Here Kitty!

Yesterday, while riding my bike to Ichinoseki elementary school, I almost ran over a dead cat.

While crossing a small bridge and nearing the last block of my journey, I was confidently peddling along the street. Up ahead, in a quick glance, I noticed what I thought was a discarded plastic bag resting about a foot away from the curb. I thought little of it. I would steer between the curb and the bag and if I should happen to navigate poorly, I would err on the side of the bag. So what if I run over an empty plastic bag, right?

Still confidently riding along, I approached the gap and glanced down again to plan my trajectory when an alarm when off. The alarm sounded something like my voice rising in shock at the sight fast approaching my front wheel, ‘Whaaaaaagh!’ Yeah, something like that.

Someone’s poor, little, white cat had suffered some mortal injury and was now sprawled on the pavement. Really, it looked like it was just resting comfortably, but I know for a fact that this was indeed a dearly departed feline – no living cat would allow a cyclist to pass within inches of its ears without darting away let alone not blinking.

So, little Fluffy would have had the shock of a lifetime, had her life not already been over. And I had a good fright too. I was surprised enough by the discovery that while my cry of shock was still escaping my lips, I veered away from the corpse. The sound of my pedal scraping along the curb awoke me to the fact that there really wasn’t any place to veer to. Grating along the concrete, I poured all of my willpower into not hitting the cat and not toppling over the curb.

I narrowly escaped both of those fates and came through with little more than a racing heart. If luck were more cruel to me, however, I could have easily noticed the cat’s presence earlier, veered into the curb, lost my balance and face-planted into the body of the former pet. Not only would that have been a traumatizing memory worth of at least a couple therapy sessions, but it would have given me the allergic reaction of a lifetime. It might have made this story more interesting, but I’m damn happy it didn’t turn out that way.

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