No people, this blog isn't about the typical response I hear when someone accidently catches sight of me at the urinal. This is about a touchy subject with many people who are fans of all things animals.
Something quite sad happened on my way home this afternoon from visiting with friends one town over. To get to said town, you have to drive about 25-minutes through country lanes on a two-lane roadway. Normally the road is packed at all times, but due to the somewhat heavy snow it was pretty sparse. The sun was shining, but it was snowing like a motherfucker....but that's not really the point.
Anyway, all the cars ahead of me started to slow down to a near crawl, so I figured someone had maybe run off the road or something more wicked. When I approached the slow-down spot, I notice a man and woman off to the shoulder standing at the front of their car. She looked like she was crying, he looked a little confused and irked. I decided to pull over and see if they were okay. I pulled ahead of them and walked over to see what the problem was.
I expected to see a bit of damage, maybe even a tire off the rim. What I saw was a poor raccoon semi-wedged in between the guy's bumper and front of the car. To my surprise, it was still alive....and making the worst sounds you'll ever hear in your entire life. The woman was all tears, as I later found out it was her driving the car. He looked at me with this "thank piss, I thought I would have to actually touch this thing" look. I asked if they were okay, and what happened.
She told me it ran out infront of her, she tried to avoid it by breaking, but slammed it and dragged it a bit. She was really quite upset, as I probably would have been had it been me who'd hit it. He didn't say much; just made faces when he looked at it and shrugged when I asked him stuff. Nothing seemed to be wrong with the car, save for the poor animal stuck in it.
Then I looked at the raccoon. I'll spare the gross details of how it looked. Let's just say that I couldn't figure out how something could still be alive with that much damage done to it. The poor raccoon was screaming and trying to free itself, which was very sad and hard to watch due to the injuries it had sustained. The poor thing was slowly dying. I asked the people if they wanted my assistance in dealing with the animal, they said yes, so I walked back to my car, opened the trunk, and got out the steel shovel I keep there for emergencies.
I'll spare you these details as well. I will tell you I put the poor creature out of his misery quickly and without any undue pain. I then removed it from the vehicle as best I could for the two. I looked to them, and was greeted with shock and anger.
"What the fuck?! Are you crazy?!" The guy said. The girl looked at me in horror and started crying even harder. She tried to call me a few unsavory names, but couldn't pull herself together enough. The man then told me to fuck off, called me an animal killer and hater, and threatened to call the police on me for animal cruelty. I told him that was the only humane action left to take, but they wouldn't listen. They got into their car and pulled away, leaving me standing at the shoulder holding a shovel over what was left of this raccoon. I threw the shovel into the field in disgust, both at them and at myself, and got back into the car.
I love animals...even have a few here at home. i would never hurt an animal. To me, I was helping him, not being cruel to him. He would have died a very slow, painful death had I not done that. I know what I did was acceptable. So...why do I feel like an animal murderer right now? Was it their reactions, my guilt over delivering the final blow, or what? I know it was "just a raccoon", but I hate seeing any animal in distress.
What would you guys have done it the same situation? I know its easy to say you would have done the same, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Could you do the same? Would you have done the same? Or, would you have just kept driving until the poor bastard came off on his own, not really giving it a second thought?
One thing's for sure: I feel like an asshole, and I'm out one steel shovel.
Thanks for reading,
-The Big Bad