Sunday, February 8, 2015

I Should've Walked Away

Have you ever heard a cat trying to dig its way out from underneath a pile of snow? It is dark outside, the only light you see is the moonlight reflecting off of a white blanket. A soft wind blows, but other than that, the only thing you hear is a faint scratching sound.
You can almost sense each frozen bit of ice being dragged out from the pile, one by one. The trees hang overhead, barren, with long scrawny limbs that reach out towards you, beckoning you to come closer. You know somewhere in there, is where the sound is coming from.
It is so cold, it has been for days. You begin to wonder how long the furry little creature has been trapped out there. You know it has been almost five days since the last big snowfall. A gust of wind crawls up your back and down your collar, you shiver from the chill.
You wonder if you should grab a shovel and walk towards the sound, but it seems to be so deep in the woods that you fear you may never find her. Then you start to wonder if it is just the trees, making noise, blowing against the wind and scratching the icy surface with their claws.
You almost give up and decide to go back inside, but then you see it. The tiny tip of a small black paw, just barely peeking out through the snow. The snow must be two feet deep out there. There is no way something could have survived this long, and still be alive.
A low muffled moan echoes from the pile, you take a slight step back, but nod your head forward to try to see more clearly. A snowflake kisses your nose and you look up at the sky, it is starting to snow again. As you look back into the woods, you can now see an arm emerging from the pile.
That is not possible, you think, but then you see an ear. The scratching becomes louder and faster, and you can almost feel it against your skin, ripping, tearing, desperately trying to release itself from its frozen tomb.
When you finally see its face, its fur is matted and tussled, its haunting yellow eyes stare at you like the only light shining on the planet. Her gaze is fixed upon you and she lets out another low, deep moan, only this time it seems like it is directed at you.
You wonder how this cat has the energy to keep digging, you should go help, you think. As you approach, you notice the cat does indeed look tired, but it presses on, trying to scratch its way to the surface, trying to fight for its life.
You finally reach the cat and bend down to help it out, but by this time only her hind legs are still buried in the snow. She swipes and hisses at you, leaving a faint scratch on the back of your hand. As you stumble and plop down into the snow, the cat drags the rest of its body out from underneath the pile. It now lets out a loud curdling growl, like it is being tortured.
You try to stand up, but you are off balance and you fall back into the snow. As you sit there, the cat starts to drag its limp, frozen, dead lower body towards you. It moans out in pain and looks at you like you are her next meal.
You manage to get up, into a squatting position and you reach out to help the cat up. Again, she hisses and scratches at you. You realize that it is probably scared and unable to jump or do anything except drag itself around. You make one more attempt to pick it up and carry it to safety, but she wants nothing to do with you. You manage to grab her anyway.
As you walk out of the woods, the cat struggles to free itself from your grip, every step of the way. She tries to push off of you with her front paws, struggling with all her might, but her lower body just hangs there crippled and crushed, unable to assist her upper body in any way.
As you reach your driveway, you don't notice the black ice, and you slip. Your legs come out from under you, the cat goes flying up in the air. You fall and bang your head against the blacktop. The cat lands softly on your chest.
You must have passed out for a while, because when you awake you feel different, like you have been gone for a long time. It is freezing cold out, but you feel a strange warmth overcoming your body. You look down and see the cat still sitting on your chest and you realize that she must be keeping you warm, but no, that doesn't seem to be it.
You shake your head and try to remove the cobwebs, but you have a splitting headache, like someone hit you in the back of the head with an axe or a baseball bat. You realize the spill you took must have been harder than you thought. You reach around to the back of your head. It is sore, split open, and your hand is now full of blood. You dig deeper into the split on the back of your head. You have never held a brain in your hand before, but surprisingly, as soon as you touch the soft, warm, gray matter, you know exactly what it is.
Impossible, you think. How can I be sitting here with my head split open, my brain slowly dripping out of the back of my head, and this little kitten sitting on my chest. I've had enough of this, you say, and you stand up.
It is now clear to see that the warm feeling you had on your chest was not from the cat, but from what the cat had done. I guess she was pretty hungry, because while you were out, she managed to rip through your coat, into your chest, and started digging and clawing at you. Although, this time instead of trying to dig her way out of a hole, she was trying to dig her way into one, your chest cavity.
From the pool of blood lying on the ground around you, you surmise that she has done a formidable job. Why look, she has even dug far enough into my chest that she has exposed my heart, and she is eating it, you look on in amazement.
But how can that be, if I am standing here, and I can see her there on top of me...

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