Monday, July 16, 2012

The death of Jerri

Sometimes it's the little pets in your life that make the biggest difference. You don't realize how much they mean to you or someone else until they are gone.

Two little angels.

On Friday the 13th I was heading home from the mall with my sister-in-law when I saw a dead black cat in the road near my mom's house. I knew immediately before I got out of the car it was my mom's cat Jerri. I also knew she was dead. She had just been hit, her head run over, and thick blood was slowly starting to pour from her head down the street. We stopped the car and I jumped out, my stomach in my throat. A couple stopped too, and the man got out and ran over. He touched Jerri, and told me she was still warm and it had probably just happened. I called my mom and her and my son (she was babysitting) came running down the hill.

My mom immediately knew it was her cat. She picked Jerri up and started crying, sobbing really. She carried Jerri home and cleaned the blood off of her, wrapping her in a towel like a baby. I cried so hard. She kept saying, "It's Friday the 13th and someone hit my little black cat."

It was hands down one of the worst nights of my life. I've lost my father, my step-father, friends, but my mom losing her little cat was just as upsetting to me. In my family we love our pets. They are like our children. All night long my mom blamed herself for not knowing Jerri was outside, or for not looking for her.

Tom and Jerri.

The way I see it, animals are so innocent. Jerri was the sweetest, cutest little girl cat. She never got much bigger than a kitten. Jerri and her brother Tom came from the pound, my mom got them the same time I got my cat Dutchess. I'm super close with my mom, so I watched Jerri grow up. So many times I visited and she was sleeping on the couch, or playing with a string with my sister or mom. She was my mom's little Jerri Berry. She was part of our family. She was innocent, not some evil black cat for someone to hit on Friday the 13th just for fun.

Jerri Berry.

I know a lot of people out there hate cats. For whatever reason, I should be typing that I understand, but I just don't. How can you hate a little ball of cuteness? How can someone hit a tiny cat on purpose? Seriously, do they think they won't have bad karma?

I really hope whoever hit Jerri did it on accident. But why didn't they stop? What the hell is wrong with people?

To make matters worse my family is going through a tough time due to some really shitty circumstances. The death of Jerri really broke us down.

Please, if you are reading this, and you hate cats, think of what they mean to other people. They are like our little angels, our children. I don't care if it sounds dramatic, that's just the way it is.

I miss Jerri. I took her little body to Rolling Acres, a pet cemetery in Parkville, Mo. We have used them before and they are so loving and caring. I picked out a beautiful urn for her ashes to rest in.

Cat cuddling in the old cat building of the pound. Jerri is behind Gabe's leg.

I can't help but replay the scene in my mind and wish I gotten there earlier and seen Jerri had gotten out of the house and rescued her. I picture her little cute self and how happy she always made my mom. I picture Jerri laying there dead in the street like something that didn't even matter.

I'm not ashamed to say I went down to the street later on that evening and washed her blood away. I scrubbed the street three times. She deserved better. I didn't want her blood staining the street.

The death of Jerri has been another painful reminder of loss to me. Everything we have, no matter how small or how big can be gone in an instant. What doesn't seem important or significant to one person means the world to someone else.

People's dogs get out, that doesn't mean hitting someone's dog is okay. Just because something gets in our way, we have no right to kill it. The greatest gift you can give in life is to help other creatures, but if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. I know accidents happen, I guess I'm just going through the anger stage of grief.

I will miss you Jerri. I'm sorry I couldn't have been there to save you :(

Jerri giving Tom a bath.