Nature

On a recent Thursday night I hung out with a group of friends. It was low-key because I had to get up early the next afternoon. I only had one drink.

During the drive home I was listening to music and thinking about if I should grab a burger snack at the McDonalds near my house (I was leaning against it because I knew it would probably give me gas). I wasn’t on my cell phone, I wasn’t thinking about some girl who did me wrong, and I wasn’t drunk—my mind was clear and unusually free of distraction.

I was driving on a four-lane road. There were two lanes to my left going in the opposite direction, then a small median, then my lane, then the final lane to my right. Suddenly a black cat popped out of some woods from the left. I watched it quickly cross the opposite side of traffic. I only braked softly, assuming it would make it across the road with room to spare, but I badly misjudged its trajectory.

In the split second that a collision appeared imminent, two options popped in my head: braking hard to avoid impact or speeding up to pass it before it got off the median. I ended up slamming on the brakes, and came to a near stop in the middle of the road. I didn’t hear any thump so I slowly put my foot back on the gas. I drove 30 feet away, then looked in my rear view mirror.

I saw a black mass in my lane violently jumping up and down, as if it was possessed by a demon. I stared at the mirror for at least 20 seconds, watching the cat toss its body around. My throat tightened. I took a deep breath then pulled over to the side of the road.

All my friends know I have an unusual fascination with cats (for a heterosexual man, anyway). I’ve been known to read cat blogs, cat comics, and I’m still a sucker for cutesy lolcat images. So when I got out of the car and walked up to the animal, I was not prepared to see that most of its head had been crushed. Blood was splattered all over the road. I instinctively put my hand over my mouth, and just stood there in shock, unable to look at it for more than half a second at a time. Its body was still shaking. After suffering badly for another minute, the cat finally stopped moving. If another man hadn’t pulled over to help, I would have probably burst into tears.

It’s not my fault the cat was slow. It didn’t even have a collar. Stupid feral thing was probably crawling with fleas and parasites. There are billions of cats and maybe I did the thing a favor by putting it out of its misery. This type of thing happens a million times a day, right?

I imagined that’s how other people would rationalize what I had just done. I’m not a PETA member and I don’t think a cat’s life is more important than a human’s, but it’s one thing to feel sorry for cute little animals dying and another thing to have killed one of those cute little animals. I’m the guy who gets a kick out of internet justice when 4channers locate the perpetrator of a cat abuser from a single frame of torture video, and though this was an accident, I inflicted the same harm as those sociopaths. For a few hours it did feel like I killed a human being.

The cat I hit could not predict the accident. It’s not like it could plan for living the most pleasurable cat life possible until some idiot tried to time its movements as if it was a squirrel. Sometimes I wonder about people who plan their lives that way, working on the assumption that not only they’ll live until they’re 75 years old, but be in perfect health right up to their end. Every day I remind myself that nature doesn’t give a shit about my goals and dreams, that it will eventually misjudge my trajectory in a way that I will not agree with. I just hope it doesn’t again give me such a direct role when it needs to annihilate something it created.

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traveling boho
traveling boho
9 years ago

It’s astounding how much power our hard-wired emotional responses can have over us. In this case, it’s the human instinct to care for innocent, defenseless children with big eyes. But hilariously it gets displaced onto certain small, furry creatures.

If it had been a squirrel or possum, I doubt you would have thought twice about it.

The Rookie
9 years ago

the first time I ran over an animal was pretty nerve-racking. a possum was running across the street, with babies attached to it. the bump was loud and hard. i felt bad for a few days. i wonder now though if i will feel bad again…

The Rookie’s last blog post: My Biggest Flaw.

kissmeimshomer
9 years ago

now we can begin to understand just how fucked up a real murderer is…can you imagine taking another humans life? Even by accident, I think I’d have to be committed to an insane asylum.

kissmeimshomer’s last blog post: Introducing the Foreskins!.

Marmot
Marmot
9 years ago

… 🙁

Also, kissmeimshomer has an excellent point.

Rivelino
9 years ago

Brutal story. Fuck.

Rivelino’s last blog post: If you want to know the truth, I’m a virgin..

Mala
Mala
9 years ago

Sincerity really makes this post really stand out. Good job.

Being innured to suffering, of animals or people, doesn’t make anyone a better man. In Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the things that separates many of us from the enemy is our compassion for dogs…

In my job,I personally see a human being die around abouts once a week or so, and frequently in the way you described-on a highway or street, with massive trauma. People have no idea how often this happens.

Doozies for us are decapitations, amputations and massive facial trauma on children. Although we don’t have emotional reactions to any of it, it is always harder if it’s a child or an animal. Sometimes you see these big burly cops and firefighters who hunt and are war veterans, and they are more bothered by a child or animal having been killed- simply because they are the most innocent in our society.

You just don’t know what’s coming…

Flashman
Flashman
9 years ago

So I once hit a jack rabbit that jumped out from the side of the street. I stopped, walked over, and saw that it was still alive, breathing heavy, and when I picked it up saw it’s leg’s were broken and it looked like some ribs were cracked.

So I did the right but difficult thing and backed my car up over it, then again rolled forward over it for good measure.

It died.

I feel I ended its suffering. No way was it going to heal.

