As I was getting into my car to go to work this morning, I saw an enormous black cat trot across the street. When I say "enormous," I mean possibly bigger than any cat I'd ever seen. I tried to come up with other quadrupeds to compare it to and came up with "calf."
I stared as the monster padded through the neighbor's yard and disappeared, and I wondered who owned him. I'm not (exactly) a superstitious person, but the thought did cross my mind that this cat could cause someone a whole lot of bad luck.
I saw another cat today. This one was gray and striped, and as he darted under my wheels on Mehring Way downtown, he also seemed huge. So huge, in fact, that as I felt the tiny thunk-thud under my wheels, I thought he must still be alive. Surely, that was the feeling of merely running over a leg or even a tail. Perhaps, I thought, I could find him on the sidewalk or in the shelter of the nearby bridge, and notify animal control.
He looked much smaller when I circled back and found he'd never made it out of the road. Small enough to easily be crushed under the wheels of my small car. It's the first animal I've ever hit. I've been assured that a cat running toward the river downtown in a place that's at least a half mile from any housing had no owner. I hope not.
The part of me that made me add the qualifier "exactly" to "I'm not superstitious" before was worried that somehow my cat would know - that I would be identified as a bane to the species. So far, she hasn't said anything, but I've still let her chew on my hand a bit in atonement.
I just got home from Mr. Wufflekins'. As I was walking through the parking lot, I saw two high-schoolers crouching by a car. They were feeding a skinny gray cat - I'm guessing a stray. I hope that it works out for him.