Something sad got me to thinking this morning about animals. While on my run I saw a cat that had been hit (presumably anyway, I did not see the act, but I can't fathom a cat just walking out in the street to die). It made me think about the poor people that had to wake up this morning - on what should be a happy morning (last day of work before a holiday) and find that their pet is no longer with them.
First I thought that they should have kept a better watch on their animal, but then I thought maybe they usually do. Maybe this was a unique circumstance - as an owner of my very own four legged escape artist I can understand how this happens.
My next thought was on a city street that is very wide with a speed limit of 30mph how can you hit a cat? My mind went back to some 'not so highly intelligent' individuals that I knew in my much younger days that thought it was fun to try to hit animals (needless to say they weren't my friends). I really hoped that wasn't what happened. I have seen animals get scared and basically run right into cars too. Especially at night - headlights cause confusion. Or, maybe the cat was distracted with the pursuit of something tasty (to the cat anyway).
Knowing that all these thoughts weren't really getting me anywhere I started thinking more about my run. As I was moving along I see a squirrel up ahead and on my side of the road. He was watching me, scampering along just a few feet ahead. You could tell he wanted to cross the road, but didn't know what to do about me. There was no traffic so I scooted over and gave him more room where he felt comfortable enough to hop up a tree and watched as I went on by. Shortly after that, I watched a rabbit sitting quiet and still in a yard. He was watching me too. I just smiled as I glanced at him - not wanting to give him cause for concern.
It was pretty funny that when I really start focusing on my run I start seeing all these animals again. They are always there - I always notice them (well, most of them anyway, I'm sure there are a few sneaky bunnies I miss). The squirrels, rabbits, birds, and cats - especially early in the morning - are always out and playing around before most people are even out of bed. My running partner and I have been known on multiple occasion to count bunnies - we try to find one for each mile we run - it can be hard when you are running 10-20 miles. :-)
Anyway, I know the owners are going to miss that poor cat, but so am I. Not that I know 'that' cat in particular, but I love seeing all the cats out when I'm on my morning runs. Before their owners have woken and they've slipped back in their respective homes to snooze the day away - they are out carousing the streets - entertaining us early morning runners.
So, take care of your pets, watch out for other people's pets when you hit the roads, and give them all a little love when you can - I know mine got some extra doses this morning!
As a side note - on my way home - when I ran back by the cat a truck had just pulled over next to it - an older man got out and picked it up & put it in his truck. In a weird way it made me feel better to know that someone had cared enough about the cat to go look for it. I'll be thinking of that guy and his cat today. :'(