Life is always throwing choices your way, whether it´s something as mundane as what to wear that day through to something more important such as what job to go for or who to begin a relationship with. However sometimes life takes a choice out of your hands and all you can do is deal with the consequences.
As I wrote about a while ago, last summer my son and I adopted some street kittens. They had been born near our house and the mum cat was very friendly and soon made our house her home. There were four kittens in total, however soon one of them disappeared and then there were three. Eventually mum left, maybe deciding to go and explore the world, and we were left with her baby cats which my son loved taking care of, feeding and petting whenever he got the chance. However a few months ago, just at the start of winter, the friendliest little one, Blankie, got run over, directly outside our house. He was laid to rest by the side of the house on some wasteland and after a few tears were shed, life continued. We still had two kittens that were fast growing into beautiful cats. One, a young lady, had become very friendly, starting out slightly nervous she soon overcame any feelings of doubt and would snuggle up to us on the sofa in the evening, keeping warm in front of the fire, however the other one, a young male was more wary.
Many times we tried to get him to come to us for a stroke or a pet, but he wasn´t interested, preferring to hide away between the chairs and just keep warm. However day by day he had recently began to be friendlier. It started with a gentle stroke behind the ears and then he would come up to us for a tickle on his belly or just some show of affection. It was lovely to see the brother and sister together, cleaning each other, lying together in the little house I´d bought them outside and watching them interact, just enjoying each other´s company.
So you can imagine my horror when I arrived home from shopping one sunny morning last week to find our ginger tom lying on the pavement outside my house. At first I thought he was sunbathing in the warm glow, but as I parked, the reality hit me as some car had obviously hit him. A black mark on his side was the only evidence of the horror that had befallen him and his sister was standing nearby visibly upset. Luckily I had my friend with me and, gently placing him in a blanket, she lifted him up and took him to be with his little sister who had died those few months before.
I know people say that animals aren´t human and of course they´re not, but I think compassion for all living things is what we should show. Anyone who has pets will understand the unconditional love they give you. Pets don´t ask stupid questions, animals don´t shout at you or come home in a bad mood and take it out on you. Pets just want to be loved, fed and looked after, not so different to us humans after all.
I hope that little Blackie, the last of the kittens survives many more years with us, but she is, and always will be, a street cat, and as such her life expectancy is less than a pet, but as long as she is here she will be loved and looked after, it´s the least any animal deserves. And although I´m sad for our ginger baby, I am not comparing the loss to that of a human. There is little comparison but all I´m saying is that it´s ok to care for all living beings and to be sad when they die.
As another point, whoever was driving the car that killed Ginger must have been travelling too fast. I live in a quiet road, with not a lot of traffic, and therefore I let my son ride his bicycle in the street, I hate to think what would have happened had that car come along when my boy was out there, bearing in mind that this death happened during the morning. It was at a time when there may have been young children about. It really never fails to surprise me when I see people driving too fast in residential roads. I hope whoever did hit Ginger has felt some remorse for their actions, although I believe this is wishful thinking and maybe they would need to hit a person before thinking about their speed.
Ginger and Blankie, were taken away from us and it was out of our control, but it was in the hands of whoever was driving that car. We make choices. Sometimes we drive too fast because we´re late, or we make a decision because it seems like the only option. Sometimes life throws hard choices our way. There are times when the decisions aren´t ours but those that are should be thought about. The consequences of a bad choice could live with you for the rest of your life, just as those ones which turn out to be the best thing you ever did.