Burned On My Brain

I was actually leaving the house early anticipating an arrival at work before 8:30am. The air was crisp but without rain. I’d gotten a good night’s sleep and I didn’t burn my eggs. Things were looking up.

I was about two blocks into my ten minute drive to work when I saw something floating about in the distance in the road. As my car approached, the floating thing seemed to resemble a plastic bag flitting about. But I was very, very wrong. As I got even closer, I realized I was looking at a squirrel that had just been hit by a car. He had been hit in the head but his body was still going. Fighting with its last strength it was throwing its body this way and that, trashing along the road.

It. Was. Horrible.

All day this image was burned into my head. At random moments I would recall it and shudder. Driving home from work I was panicking that I would come upon it as I drove the same street as I did ten hours before when I witnessed Frederico’s death (that’s what I named him). It was dark and rainy at that time and there were lots of cars so I either missed seeing him lying in the road or he was gone.

It is no secret that I am an overly-empathetic sap but seriously, when it comes to animals, I just get so affected. I know all about natural selection and that shit happens but little Frederico didn’t deserve to die such a horrific death. Poor little fella.

“What am I to you/Tell me darling true/To me you are the sea/Vast as you can be/And deep the shade of blue/When you’re feeling low/To whom else do you go/See I cry if you hurt/I’d give you my last shirt/Because I love you so…” -What Am I To You?, Norah Jones


32 thoughts on “Burned On My Brain

  1. The first and only animal that I ever killed was a coyote that wandered into the road. It was late at night and it just dashed out in front of my Van. Unfortunately, despite my attempts, I couldn’t veer away quickly enough.

    Needless to say, I still feel a pang of guilt about to this day.

    Anyway, I tend to be an empathetic person as well, so I just prefer to keep my blinders on when I drive (when it comes to examining roadkill).

  2. i would broken down in tears for sure, i hate seeing animals along the road – thank GOD i’ve never hit anything big like a deer… everyone else in my family has, but me… :o(

  3. I get choked up any time I see a dead bird in a bush or on the sidewalk. So I know how that goes. Sorry you had to see poor Frederico’s last moments. Try to think about playful puppies and kittens and your nephew instead!

  4. I tend to cry when I see animals get hurt…I ran over a family of raccoons once when I lived in the North Woods…Yes, babies were involved. I cried. A lot.

    And I name feral cats when almost-husband and I go for walks.

    We also keep points for who can spot the most feral cats on our walks.

    Wow, that is a tad twisted when I put it in writing.

  5. 😦 I can’t stand seeing things like that either! When I lived in Pottsville there were always wounded or dead deer by the side of the road – it was awful

  6. Oh sweetie, I am TOTALLY like that. I have yet to kill anything with any kind of vehicle, thank heavens, and everytime I see a hit animal, I say a little prayer.

    Of course, booze may help erase that image. I’m just sayin’.

  7. What is it with this week? I saw a dead kitten in the road on Monday morning and was traumatized all day. Every time I closed my eyes I saw his little body. Just a fantastic way to start the day. NOT! I have risked life and limb (will continue to, also) to rescue turtles crossing the road. Very common in FL, so it’s a frequent thing for me. I get BEYOND PISSED when people hit turtles. Seriously, they hardly move, how can you not avoid them?

  8. oh that’s awful! im the same way. i once hit a possum a few years back, and i HAD to turn around to see if he was okay. he walked off the road and when i drove by later that day, he was gone… so i have to just tell myself he was alright. i hate that stuff.

  9. Aww that would just tear me up. I’m stupidly sappy over animals. I get a lot of dead foxes on the road round by me and I just have to turn away or close my eyes every time.

  10. Oh…that is sad. 😦
    The squirrels here in the country, they play “Chicken” with the cars this time of year. Some young maybe, some cheeky…some maybe just nervously defending their stash of nuts, I don’t know. Sometimes they run right out in front of you, like in a race– and they do, eventually, lose. I always feel terrible about it. It’s a bad game.

    It was an awful way to start your day. When we are empathetic towards someone or something else however? It makes us more aware of all the wonder there is, inside ourselves. We are way more than what we see.
    We Feel. Even compassion for a squirrel is not wasted.

  11. I react the same way…it literally makes my stomach turn…reason 4 million why I can’t watch any movies or TV shows where an animal gets hurt or dies. Every time I hug my little Higgy…I hope and pray that he lives a long, full life. I secretly pray that he lives forever…but that’s just between you and me.

  12. I would have been fighting back tears too. A few days ago when I saw the pics of the oil-covered birds I had to restrain myself from bursting into tears here at work. I cannot stand to see helpless innocent victims suffer, and that list includes people.


    (love the name you gave the squirrel)

  13. So strange, but I saw an expired cat in the middle of the highway today. Made me wonder whether the cat was hit. Or whether some thoughtless person dumped her there. Not to be bothered with a proper burial. Either way, anyone who can kill a living creature and let it suffer is heartless. Karma will come back to get them.

  14. I once had a box full of kittens that were sick; some kind of flu or something. They had gotten really bad and I got them medicine from the veterinarian. One of them died while I was giving it medicine. I think now that maybe I gave it too much. I must have been 10 or 11. I remember crying all day. Thankfully, the rest of them made it all right, and they all went to good homes.

    Why can some people cry more at animals and less at human tragedies? I’m not saying you or anybody here, but I see that alot nowadays. I guess I’m bringing this party down. Enough.

  15. I’m sorry. Sorry for the squirrel. Sorry for you having witnessed its last moments. And most of all….sorry that I couldn’t help laughing at the thought of you burning eggs! Buahhaha! Who burns an egg? Your priceless. Hope your day is better.

  16. Awww :-/

    I’ve come close to wrecking a couple of times trying to dodge a dog or bunny rabbit or yes, even a bird. I know they say you’re not supposed to do that, but how can you not?

  17. I hate seeing that. Poor lil guy. I ran over a large rabbit once and it did the same thing. The only thing I could do was drive over it again so it wouldn’t suffer. My Hubby told me that it was probably already dead and just nerves making it spasm like that. That made me feel a little better. It’s never pleasant feeling an animal under your tires.

Comments are closed.