A breech in the dam.....
it was the kitten. it triggered the floodgates to open. i saw it lying on the side of the road, looking disoriented, and on the verge of getting run over.
it was early morning and i had just dropped my son off at school. i pulled over, a little haphazardly, and ran to get it before a car hit it. i picked it up, and its body went limp in my hands. its eyes were open, but not seeing. it was breathing, but it was a strained breathing.
what do i do? there was a vet's office on the way home, so i hurriedly drove there, not knowing if the kitten would make it, even that short distance. i brought it in, wrapped in a blanket, and asked what to do. "we can't look at it unless you are going to adopt it and pay all the medical expenses." what? it's hurt.... i couldn't have left it lying in the road to get hit.
"sorry", they said, "we can't do anything if it doesn't have an owner". i looked down at the lethargic kitten, with it's labored breathing. it was so tiny and pitiful. and then i felt it..... i felt it deep. i knew it had been shoved down for a long time. it came up in bits and pieces sometimes, but i was always able to push it back. i prided myself on my composure. i prided myself on being brave and strong.
but this little kitten suddenly triggered the floodwaters. all the loss, pain, sorrow, hurt..... it somehow became a symbol for that. and it happened right there in the middle of these strangers in a veterinary clinic. the saltwater trickled down just a little at first, but then came tumbling down in torrents. as hard as i tried, i couldn't close the floodgate.
"i'm sorry", i kept saying. "i don't normally do this." i could barely speak. i was just standing there at the counter, sobbing, and holding the almost lifeless kitten, with everyone staring at me. i think then they had sympathy, and agreed to look at it, if i'd sign a waiver giving permission to euthanize it if needed. "the vet doesn't like us to do this" they said, "but he's not here yet.... we'll see what we can do." they asked for all my contact info, and i had to repeat it several times for they couldn't understand me through my faltering voice.
i couldn't leave soon enough, and when i got in the car, i let the rest of the waters flow, until the dam had been thoroughly breeched. of all places, i thought to myself. i guess that's what i get for holding it in so long. i don't know how long i cried in my car..... i stayed there until my vision wasn't blurred anymore.
the sadness stayed with me all day. but i know i found the kitten for a reason. someone knows it's too much.... to be brave all the time.