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Black Cats and Courtesy

black catLast night as my husband was returning home from taking my oldest to Taekwondo, he heard a thump-thump in the road, immediately followed by another thump-thump. Someone driving along (and the someone behind the first someone) hit a cat. He came into the house to get me and I went out to see if anything could be done.

Nothing could. The cat, a beautiful, shiny, black one, was already dead. Using a towel, I picked it up and carried it out of the street and put it in a box.

My husband proceeded to walk down our street knocking on every door to see if anyone was missing their cat. We know our next-door neighbors have a black cat, but theirs was still inside. They said they thought the people two doors down from them also had a black cat, but those neighbors also still had theirs.

So, this poor dead kitty is still in a box, unclaimed. We’ll probably put up a sign around the neighborhood some time today. If it were my cat, I’d want to know what happened. And if we can’t find the owner, then we’ll have to call animal control to have it disposed of.

Anyway, this incident reminded me of a sign that was posted the other day in my neighborhood. It said, ‘To the ********** who hit a dog last night and didn’t stop to help, I hope you sleep well!” or something along those lines, I don’t remember exactly.

And I can’t help but think of the selfishness of people, that after hitting an animal in the road, they can’t even take a few moments to see if anything can be done. I’m not judging them for hitting an animal. Sometimes things happen. Animals shouldn’t be out wandering on busy streets in the first place, and especially black cats at night are hard to see. But when you feel the thump-thump of something under your tires, is it really too much to ask that you pull over and check? Now, I know people whose pets are so much a part of their family they’re treated better than the humans. I’m not suggesting that such an attitude is necessary. I believe animals are animals, not humans, and not on the same level. But that said, there is a certain amount of human decency that can be observed in the way people treat animals. To drive on by when you’ve murdered someone’s beloved pet is self-centered. We should not be so busy that we can’t stop and extend a courtesy. Not only to an animal, but especially to a person.

Have you carelessly wounded someone with your words or actions and driven on by without checking to see if they’re okay? Have you slowed down long enough to consider what your actions are doing to others? Or are you so self-centered, that you run people over and completely disregard the thump-thump as you trample them?




About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

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