The Saratoga Sun -

The newest black mark on my soul


I was walking around town the other night (because I am trying to get some exercise) and had gotten to the other side of town from my house (it’s not a big town) when I heard a repetitive and plaintive mewling.

Being a cat guy (or a guy who will investigate any animal in distress), I walked over behind the abandoned building where the noise seemed to be coming from.

When I got to the back door to the building I heard the meow a couple more times and thought to myself that the cat had gotten trapped in the building and couldn’t get out. I pushed on a loose board on the door and expected a cat to come bounding out and run away.

I did this twice before the meowing began again. I finally looked down and saw a very small kitten laying at my feet. I had almost stepped on the creature laying in the tall grass in the dark.

It mewed at me a few more times and I picked the baby cat up.

At this point, I was unsure as to the cat’s distress but it nestled into the crook of my arm as I cradled it.

I talked to the cute little thing as I carried it to my house intent on at least making sure it had some food and water.

While I conveyed the cat down the road it made no attempt to even change positions and even purred briefly as I stroked it.

I told the adorable mini cat that I didn’t really need another cat since I have three already but knew that I had already adopted the thing.

When I got it home I put it in front of the water dish I use for my other pets as they looked on at the continually crying baby.

The kitten drank ravenously but I noticed as it did that its back legs lay askew and unmoving.

Okay, I thought. I can probably deal with a paraplegic cat.

It was then that I noticed a horrible smell coming from the kitten.

I carried the little guy into the bathroom and put it in the tub and commenced to wash him (or her—I never did find out) off.

When I picked up the tail I saw that maggots or small worms wriggling in the cat’s anus. I also noted blood washing out as I tried to clean the animal.

It was then I figured there was only one thing I could do for the wounded animal since our town has no veterinarian. Even if there was a vet handy, I realized there was probably very little that could be done.

I picked the kitten and sadly swaddled the guy in a towel and petted her (I’m just going to switch pronouns occasionally) as I walked into the bedroom and collected my .22 revolver.

I took the towel-wrapped kitten out to my car and began the mournful drive out of town where I would neither disturb nor endanger anyone with what I thought needed to be done.

When I found what I thought was an appropriate spot I took the cat out of the car and put her on the ground.

Perhaps he had figured out what was going to happen and tried valiantly to crawl into the higher grass.

I went back and got my gun and (there is no other way to say this but bluntly) shot the poor thing.

It meowed once and I was horrified that I might have missed—or worse–grazed the little guy. So I put the gun to the back of the animal’s head (thankfully she was not looking at me) and pulled the trigger two more times.

I think I did the right thing. But I feel like I betrayed a small creature who trusted me to take care of it.

I took the drive home very slowly as I had the feeling I would not be able to see the road clearly for long.

I got home and finally began sobbing as I scrubbed out my tub.

My only solace comes from the fact that had I not picked the kitten up it would have died slowly from dehydration or being eaten from the inside.

I think I did the right thing–I have been told I did the right thing.

Why do I feel like there is a new black mark on my soul?


Reader Comments

mechbeegirl writes:

It still hurts your heart.


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