There is a reason cats have been on my mind lately, and it’s not just that my cat has been unwell, or that I’m in that horrible position of knowing I will need to leave and not take her with me. Or even that in the larger picture I know she’s dying–just rather slowly. I’m not sure how slowly.
No, it isn’t only that. And it seems to me it’s time to deal with it.
I know I’ve made little stabs at it here and there. But not enough to make much difference. Not enough to cut this monster off at the neck. Just enough to annoy it.
Because otherwise it is going to affect every portion of my life. You know, the way trauma does.
I killed a kitten when I was about four. My dad told me to strangle it, and so I did. I think that is the worst thing he ever did to me. Except maybe the other time, when I was about eight. Maybe six. And he poked a cat’s eyes out in front of me. Or maybe I did. I can’t remember it very clearly.
The thing is I know I did the wrong thing in those situations. I did the best I could, but I did the wrong thing.
I was distressed. I think I cried.
The right thing would have been to look and act like I didn’t care. That would have taken the fun out of it for him. He might have stopped then. Or he might have stopped with the first incident, and never gone on to the second.
I was tiny, and I felt all of this responsibility for the welfare of another creature. And that is what has remained with me.