A letter to drivers and pet owners

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009

As we are all distracted by many things at this holiday time, please be especially mindful of your driving and observant of city speed limits. In the past couple of years we have had a couple of really horrendous wrecks in the 800/900 block of State Street, and too often I still see drivers who “hit the gas” coming out State Street once they pass the light at MLK.

It seems silly to me since they still have to brake for the stop sign at Arlington Avenue, and it routinely takes a deadly toll on local wildlife like raccoons, armadillos, and opossums who travel across the road between bayous in that part of town.

This morning I didn’t see the driver who ran over our little gray cat in front of my house. Maybe the driver didn’t see her either. More likely he or she was just going too fast to stop or avoid hitting her.

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She doesn’t go outside a lot, and never at night, but it was a pretty day so we let her out for a little bit. Thankfully we were still at home and checked on her after a few minutes. Thankfully Dr. Robbie Savant was able to put her down quickly so she didn’t suffer very long.

If I could have this day back, I would have kept her inside today. I have seen the statistics that report that cats kept inside live much longer than those exposed to the perils of outside, but I wasn’t raised that way.

I regretted the day she brought a dead cardinal to the door, and I know that cats’ predatory instincts lead them to kill songbirds and other small animals even if they are not hungry, but that wasn’t enough to motivate me.

Now I regret that I did not keep her indoors. I regret that she was helpless in the face of a speeding car. I regret that I was helpless in the face of her injuries. If one pet owner learns from our grief to make the cultural shift to keeping their cat in, that will be some consolation.

Please also consider a generous donation to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society. Our “Pook” was a shelter kittie herself two years ago, and without their tireless work we would never have come to know and love her as we did.

Kathleen Bond

Natchez resident