Don't read this if you are upset by untimely kitten death. OK, I don't know anyone who wouldn't be upset by untimely kitten death, but you know what I mean. I'm super bummed and just needed to tell someone.
Last night I was driving home after spending sunset at the beach. It was dark and my car's headlights are not so bright. I rounded a corner and at the last possible second I saw this tiny black kitten just sitting in the middle of the road, looking kind of dazed. I didn't have time to swerve (I DEFINITELY would have crushed him with the front tire of my Land Cruiser if I did), no time to brake fully, so I swore furiously and positioned it so he would pass directly under the middle of my car and hoped against all hope that he didn't run away and get hit by the back tires.
I pulled over and immediately started sobbing because I was convinced he was dead. I've never hit an animal in my life. There are thousands upon thousands of strays here and I have been living in fear of this day coming.
My boyfriend got out of the car and checked on him; he was lying on his side, not blinking, but he was breathing somewhat normally. He checked and made sure he had no broken bones. He picked the little guy up and we took him home. He definitely had a jaw injury and his eyes were all messed up and he was incredibly skinny. We wanted to get him help but there are no emergency vets here, so we had to wait it out through the night. We lined a cardboard box with a comfy blanket and put him in, and he curled up and slept as best he could with the broken jaw. We took turns waking up all night to make sure he was still alive.
Boyfriend took him in to the vet today. The vet said I definitely did not hit him with my car; he had no injuries that were consistent with being hit, let alone by a Land Cruiser. He must have had the broken jaw for several days. He had an eye infection that was so bad his eyes wouldn't be able to be saved. He had respiratory problems, worms, fever, mange...everything. They had to put him down. He said even if we tried to treat the kitty, he likely wouldn't make it.
I'm super sad. I was really hoping he would have a chance. I know it doesnt matter in the end but I feel so relieved that I didn't contribute to/cause his death; that would have killed me and I don't think I would be able to forgive myself. But I wish he was still alive and that I could have found him a good home. I guess I'm glad that he had a comfortable last night in a safe place, and he passed away peacefully instead of starving to death.
These are the times I get so homesick. Animal welfare is not a priority here, and it kills me. Every day you see dogs and cats that are starving, covered in mange, living outside or chained up. Every day you see dogs and cats that people didn't bother trying to avoid in the road. People don't prioritize spaying/neutering their pets, and part of that is because it's so damn expensive. On an island with approx 50,000 people, we have 25,000 stray dogs. I used to work with rescues, this is an issue that is so close to my heart, and it is so fucking hard to see this stuff every day.
Thank you for reading this long, sad post. Whether you're Team Dog or Team Cat, hug your furbaby close tonight and love the hell out of them.