Thursday, January 15, 2015


Yesterday night I saw a cat die. I was coming back from work, and as I walked down the Northern Station avenue, he walked out of the bushes surrounding the Camp factory right in front of me. I stopped and looked at him: absurd superstitions aside, black cats have always appealed to me. Actually, I have the same feeling with most single-coloured animals. Maybe I shouldn't say this: there's always someone ready to call you a racist for any stupid reason. Be it as it may, the cat walked calmed, ignoring my presence, his glance stuck on the road. He stopped for a brief moment and, suddenly, he started crossing to the other side on the run. I saw it coming but there was nothing I could do.

It happened in slow motion, as it happens with such things. There was only one car passing down the avenue. One single car. I can't understand how the cat didn't see they would both get to the same place at the same time: an hunter should be more capable of "calculating" distances and speeds. Had he crossed the road walking, without a hurry, he'd still be alive. But he ran. On the other hand, the car's driver either didn't see him or he saw him but didn't care at all.

A sharp blow, a gasped meow. The car didn't stop until the traffic lights at the corner with Joanot Martorell St., further down the road. It quickly turned to green and away it went. From where I was standing it seemed the driver couldn't care less about the cat that was silently rolling on the asphalt some fifty metres behind him. Actually, he was only moving his upper half: his spine was clearly broken. After some extremely long seconds of spasms, he eventually stopped. Lying on the road, as if he was sleeping. No blood or guts, no weird postures. Just a black silhouette on the asphalt, in peace, a small and unimportant horror compared to the church of Our Lady of Fatima framing the scene.

He was only a couple metres away from the other side. A bigger, white-and-brown cat came out of the park next to the church and slowly approached. I did the same, not because of the urge of giving the dead cat a closer look but because I wanted to be sure he wasn't in pain anymore. The other cat stared at him in silence and then looked at me. It reminded me of a similar situation that happened some years ago: the living cat came closer to the dead one and started meowing and pushing him with his head, as if wanting to wake him up from that improvised nap. Yesterday, though, the cat didn't come that close. He was probably scared of me. He just walked back to Fatima's park and I resumed my way home.

Yesterday I saw a cat die. All of a sudden, without a reason. And I searched for an explanation because we've got used to look for them and to try and give a meaning to what happens. It didn't have any meaning. As all the other things that just are. Looking for answers to unexisting questions is one of the people of leisure's great dangers.

[You can find the original article in Catalan here. I usually write the blogposts in English and then I translate them into Catalan. Funnily enough I've found the other way round to be slightly more challenging.]

Related: The butterfly.

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