I’m assuming the head crushed on the cat meant that it was brain dead and feeling no misery. If it had been the lower half, and it could feel pain, the honorable thing would have been to stomp on it’s head and kill it.

Sorry you had to go through all that, Roosh.

Best,
The Flash

fOUL
fOUL
9 years ago

These posts make you seem so much more human, and this is coming from a guy.

We rationalize the things we do, the choices we make, and the problems/truths we choose to ignore on a regular basis, so we’re always in some degree of self-denial. Some people are just more emotionally tolerant than others.

Chi
Chi
9 years ago

Truth is though most of us eat meat without a second thought – it’s pretty much the indirect version of what you did to the cat.

Mr. T
Mr. T
9 years ago

“now we can begin to understand just how fucked up a real murderer is…can you imagine taking another humans life? Even by accident, I think I’d have to be committed to an insane asylum.”

Well, it is not too hard to take someone’s life. After all, you could be drafted into the military tommorrow and have to kill people.

The thing is, with guns these days, it is TOO EASY to take someone’s life. All you have to do is point and pull the trigger.

Evan
Evan
9 years ago

That sucks, dude. Totally sorry for you and for the cat…

Mala
Mala
9 years ago

Mr. T-
Did you go to school here in U.S.?
We do not have a mandatory conscription.

Matt N
Matt N
9 years ago

@ 12

You are gravely mistaken. See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_Service_System

Gunslingergregi
Gunslingergregi
9 years ago

There are a shitload of things worse than death.

Like living in a society where people worry more about a dead cat than a man and a man can be enslaved for life.

Don’t worry about it.

he he he

Jack Frost
9 years ago

@Mr. T I disagree that guns make it too easy to kill unless youre using a sniper rifle. Have you ever been hunting? Living in Texas for a time while I was younger I went on a hunting trip with one of my good friends and his dad. I shot a mule deer and didnt kill it due to my marginal aim and watched the animal writhe in pain as my friends dad left us back and went and put it out of its misery.

That feeling has stuck with me for over 15 years and I cant imagine ever experiencing it again.

Jack Frost’s last blog post: Moral Dilemma.

gringoed
gringoed
9 years ago

Thoughtful post.

Mr. T
Mr. T
9 years ago

“@Mr. T I disagree that guns make it too easy to kill unless youre using a sniper rifle. Have you ever been hunting? Living in Texas for a time while I was younger I went on a hunting trip with one of my good friends and his dad. I shot a mule deer and didnt kill it due to my marginal aim and watched the animal writhe in pain as my friends dad left us back and went and put it out of its misery.

That feeling has stuck with me for over 15 years and I cant imagine ever experiencing it again.”

Guns make it way too easy to kill someone.

A few years ago, one of my older cousins got drunk and was manhandling a gun like a fool, and accidentally shot his stepdaughter. He then committed suicide.

Also, when I was younger, I saw someone get shot to death near my house. A group of gangbangers pulled up on this dude wearing a red forty-niners jersey and yelled “trece,” and shot him. He didn’t die right away. He went to a nearby house for help. The ambulance took him away and I found out later, by reading the newspaper, that he died.

Cliff Arroyo
Cliff Arroyo
9 years ago

An unexpected turn, I was expecting that after you stopped the cat called its friends in hiding and they mugged you and stole your car.

And FYI the sign you link to isn’t in Thailand. I can’t read it but I’m very sure the alphabet is Khmer (Cambodian) not Thai (the alphabet of which I do know and that’s not it).

sloopJohn
sloopJohn
9 years ago

You did nothing wrong, did the right thing when you pulled over (many people would not do that).

its important to know that nature doesn’t care and we could go at any time. accepting this and living in a way that we get the most out of life is critical.

roissy
roissy
9 years ago

once i was driving on a winding suburban road late at night, no street lamps, and my headlights caught a possum stopped in its tracks right in the middle of the lane. i was going too fast to avoid it, so i ran it over full speed. i heard the thump underneath my feet. looking in my rearview, i saw the possum, swaying side to side on its legs, immobilized, the top of its back completely sheared off, a red mound in its place. i didn’t have a crisis of conscience because possums are ugly critters, but i did feel a little bad.

you know how there are some memories — mental snapshots of your life — that linger for years afterward like a permanent etching in your brain? first kiss. first bang. first love.

this swaying, paralyzed possum with the ripped bloody back was one of them. strange the memories we hold onto.

Zman
Zman
9 years ago

Well, I heard about having enough game to slam pussy, but …

Genesis
Genesis
9 years ago

You have the emotions of a twelve year old girl. It was just a cat.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Cuida ai cara, as mulheres vão pensar que você tem sentimentos!

A próxima vez que você vê qualquer animal tentando atravessar a estrada em frente de você assim, toque sua buzina de carro. Isso sempre funciona pra mim.

É vida vira lata

-Viralata

speakeasy
speakeasy
9 years ago

That 4chan thing was interesting. I remember hearing when that happened. As disgusting as cruelty to animals is, it’s interesting that 5 million(basically another holocaust) people can be killed in Congo and hardly anybody even knows about it, yet let a cat get thrown in the trash and the world is up in arms and it’s all over the news. Interesting what people prioritize.