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Nose-kissMarch 9, 2008

All right. I'm about done with the whole animal thing. Driving home tonight, Lala saw something lying in the road in front of us. When I stopped, with the thing lying right in front of us, we could see it was a cat. A cat who had only been hit once. So far.

I turned on the flashers, got out, and checked. Yes, she was very very dead. Newly dead. She was almost undamaged, just a pool of blood under her head, coming from her mouth. I lifted her with both hands. She was so newly dead that she still felt like a cat,  a sleeping  limp cat. She had no collar, so I put her on the sidewalk so that her owner can find her intact, rather than seeing her flattened. After Digit died (but didn't), I drove our neighborhood for months, checking out every flat dead animal, searching for a scrap of fur that I recognized.

Lala said I was brave, but I didn't feel brave. All I know is that the owner of that lovely, fat, black and white girl is going to be very, very sad. When I picked up Digit tonight, he had the same heft she had. He's on me now, as I type in bed. Hard to use my right hand, but that's okay. He's alive. And so is Bart.

I'm really sad for that owner, though.

Aww. As I typed that and got teary, Digit nose-kissed me, that nose-kiss that he never EVER gave me before he returned from the dead, the kiss I always wanted but never got. I love the nose-kiss. I've had two more since I started typing this paragraph! Joy. (Now three!)


    Still not dead


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My commute is hard that way... it's the painful flip side of having a tender heart. (Right now I also have a tender spot on my chest where Wilbur just jumped.)

My parents live on a busy road, so I've been in this type of situation before...it's very hard, I'm sorry you had to do it. But you were very brave, and I'm proud of you (even though I don't know you).

I read Lala's story as well, and I think it's sad and wonderful at the same time. It made me think of this site, which I think you both might like...


It's the blog a man kept after finding a kitten on the side of the road and nursing her back to health. It's so inspiring to read about the wonderful things people will do for animals...this really touched me.

While walking, I once found a cat on a busy road in a city I lived in. Had to roll her onto a board she was so broken up. Felt like a bag of marbles. I set her on the side so her owner could find her and not keep wondering. Told a neighbor about it and she said, "Why didn't you just throw it in the garbage?" I never felt the same about that neighbor again.

Rachel, you need to get hold of a book by Gerald & Loretta Hausman titled The Metaphysical Cat. I'll have to find the exact page or chapter when I get home, but they write about "cat pips" -- touching a cat's nose with your finger and then to your own nose. There is apparently a long mythology of the "magic" of cat pips.... like you I just LOVE it when I get nose-kisses. My husband seems to get them all the time from our yellow cat, but they are rare for me, so I really treasure them... your post made me a bit weepy this morning, AND so did Lala's BART story when I read it last night. Wanted to read it aloud to hubby, but knew I'd never get through it. Big hugs to you and to dear, annoying Digit! LOL

You two have done some truly good deeds lately. Poor kitty, and poor owner -- I hope (s)he gets to say good-bye.

It may sound morbid, but if you wanna give us all daily updates o Digit, that's A-OK with me. :-) Give him a scratch from me!

I foster for the Hayward Animal Shelter, and I have fostered 2 dogs that were as emaciated as Bart, but were both pregnant! Amazing! Both the Oakland and Hayward Animal Shelters do a wonderful job of placing these very special fur-babies. Good work on saving a life, and preserving a beloved pet memory.

hahahaha! As I'm reading this post, my damn-crazy-calico cat is sitting on my boobs with her butt in my face refusing to let me have any peace. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, eh?

That was a very nice thing you did. I feel so bad for the owner of that pretty girl.

I see Digit is wearing a name tag front and center. Good for him.

Thank you Rachel and Lala. I have had more than my share of stray animals both dead and alive on the busy streets of Oakland. I will never understand why, when there are places to take unwanted animals they are left to die on the streets.....but then, how is it that babies end up in garbage cans? Keep up the good work.

