Thursday, June 19, 2008


There are maybe 25–30 blogs on my Google Reader, but only one blog inspires me to read every single post and you'll soon see why.

I've been a faithful reader of daisy's blog for over two years, maybe three. daisy's tone is typically whimsical and irreverent, but occasionally insightful, too. And it is always extremely well-written... unlike the scores of mediocre bloggers/writers out there, daisy has a gifted ear for pacing—none of her blog posts drone on in perpetuity because she knows pricisely when to stop.

The following is a long post for daisy, but so moving that it brought me to tears. I repost it here in its entirety because it is just that damned good. Thanks, daisy.

Hodge: A Damn Fine Name for A Damn Fine Cat

I was in a wretched mood yesterday. It started with an annoying email first thing in the morning and just progressed from there. It seemed no one was listening, even fewer people were understanding, and I was on the verge of a full-fledged meltdown. When a co-worker mimicked the way I said "Hi-eee" when I passed him coming into the office, I almost through my 6" Subway sandwich at his head. And he's really a nice guy. Who absolutely does not deserve spicy mustard and pickles slammed into his face. Or shredded lettuce in his hair. Or slimy turkey stuck to his t-shirt. (Plus, I was hungry.)

And no matter what I did, my day just keep getting worse. After the MUNI driver kicked me off the train ("THIS IS THE LAST STOP! PLEASE EXIT THE TRAIN!") and then drove back in the direction I was going (I get on at the last/first stop), I seriously started crying. It was all just too much.

I was sending text messages that only a crazy girl would send. "Sorry I took my bad mood out on you." followed less than five minutes later with, "Not that you GIVE A SHIT anyway!" I saw the mental hospital in my immediate future. I was on a one-way train to Crazy Town. Except the FUCKING TRAIN LEFT WITHOUT ME.

So I did what any girl would do and asked my best friend to come into the city and have dinner with me at Zazie. I figured if my best friend and Zazie couldn't get me out of my funk, at least I would know my only other option was shock therapy. Which, frankly, was starting to sound rather appealing.

But dinner was good. And I decided to hold off on the straight jacket and padded cell for at least another day. And I was tired and sated and feeling lucky to at least have one friend who was willing to sit there and listen. Even though I was telling the same sob story for the seventeenth time.

After dinner, Maura drove me back up the hill and came to a stop in front of my building. "What's that?" she asked and pointed to what looked like some kind of bag moving in the street.

"I think it's just a bag or something," I said.

But she thought it was something else, so we drove up a few yards to investigate.

And it wasn't a bag. Nor was it a raccoon. It was someone's kitty. Who had just been hit by a driver who didn't even bother to stop.

For once, I'll spare you the excessive details, but I put my hand on him and saw that he was still breathing... but clearly he was taking his last breaths. So I did the only thing I could do - pet his warm, soft body so that he'd know he wasn't alone - until he finally stopped struggling and died.

Someone called Animal Control. And while we waited for them to show up, Maura and I directed traffic and buses around the cat's limp body. The police showed up and told us not to touch him, but just to keep doing what we were doing until someone from Animal Control got there. And so despite the exasperated looks, and the one driver who actually sped up and flashed his brights at us, we stood in the middle of the street and pointed the cars to "go around." We couldn't save the cat, but there was no way were going to let him get run over again.

About twenty minutes or so later, a neighbor came to see what was going on. They recognized the cat and said they thought their neighbor would know to whom he belonged.

Within moments, a barefoot couple in their pajamas ran out into the street sobbing. The man scooped the cat up and cradled him in his arms while they both cried. "Oh honey, oh honey," he kept saying to his wife who was too shocked to speak.

We let them grieve alone for a few minutes, but finally approached them to tell them what had happened. We apologized again and again. "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry there wasn't more we could do."

But they were grateful we'd been there with him. That someone had comforted him while he was dying. And that we'd protected his body from being hit again.

We told them Animal Control was on their way. And they sat on the sidewalk, holding their dead cat, and crying.

"I'm so sorry," I apologized one last time. "I'm so sorry there wasn't more we could do."

"You did everything you could," the man said. "And we're so thankful for that."

"What was his name?" I asked.


"Bye Hodge," I said. "You were a good cat."

And I'll admit what I'm about to say next is incredibly selfish, but as I walked away, leaving the barefoot couple in the shadows clinging to their dead cat, tears streaming down my face, it hit me how wrong it was of me to waste an entire day of my life with a terrible mood that affected everyone around me. And how it just wasn't worth it. And how every moment spent moping or pouting is a moment I'm not living my life in the way that I want to.

And it's sad that it took such a terrible accident to remind me of that, but sometimes I'm stubborn and shitty that way.

And Hodge was a good kitty. Who was clearly so loved and will be missed by everyone who knew him. And even though I met him under tragic circumstances, I just know now that I am lucky to have met him at all.

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