I suppose I've been fortunate that after 8 years of living in the greater Toronto area I've never run over a squirrel. Those guys are *everywhere*, and I'm always on alert. So when I was driving to our vets office this afternoon, seeing an injured black squirrel flopping in the middle of the street put me in a full panicked alarm.
We live in an urban community. Lots of people walking on the sidewalks with their dogs. Seeing the squirrel made me immediately pull over to the side of the road. As I instinctively opened the back of the SUV to get a towel and a cat carrier, I noticed that people were breezing by the injured squirrel with only a moments glance. One lady stopped to see me with carrier in hand and said without remorse, "I think it was hit by a car." "No shit, eh?"
As I got closer to the squirrel, I noticed blood was everywhere. My heart sank. The squirrel went on alert and managed to get up and drag himself off the side of the road. I cautiously opened my cat carrier to see if I could coax him in, but he started to run. Not really "run", but quickly dragged himself, with blood trailing. I ran through the wet grass after him, when a man I couldn't see yelled after me, "JUST HIT HIM WITH A SHOVEL!!" "asshole."
I never found the squirrel. I don't know if he's suffering somewhere and the whole incident has completely ruined my day. How do people look away? How do they walk by a suffering animal that is in need? Why was I the ONLY person who seemed to care?
Right now, I wish I didn't care. I wish I could forget, but now that it's raining outside, I'm sitting here wondering if he's in a place where he's dry. ARRRRGGGH.
I suppose there's lots of sadness in the world. You can go to your local shelter and get the same shitty feeling as I'm feeling now. My parents are HUGE animal lovers, and it's always ticked me off that they didn't volunteer at their local shelter. But I get it - they're protecting themselves. One can only stand so much hurt before you stop getting hurt and start to get pissed off.
Tonight I'm pissed off. Not just because of the squirrel, but because dozens of people walked by that hurt little creature. They're living their apathetic beautiful lives. Despite all I'm saying now, I'm glad I don't live an apathetic life. Even if my night is ruined because of a squirrel. Even so.