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Small Mercies

7 March 2012

Another day, another 5:55 alarm call.

If I get up at 5:55, by 6:10 I can be running, dressed, teeth brushed, cats fed. It is such a pain to have to feed them before being able to get outside – the stinky food, the loud miaowing, the time spent making sure Ted doesn’t steal Bill’s food.

Today, on my way back home after a terrible hill session in the rain, I was struggling up Crouch Hill feeling sorry for myself when I passed a dead cat on the pavement. He was beautiful. A tabby, quite small, laid out as if sleeping by the fire on a particularly cold day. There was a smudge of blood on his nose and his eyes were closed to the rain. A lump rose in my throat.

I fought back the tears for the remainder of my run. How pathetic, I thought, whilst unable to stop. A 36-year old woman blubbering over a cat she never knew. I couldn’t stop thinking about the poor driver who had hit the cat, the person who had moved it to the pavement, the owner missing him at breakfast time…

I was all set to write about the joy of returning to hill “sprints” after a couple of weeks’ absence, but it now seems unimportant. Back at the flat, both cats ignored my return. They had been fed, what did they care for this sweaty human invading their personal space? I choked back a feeble sob of gratitude.

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