How do you always make me tear up when you talk about Digit? I sometimes think of what I would experience if something happened to my two cats, one of whom is fat, lovely, and black and white. It's so wonderful that you have such a big heart, and that you share it with us, too.

So glad to see that I'm not the only one who tears up at the mention of Digit... He looks so pretty and health now -- it's hard to believe he's the same boy!

Yes, you can show us pictures of Digit any time you want. He sure is looking good now days. Good on you and Lala for stopping for run-over animals. It's very dangerous now to let your cats out of the house. If they don't get run over the coyotes get them.

Wow, Digit looks so healthy! I miss my kisses from my Bratty girl. My new kitties don't give me kisses, though one of them slurps away on mine and hubby's shirts as we are lying in bed. It's gross. And sweet.

And Lala is such an angel for helping to save Bart. I hope Bart can make it into a good home and that he has a long, loving and healthy life ahead of him.

You're right! He does look very much like our own Papi. Right down to the pink heart-shaped nose with which he bestows kisses.

I just cried a little for that poor kitty and for her owner. I can't imagine how I would feel if one of my cats went missing and I couldn't find them. Both you and Lala are so brave for having helped the animals that you have recently found, and I know that I would be more grateful than I can say if I were the owner of the cat that you found! Also, I am so very glad that Digit is with you and that you can continue to enjoy nose-kisses...

You have a great blog! I'm not much of a commenter- but this entry is amazing. The compassion you and Lala have shown in the last week is inspiring! Keep up the great work.

Also- love your knitting projects!

I can't stand to see animals, especially animals who should be pets, run over repeatedly, so I move dead kitties out of the pavement whenever I find one, unless they're already so flat that I can't do it without tools or the road's so busy I'll get killed trying. It's a habit I started in college. In fact, my long-ago-exboyfriend was with me when I moved a newly killed kitten out of the road, then fumed and wept silent, hot tears while driving off afterward. He told me later that he knew he loved me then. Although we've been broken up for more than 20 years, I'd like to think he also moves dead critters out of the road when he can.

You're a good girl. I know the owners will be sad, but at least they'll be able to know what happened to their kitty. That's pretty darn important. (Hi Digit!)

Oh, that is so sad! It makes me want to go home and check on my kitties. I'm always afraid they'll escape somehow...and then I had to drag my neighbor's cat out from under my car so I could leave one day, and she didn't even seem to care when I returned him.

You two are both wonderful people. I hope to meet you both in person someday!

I am always optimistic that there are more good people than bad out there in the world and that we will eventually manage to get rid of all the bad ones.

Is Digit strictly indoors now? I know you had said shortly after he came home that he would be and just wondered if he had managed to talk his way outside again. he does look great!

I'm always happy to see pictures of the others too!

Beth P. in Maryland

Oh that's sad. Although the news that Bart is doing well is good. I am so paranoid about cars and my cats that I don't let them out. Ever. I worry every time i ope the door that they are going to run out. They never do...

Yep. My cats never. go. out. And they never will. I see dead cats and missing-cat flyers and yell, "KEEP YOUR KITTIES INDOORS!" Mine are the pampered princesses of the apartment and don't seem to be worse for the wear.

I won't say "poor owner". That cat should have been in the house, safe and sound. I've had cats my whole life (and that's saying something) and the only outdoor cat I had was my first, Rusty, when I was very little. He was hit by a car, and we lived out in the middle of nowhere. Not one of my cats has been allowed out since then (I'm down to two 16 year olds now) and they never will.

That's a really sad story; it was really sweet, what you did.

You did good, Rachel. And Digit's looking VERY handsome. :-)

"Still not dead," you crack me up.

I am the queen of unsuccessful dog rescues. I saw one on Foothill near International, limping, and thought it had just been hit. By the time I turned my car around, couldn't find it anywhere. Another one would not come to me and ran the other way. Heartbreaking.

(Glad Digit's still not dead. Nose kisses rule.)

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