Back in April, hubby and I went outside to play a nice light game of tennis, just to bat a few balls around – no need for keeping score, no problem with hitting a ball that had bounced three even four times.
In the middle of our friendly little game, a cat jumped from the top of the fence surrounding the court into a nearby tree. Squawks ensued and shplat! — a whole nest of baby birds fell onto the court, right at hubby’s feet. One was critically injured. Its neck appeared broken and its legs were spread out in odd angles. Two others hopped off into the nearby bushes to take cover, trying to escape impending doom. Meanwhile, the mama bird screeched loudly. Shrieking, I imagined she was frantically calling, “My babies! My babies!”
Looking up, we heard the cat mewing. He appeared to be stuck way up in the tree. I felt sympathy for the cat. Hubby was for the birds. (Pardon the pun.) “Maybe we should help the cat down,” I suggested.
Hubby shook his head. “This whole scene has made me sick. Let’s go home.” He packed up his racquet while I sat down on the concrete and decided to wait for the drama to unfold. I was thrilled. I think I even licked my lips. (Meow.)
Finally the cat made his way down from the tree and stared intently into the tennis courts, trying to figure out how to get inside so he might enjoy his new feathered playmates. Meanwhile, hubby was begging me (now, from outside the fence – saying things like, “C’mon,” and “Let’s go!”).
I knew what I had to do.
I walked outside the fenced-in area, assumed a squatting position, and cooed towards the cat. “Here kitty, kitty, kitty. C’mere kitten . . .” I sang as I opened the gate leading to the court. The cat cautiously stepped onto the green cement, then turned back, looked at me with gratitude, and went on to find the maimed bird with the splayed legs.
It wasn’t a vicious or bloody attack. The cat simply pounced lightly on the little, dying bird and after a few smacks of his kitty-lips, the wee-winged fellow was gone and the cat strutted off the court, disappearing behind some trees.
I left the court feeling I had done the right thing in helping the cat to put the bird out of its misery. I figured if I were dying, I’d rather have someone snuff out my breath than let me gasp and twitch and suffer needlessly.
Obviously, that’s just me.
On the way back home, my husband would not look at me, let alone hold my hand. He fumed, “Why did you help the fucking cat?”
When death is inevitable, would you prefer to let nature run its course or would you rather help things along?