On the first morning I went to work after we got back from Hong Kong, right as I was about to exit our village, a dark-colored cat (I wasn’t sure since it was still pre-dawn) darted from under a nearby parked car and ran straight between my left front and rear tires. It came out so quickly, I barely saw a blur from my peripheral vision. I didn’t even realize I ran over it until I felt that sickening thud from my left rear tire. It was like I ran over a tiny hump. I still wasn’t sure until I glanced at my rear view mirror and saw the poor animal’s final violent spasms. It was writhing and jerking about like a fish out of water. Then it stopped moving altogether. I swear, it was a horrifying experience. I have 3 cats at home so I winced at the thought that it could have been any of them. I don’t feel guilty-guilty since I couldn’t have stopped on a dime even if I wanted to. It ran so fast and so suddenly that I didn’t even realize what happened until after it happened. But I feel pangs of guilt nevertheless. If you accidentally stepped on someone’s foot, it isn’t your fault, but you feel sorry you stepped on it anyway. The concept of roadkill is like the idea of eating meat. You don’t mind eating pork chop or fried chicken if it’s served to you on a plate, looking every bit of a delicious meal, with steamed rice and sidings and gravy. But if you had to witness the actual animal that you were about to eat, slaughtered in front of your very eyes, complete with knives, and slitting of throats, and piercing squeals of agony, and blood spurting all over the place, and guts spilling from bellies sliced open, and heads decapitated with multiple hacks, and the rusty smell of freshly cut meat soaked in crimson — I don’t think it would be as sumptuous a gastronomic feast as you would prefer it to be. Same thing with roadkill. If you just pass by a disemboweled carcass of an animal run over, many times over by speeding vehicles, you just take a swift glance, maybe to make a quick identification of the flattened fauna, make a disgusted face and say “yuck” (or “ewww” if you’re on the girly side), then drive on, your life no better but no worse, then move on. But it’s quite different when you’re the person behind the wheel of the machine that mangled the poor animal, the experience replete with bones breaking and crunching, and internal organs popping and bursting. I could tell myself, “it wasn’t my fault” till the cows come home, but it wouldn’t lessen the trauma any bit. I know some people might say it’s just a frickin’ stray cat and that I’m being such a drama king about it, but hey, some men weep like willows when their favorite football team loses! Well, I get bothered when animals die (especially if I were the cause of death). We reserve our soft spots for different things. This is mine.