Why?

There is a new family of cats in our neighborhood. The kittens are about 4 months old, weighing about two cans of sardines each. Sometimes they play on the lawn. Sometimes they sleep on the pile of newspaper we keep outside the house.

One day, we found two dead rats deposited beside the lawn. After all these years, it seems that we have finally found cats that actually do hunt down rats, something that the children have only been reading in story books. The more established cats in the neighborhood do not hunt rats. Mostly, they just laze in the sun. So, a couple of fat rats had comfortably settled themselves down in a hole under the hedge along our fence. We had to install wire mesh on the windows to keep them out of the house.

One of the kittens was very friendly in a shy way. The other was just simply shy. Once the friendlier one followed me into the house. She wanted to dash out when my kids rushed for her, but I stroked her and that persuaded her stay. The kids played with her for a while. The following day, we found her lying on the pile of newspaper outside, but this time she ran away as we approached.

A couple of nights ago, we went out to watch the new film Avatar. It seemed that the friendly kitten was lying under the car as I drove it aside to move the other one out. She darted out from under the car, already injured but not bleeding. Her hind legs were limp. We carried her onto the lawn thinking that she had broken both her hind legs.

Throughout the movie, I was haunted by the question of how she would live out the rest of her life if she can’t use her hind legs anymore.

When we came back, she was dead. But before dying, she had crawled back under the car. I tried to imagine how she could have pulled her limp legs behind her. It must have been difficult, not to mention painful. She must have been very determined. She chose to die under the car that had run over her.

The next day, we buried her in the garden. Father Cat came around and sniffed around the spot where she last laid.

There was something about the car that she loved so much.

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