over for a few hours, maybe a couple of days. But I love my cats. I love my cats like I love my books. And someone killed him, stole a life. And didn't even care.

It was Wednesday evening. My little brother and his friends are playing outside, riding their bikes along the road -- they're elementary and early middle schoolers, just having a good time. I let my cat, Tenzing, stay outside, because it was nice outside -- warm, blue skies. And a little black car comes speeding along, running over my precious Tenzing, and doesn't even stop to see whether he just drove over a cat or a kid.

What sort of maggot-hearted monster doesn't even say sorry? Doesn't step forward when we drive around looking for him, or when we put flyers up to tell whoever-it-was that he murdered our beloved pet?

(I don't know for sure that this person is a he. I just have to refer to whoever-it-was as something other than it, and saying he puts more of a face to him.)

If there was any faith in humanity left in my heart, it is most certainly gone now. My cat was a strong, healthy, friendly Siamese whom we all loved, even our next door neighbors. If any of my several cats were to die, I had expected it to be Angel, the same age as Tenzing, but who has three teeth and an upper respiratory problem. Or perhaps Zazu, who is older than Tenzing, at somewhere around thirteen years old.

But not Tenzing. Tenzing didn't die from sickness or old age. I can't even really see it as an accident, because if you're in an accident, you stop to express your apologies. This was a tragedy. This was the dark taking of a life without seeming remorse. And perhaps that's spinning it a bit far-fetched, but my cat didn't make it. And it could easily have been my brother. This is cat-slaughter.

I don't understand how this could play out like it has. How no one would come forward and say sorry, sorry they ran over someone near and dear to our hearts. When is a cat's life not worth as much as a human's? Would they have come forward if they accidentally ran over one of those kids playing in the road? I suspect not. I suppose it doesn't pay to have faith in humanity; only faith in your friends, and yourself. But humanity has an evilness at its core, if you could do this to a stranger and not care.

The world, my friends, is looking rather black. The death of my cat may seem like something of a relief, that it wasn't my brother, but it is still a steep price. My cat never hurt anyone. And he's dead. He isn't going to come back. He isn't going to pull some fiction-stunt, where he really wasn't dead and will come back in the end, triumphant; he will stay dead, and buried, and only remembered. He still had a few good years in him; he was strong, for a twelve-year-old cat.

And I still have to trudge through school days, my face blank, pretending like all of this hasn't happened, because there isn't really any way to explain why the death of a pet can rock your entire world off its hinges. There isn't time to let you adjust to your new world. There is only schoolwork, and the teachers' annoyance when I really can't turn my homework in on time.

I hope you have a blessed week yourselves, people. I really do hope you have had a better week.

RIP, blessed Tenzing.

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