This morning on my way to work in rush hour traffic I was crawling along Albion Way, Salford, when I saw a black furry thing on the road. From a distance I could see it was either a young cat or a pet rabbit. Cars were rolling over it, but luckily it wasn’t in the line of their tyres. It was obvious as I crawled closer that it had only just happened, probably within the last hour or two.
My immediate thought when I see animals in the road, alive or dead, is to get out and move them to the side of the road, out of respect for the poor animal so that it doesn’t get systematically pulverized into the Tarmac for the rest of the day and if the owner came looking at least they would find their cat in a relatively better state than flat. So, without thinking I pulled onto the inside lane when the lights were on red, got a plastic Tesco bag out of my car and picked the poor cat up and put it on the central reservation. When I turned around there was a woman in her car with her hands over her mouth, aghast. I don’t know whether she was aghast at the sight of a mortally injured cat being peeled off the road or because a cat had been run over, or worse it was her cat. I hope she didn’t think I had just killed it.
When I got back in my car a strange feeling came over me, like I was going to faint; I think I was shocked that I had just got out of my car and done this in front of a queue of horrified onlookers. Then I started to feel really embarrassed and couldn’t look left or right as I felt that everyone was looking at me thinking why did that stupid woman just do such a macabre thing in front of us all first thing in the morning.
You see, some of you reading this may know, that I used to be a Veterinary Nurse and it was, and obviously still is, second nature to me to handle sick, dead and injured animals and treat them with the same respect that we give people. (Obviously, people would be taken to hospital and not dumped on the central reservation!)
I spent the rest of my journey to work, on what was a gorgeous sunny morning, fretting about the fact that I may have looked like a complete psycho and have just ruined a lot of people’s day and left someone’s young child inconsolable on their way to the childminder. Should I have left it where it was?