When we left yesterday, I had set the trap up in the garage, unable to find the cat that had been tormenting the dogs all day. I kicked the dogs out of the garage, had some water out, put fresh food in and around the trap and turned out all the lights so the cat would feel more comfortable.
We didn't get up until after 1 AM (darn those Giants blew it in the 9th!) and we were all pretty tired. We put Kaitlyn to bed and then went to the garage where we fell in love with the cutest little kitten we had ever seen. This ferocious monster that had been tormenting our dogs was no bigger than a roll of toilet paper. It was super fluffy, orange with a few scattered white stripes, soft (looking) white paws and pure bright green eyes. It was so flippin' adorable I think even Dusty wanted to try and keep it.
But, the cat was really scared. And I don't blame it, the poor thing got stuck in our garage, barked at by hours on end, had to slap a pitbull chihuahua in the face and then was stuck in a cage in an unfamiliar area and then subjected to it's first interaction with humans. The only upside was probably the very full meal it had to enjoy.
We talked over what to do. Dusty did not feel comfortable releasing a kitten so young into the fields to fend for itself. I completely agreed. That just would not be fair to it. He said he had seen the mom a couple of times down the street and we debated back and forth on what to do with it. I was adamant that we release it back into the front yard to find it's family. I pushed and pushed that there was no way that kitten would ever return to our house, it would be terrified. Dusty hesitantly agreed. He figured it could find it's mom and if it grew up to be a nuisance, we would catch it again, problem solved.
By now it was 1:30 in the morning. I was tired, Dusty was tired, my back hurt from the bleacher seats, and on the way to San Francisco I started having awful symptoms of yet another UTI. I was ready for bed. Dusty had taken the trap to the front yard and opened it, but the cat would not get out. I helped him/her along by lifting the back of it so it would be forced to run towards the free end and realize that it was open and it could run. As soon as that kitty saw freedom, it darted off into the darkness. Dusty thinks it went under my car before going down into this little hiding place the cats like to go to between our yard and the neighbors.
We went to bed and woke a few hours later, him to go to work and me to get Kaitlyn ready for school. She was ready to go and off we went.
I opened the front door and my heart stopped. I tried to distract Kaitlyn and get her in the car without looking into the street. She was so upset with us that we didn't keep the cute kitty in the cage through the night so she could see it this morning. But, I didn't want her to see it like this. While I was able to get her into the car without seeing it, once she was in the car, she did and she cried out "mommy, someone ran over that tiny little kitten!" and the tears started to well up.
I figured, I would get her in the car and see if the cat was maybe just sleeping in the road, or maybe it was still alive and I could take it to the vet. A truck came barreling down the street and the center of the truck went over the lifeless body of the kitten we tried to give a second chance to. I was now close enough to see the blood and realize that it was no more.
I took Kaitlyn to school and called Dusty. He hadn't seen it when he left, but he was in a hurry and his car would have blocked his vision. He worried that he hit it, but in his car, with those tires you feel every little pebble you hit, so it was unlikely. I asked him what to do and he said to leave it, do not touch it.
I came home and saw yet another car go over the body of the green eyed fluffy cat that had caused such commotion yesterday and I couldn't just leave it there. I put on gloves, grabbed an old towel and a box and a plastic bag. You couldn't see the pretty green eyes anymore, they were covered in blood, some was already dried on it's tiny, soft little nose and I couldn't bare to look at it anymore. I covered it with the towel, gently picked it up and placed it in it's box. I put the box in a plastic bag and tied it tight so nothing would get to it. And then I placed it into the empty garbage can, and felt so heartless for disposing of it's tiny little body into something as impersonal as a garbage can. But, what else can I do?
I know that the cat didn't get ran over because of anything we did. I know that if we would have kept it in the trap and released it in the field, with how young it is, separated from it's "pack" it's odds of survival would have been really low. I know that taking it to the pound or SPCA would have resulted in it most likely being euthanized (their policy for stray/feral cats) no matter how cute it was, I know that releasing it in the daylight would have maybe only lengthened it's life for a couple of days or maybe hours. But, it still makes me incredibly sad that something so young had to die so soon. It didn't ask to be born, it didn't ask to be wild, and it didn't know any different kind of life.
Because the feral cat problem is so bad in our area, we see several dead cats in the road on a daily basis. It is part of what the problem is. Then, their bodies attract other wild, diseased animals and the cycle continues. While I know that we are not the ones to blame, I do know that this is a huge reason why it is important to spay and neuter your pets, to keep them inside and to take proper care of them. You are not doing them or anyone else any favors by letting them roam free. There is not a single reason I can think of to not spay or neuter your pet. Other than just laziness or selfishness.
So, good-bye little kitty. I do hope you enjoyed your last meal of tuna flavored cat food and I hope that you are in a better place.