I'm certain you enjoyed the heat of the sun on your lovely bi-colored furs; but alas, no more. I wonder if you had a special place somewhere near where you made it safe enough for yourself to indulge in a purr or two for your own comfort. I'm positive that you took care of yourself even as those we humans who could have done something wandered by in our smugness that you belonged to someone else and weren't our responsibility.
I am morbidly grateful for the semi-truck driver who slowed down and gave me a small smile when he saw me in the middle of the eight lane road, there with my black plastic bag blowing in the wind and mist;. In that moment of eye contact he acknowledged my grim task and I appreciated the fleeting moment of an odd sort of belonging.
You aren't the first I've taken from this road. A couple years ago it was a ginger. He wasn't nearly in as bad shape as you though. I'm certain that however you met your end it was instantaneous owing the grisliness of your remains. Beyond the task at hand I couldn't let my imagination wonder as to the circumstances as truly; that way madness lies.
Tonight when I get home I will pet my four cats more; I will drink in their gorgeous eyes; I will close mine in contentedness listening to their purrs. I will not delude myself that you are in some mystical fairyland with multitudes of other stray cat waifs over some unicorn bridge now enjoying 'happily ever after' just to ease my own conscious. We don't deserve to have our collective conscious' eased with such superstitious hyperbole. We aren't children who need syrupy bedtime tales and warm fuzzy, feel good platitudes. We need the hard truth to slap us out of our collective fantasy. There are simply too many of you; it is impossible to save you all. That is such a heartbreaking reality for all of us who love and care for animals.
I wonder if you had any chance at happiness. Possibly someone had let their female have 'just that one litter' and felt righteous that they found homes for her kittens. Did they do you the courtesy of looking into your tiny bright eyes and tender whiskered face even as they passed you off to someone else (while feeling that much more relieved)? More likely as soon as your mom was found to be pregnant they simply disowned her; if there was a 'they' in the first place. I wonder what color your eyes were. When I came upon you; your face had been completely impressed down into the pavement. You know recently a celebrity died in a horrible car crash and within hours his dead face was plastered all over the Internet. There was a huge, mortal gash but you could still see who it was. I had initially recoiled at the spectacle of it. But I will tell you that image is in my head now and I can't forget it. Had I thought about it; I would have taken your photo and posted it all up and down the street. The sign would read "Have you Seen Me?"
You deserved so much more from this life. I hope you had known some kindness. I saw no collar on you. I didn't wait for animal control to come as where you ended this life was too precarious and wasn't about to leave you there for further target practice. With my hands and arms in a plastic bag as gently as I could, I gathered you up and into the bag. I had a bit if a struggle with the bits of bone and innards that were no longer hidden inside your body but still attached; but slowly I manged to collect all I could. I'm so very sorry, precious.
I truly, truly am.
Be at peace.