Last night I was reading The War of Art when my mom came in with tears in her eyes, carrying the outside cat. In a trembling voice she said “I ran over her.”
My heart sunk.
Not because I was attached to the cat (I’m really just more of a dog person), but because I’m attached to my mom, who just had something absolutely awful happen.
Of course I also didn’t like that Furr was in so much pain either. She couldn’t stand. She was having a hard time breathing. The closest 24-hour clinic was an hour away. We couldn’t put the cat out of its misery here in the city, plus that’s absolutely traumatic.
So here I was, sitting on the bathroom floor at 10pm on a Wednesday night with this partially crushed cat that was in shock, and a mom who’s heart was just as crushed as this poor thing.
I was thinking, it’s so amazing how attached we as humans can get to these small, furry creatures that can’t talk, can’t walk, don’t always like being held, and sometimes completely ignore us. But she had given this creature somewhere safe to call home, and she fed this creature every morning, and shoo’d the dogs when they tried to pester this creature.
And my mom would now spend the next 2-3 hours laying in the living room next to our 9-year-old cat, then holding Furr as she finally stopped suffering, feeling like she had been the one that killed her. We have maternal and paternal instincts. We are caretakers (to different extents, my mom just happens to be 100% caretaker).
Sometimes we are also blame-takers. We’ve had that cat for 9 years and she’s always moved for cars. It’s not Mom’s fault that Furr didn’t move this time. Life sucks sometimes, and sometimes you suffer. Sometimes you feel guilty for another’s suffering.
Get up and keep moving. Don’t let blame or guilt get to you when things out of your control happen.