On the night of January 9, 2006, while I was riding my bicycle home from work, passing through downtown Milwaukie, Oregon, I saw a cat lying in the middle of the road. At first pass, I thought it was already dead, huddled over it’s feet, eyes closed like it was trying to keep itself warm from the 50º rain. My heartstrings tugged at my conscience…I couldn’t leave an injured cat in the middle of the road to be flattened by another vehicle.
I quickly pedalled back to the cat to get a better look and as I approached it had started opening it’s eyes and meowing at me very loudly. Not hissing or baring it’s teeth, but pleading for help. It started limping towards me as I got off bike. It’s right hind leg wasn’t working too well at all. A rather large pickup started heading towards us and I saw the cat flatten itself on the ground and close it’s eyes in a vain attempt to hide from its inevitable doom. However, since I was dressed in a bright yellow raincoat and had lights on my bike, I was able to flag the pickup to go around us.
I parked my bike on the sidewalk, slid off my backpack and took out my fleece sweater to wrap up the poor cat, which had started making its pitiful self to my side, meowing again for help and in pain.
I quickly fished my cell phone out of my backpack and called Connie for assistance as to what to do and where to take this cat. I was starting to feel frantic. I had no idea where this cat had previously lived in the neighborhood, or how long it had been shivering in the rain. As I spoke to Connie, it put its paw on my foot. I could feel it’s shivering through my shoe like it was a cell phone vibrating with a call. This poor thing was shivering uncontrollably. I carefully wrapped it up in my fleece to warm and immobilize it, and walked it a couple of blocks to sit on a bench across from Dark Horse Comics to wait for Connie.
After a 30 minute wait, the cats shivering had been reduced, it’s face started to dry and it periodically looked at me and rubbed it’s face against my hand in appreciation. Connie, the calvery, had arrived. She quickly opened the trunk for my bike and brought out a cat carrier, opened the top of the carrier so we could keep the cat wrapped up. We then put the carrier in the car, I loaded up my bike into the trunk and we started making out way to an emergency vet near Mall 205. At this point, having become soaked in my own sweat during my ride, I started getting cold and shivering.
As we arrived at the vet, the cat had been rubbing its face against my fingers through the carrier door. This thing had been domesticated, I was certain of it. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a collar with a license tag. We had no way to quickly contact it’s owner.
The vet tech took a look at our injured stray and had confirmed out suspicions. Broken pelvis and broken leg. This thing was going probably going to need surgery. Unfortunately, Connie nor I were financially capable of paying for this care. As it was brought in as a stray, it was euthanized at no cost to us. I cried as I signed the paperwork releasing any responsibility of the cat, I was signing its death orders.
Connie got me some dinner and a hot chocolate and took me back home to get some warm clothes. I had a really difficult time getting to sleep that night. I really wish I could have contacted it’s owner or at least made sure it lived.
Although I may only have known you for 2 short hours…
My heart goes out to you, Anonymous Feline: ???? to January 9, 2006.