We got home about 7pm,
and there was a gang in the
street – all these kids from the
neighbourhood flats, and standing,
like a pied piper among them, a guy
looking confused, a bit sad, he had
a cat slumped in his hand.
It was our cat.
It was dead.
He handed it to me as I got out of
“This yours?”, he asked. Following
quickly with “I’m so sorry”.
I confirmed it was ours, and he handed
the slumped cat to me, it hung like an
We had a four year old at the time – and he
was asking questions
and then the neighbourhood gang fired up.
One of them in particular:
“Mister, mister – your cat. It’s dead! Shoulda kept
it inside. Shoulda not let it outside. Egg. It’s dead now!”
The unlucky motorist tried to explain that that was
neither here nor there. And the cat – now not ‘here’ so
to speak, had been ‘there’ on the road because that’s
what cats do.
“Not if you shut your doors and windows!” the kid protested.
“He shoulda kept his cat inside. Shut the doors. It wouldn’t
have run out on the road if it couldn’t get outside now would it?”
And he was right. I mean technically.
I looked down at the slump of cat as I was talking and saw that it
had its final poo hanging, frozen along with the cat.
It was like everyone noticed it at the same time and the kid from down
the street yelled loudly, “Ooh look – it’s got a poo coming out of its
The young David Attenborough. Up close. Getting personal.
The guy that killed our cat, tried one more time, explaining that cats don’t
just live indoors. And that he hadn’t seen the cat until it was
too late. And that he felt bad. And… I cut him off and said that I appreciated
him waiting for us, and to not worry and thanks and we’d
take it from there. And it was really an accident and no issue.
And the kid from down the road, without shoes or tact, kept taunting as
he sauntered off, “shouldn’t even be allowed a cat…mind you now
you don’t even have one!”
With the loudmouth marching off we made our retreat.
Once inside the house I put the cat on a towel, checked it was dead.
I found an old box. Put the cat and its poo
in the box. Dug a hole by a tree out back in our
yard, dropped the box in, shoveled dirt and then
smacked it all down hard with the back of the shovel.
Back inside I made a drink.
And thought about
how much I had
hated that fucking cat.