I was driving along, minding my business when a man began to cross the road, his course set to collide with my front bumper. As I prepared myself to slam on my breaks, I spotted an object lying in the road. Another glance at the man confirmed that his goal was the object in the street and not to throw himself beneath my tires.
The thing about it was though, that object was a dead cat and this was not a uniformed road way custodian. He was driving a regular civilian vehicle and he carried no special equipment.
I kept my eye on him in my mirror as I swept past. Once I was safely out of his way he stooped, plucked the cat from the road WITH HIS BARE HANDS and carried it to his truck by it's hind leg. He flung the corpse into the truck bed, climbed in the cab and drove away.
I spent the rest of my drive mulling over the road clearing I'd witnessed and what it said about the man responsible.
Was this a true animal lover unable bear the thought of furry innocents lying decimated in the roadway robbed even of that most basic show of dignity; a proper burial? Is he a citizen of the community with civic pride so fierce as to make the removal of roadkill from the streets of our fair village an immediate and obligating task, in so much that to wait even long enough to fetch a shovel or rubber glove would be an unacceptable delay?
Perhaps it was his own cat. After days of searching far and wide, dear fluffy was found there on the pavement and the emotion was so great as to necessitate the immediate bare handed retrieval of the deceased. I tend to consider this one less likely. After all, he did pluck the carcass from the road by it's hind paw and fling it into the truck bed. If the act had been motivated my the deep and abiding love of a man for his cat I would expect more care to be taken with the remains of the beloved.
It could have been his kid's cat. It r-u-n-n-o-f-t and little Molly just wouldn't accept that it wasn't coming home so he set out to find it and grant the child the closure of funerary service.
My last theory is that maybe he just doesn't think that touching a dead cat is gross. Maybe to him, there's no significant difference between the paws of dead and living cats. Ok, scratch that last one. It's just too far fetched. doesn't think it's gross (scoff) Chalk that ridiculousness up to an over active imagination on my part. It's gross. That's not even debatable.