Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pangs of guilt

I told a few people about this when I got back the other day, but I have been wracked with guilt ever since it occurred.

As most of my friends know, I have a real soft spot in my heart for cats. The two I have right now, Bob and Blanche, I rescued from the parking lot of the apartments I was living in 7 years ago. I felt that I was put in the right place at the right time to give them the home they needed. When I was driving home from Iowa the other day, it was early in the morning at about 6:30 and the sun was coming up and I had a very sudden urge to stop and take a picture of the sunrise. I saw an overpass coming up quickly and decided to stop there for the vantage point and almost skidded to a stop in order not to pass it. I was out of the car and getting the camera ready to take a picture when I heard a sound in the brush beside the road. It was a young, tiny black and white kitten and as soon as it saw me it made a beeline right for me screaming as if it was so glad to see someone. The road was just a few hundred yards from a row of houses and at first I figured it had probably just wandered away from mama. At least that's what I had convinced myself was the probable scenario. I was afraid it would try to follow me to the car and get underneath it so I crumbled up some rice cake snacks on the ground and it was eating away at it hungrily as I drove off. I immediatly started to feel guilty, knowing that it more than likely was a kitten that had been dumped beside the road. If it were a feral kitten it wouldn't have approached me so quickly and easily. I know what wild farm cats are like and they don't behave that way. I had to talk myself into believing that it would find it's way back to the houses or mama was closeby hiding under the bridge and would be back to take care of it. Now my heart is so filled with regret. I was once again put in a place that did not feel like a coincidence to rescue another lost kitten and I talked myself out of doing what I knew in my heart was the right thing to do. Something had inspired me to suddenly stop at that particular place and now I'm having a hard time even thinking about how to forgive myself for being so cold and uncaring.


  1. Doug, it's quite possible that the kitten belongs to someone in the nearby houses as you first thought too.

    How terrible would it have been to have "rescued" someone's new and beloved pet that had simply wandered off?

    Hopefully the kitten found its way back to where it belongs.

    That was the hardest lesson for me in my pet rescue days. You just can't save them all, and saving them sometimes means that you're actually "stealing" them, however inadvertently.

  2. Totally what Katey said. If you had been positive that you were supposed to pick up that kitty, don't you think you would have? You have to trust your instincts. You are a kind and gentle person.


  3. well if you look at it as the "meant to happen" way of thinking you could say that this happened so that NEXT time something simliar happens you don't hesistate, so that little kitten probably got picked up by another very nice person like you who stopped as well. if it was friendly I am betting someone has gotten it by now. So that kitten played it's role in your life, and I'm sure she/he is nice and warm in someone's bathroom right now while they make time to take it to the vet for shots!

  4. Dougie -

    If there is any person who is NOT cold and uncaring it's you. Really.

  5. Doug, now I feel sorry that I made that comment... You did what you could do that moment, you left some food. You had a very, very, very long long way home ahead of you and no place to put the kitty in your car! The kitty is going to be fine, don't worry. Even tho' nothing could top living with you and Michael. ;-)