You guys. I know you think I'm, like, this bad-ass zombie writer (you do, right?), but the truth is this: I'm a mush. I cry all too easily, and seeing things scared or injured really breaks my heart.
Today while I was running a little squirrel caught my eye. He was near a tree, on the ground. Ordinarily this isn't a thing of note - squirrels are prolific around here, to say the least. But normally, as soon as they see me, they scamper off into the trees.
Not this one, though.
He was hurt, probably bumped by a car or beat up by a hawk. There was no obvious blood on him, but his front foot didn't seem to work. He tried to get away from me, moving himself along the ground by pushing with his back feet, moving in an uncoordinated semi-circle. His eyes were huge and round and black and shining. They were terrified. I don't care what anyone says; animals have feelings, and this little guy was hurting and frightened.
I wanted so badly to help, but my hands were tied. I have no car (our Jeep is still in the shop, where it's been for almost two weeks now). I was a mile from my house. I could have run home to get a bucket or something to carry him with me, but what then?
I called my vet - they could only euthanize him.
It was obvious he wasn't going to make it - he couldn't get into a tree, and when he turned his back to me, I finally saw blood, oozing slowly from his back end. His injuries were apparently internal, then, and I lost hope.
I wanted to stay with him until the end, but every time I tried to check on him, he tried to move away. I inspired more fear than comfort. It was awful.
In the end, I left him there, beneath the tree, to die alone, in peace.
Had Charles been there, he'd have ended things in a quick and humane way for the little guy, but I couldn't even bring myself to do that. I know it would have been the merciful thing to do...but in the end I let him suffer longer, in a quiet, circle-of-life sort of way.
I feel like a bad person right now. I let him suffer. It sucks.
I don't want to spend my day thinking about the little squirrel. Poor little fella. He's breaking my heart, even now. I'm fairly certain he's already dead, and will be food for the dozens of vultures circling overhead this morning. But still. I have a big sad.
Can you help me out? Can you send me happy thoughts? I'd love to hear them. Happy memories, nice things going on in your life, anything positive you want to share. Pretty please? I could use some cheering up. You can leave comments here or you can tweet them at me or Facebook them to me. Whatever. I just want to think about something happy.