growing up we had cats. with the exception of a few months we weren’t without a pet. until 1998 our cats were outdoor/indoor cats. when we got Oscar and leo in 1998 our kitties became indoor cats only.
I never had a pet get hit by a car. we had to put a few to sleep because of illness and I lost count of all the fish that we had to flush because they were found floating upside down. we also had a hamster pass (in his food bowl). all that to say that I have had several pets pass away or die…but none from being road kill.
I know several of my friends that had pets get hit by cars (and it was just heartbreaking to go through that with them). the saddest of all was gracie (Otis’ beagle aunt). so now each time I see a pet on the side of the room it just makes me sad. it makes me think about the owner that is at home without their furry child/friend/sibling/family member. it makes me wonder why was the animal close to the road? did the person who hit the animal stop? did they cry? it breaks my heart a little bit each time.
my ramble is to say that in charlotte and in Greeneville we see animals on the side of the road all the time. it might be a bird, raccoon, opossum, deer, dog, cat, bunny, snakes (when we see those it kind of makes me want to back up to make sure they are dead). it is a part of life and something that it still makes me a little sad, but it is something that I see all the time so I tend to not get upset as much. when we first moved we hit a bunny (I think) and I sobbed all the way home and thought andy was going to have to pull over so that I could puke on the side of the road. it broke my heart.
several months ago there was a boom of baby ground hogs. I would see 4 little ones on the way to lunch and 1 huge one on the way to and from work. he was so fat and would sit on the side of the road in the midst of kudzu and just watch the cars go by. he was so big and dark brown that he stood out in the green long before i got to him. the way he sat and the way he observed the world humanized him to me and made me laugh. I looked forward to going home and would look for him in the lush green. one day as I approached his usual sitting place I saw that he wasn’t in his normal spot but something caught my eye and I realized he was in the road. he was gone. I was alone in the car and I cried all the way home. I don’t know why he meant so much to me (and while I write and ponder this…I don’t know that he was actually a “he”). I don’t know why i was so delusional to think of the little critter as my friend. I loved seeing him play and watch the world in his own world that was shared with mine. I don’t know why he wondered into the road that day after years of watching cars go by and surly understanding how dangerous it was on that pavement, but he did. he was gone and i was left mourning with the road kill blues.