Taking care of the dead

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by Stained in Labels:

I was in school, possibly in 11th. Talks of getting a pet cat were buzzing at home. We’ve all been wanting one since the time my older brother was a kid. He’s in his early 30s now.

On the day of 6th May, I got onto the school bus from home but then got off a few stops later as a friend had pointed towards a white kitten on the roadside. I grabbed it in the most awkward position, got bitten and dropped it while I was running back home. It was dead when I reached. I put it in a plastic bag and dumped it in the garbage. I think I scared it to death...

A few years later on a late-night drive back home from the movie theatre, my brother drove over a cat. He was speeding on a narrow street and was unable to react quickly enough when the cat jumped in front of the car. He dropped me home and I ran back to where the cat lay wounded, gasping for its last few breaths. I picked it up and laid it on the sand next to a construction site. It died a few minutes later.

Since then I’ve been driving a lot myself. I see dead cats every single day, squashed like a pancake or with guts spilled out. Once in a while you see a fresh kill that has yet to be run over by more cars. I was often tempted to stop and rescue the dead cat from being run over again, but I let it pass.

A week or so back, on my way home I spotted another fresh kill on the road. I parked nearby, grabbed a bag and ran to it. In the rush of getting it off the road, I used my bare hands to lift it and laid it on the pavement. There were no signs or marks on the cat that indicated it had been hit. It could have literally been sleeping. The only way to tell that it had died was the pool of blood that was near its mouth, on the road. I laid it next to the garbage box not knowing what else to do.

A few days back, while driving down the road behind Sheikh Zayed Road, I spotted another dead cat whose corpse was yet to be run over. I parked nearby, watched around 20 cars drive by hoping no one would run over it, ran to it in the first possible gap I could find in the traffic flow and got the cat’s corpse off the road. A cabbie honked at me as he came to an abrupt halt but didn’t create a scene as he saw what I was doing. Like the previous one, this one had no marks on it either, apart from blood near its mouth. I laid this one too, on a sandy plot nearby.

I don’t know how long I’ll continue to do this because it haunts me; messes up my head. I think I need to buy a shovel…

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