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Retrospect - Tuesday Morning Writings

Coleen sat at the patio table, enjoying the peaceful sound of the waterfall, thinking about the event of the past week, wondering what she would or could have done differently.  Would it have mattered? Well, of course it would have mattered if she had done things differently, that was the whole point.  As her friend Nancy said, she was between a rock and a hard place.  Whatever she did, she was going to have to suffer.  Had she decided to keep Sam alive for just a few more days until Hazel's return, she wouldn't be in this position now.  But the poor animal would have suffered so badly.  Hazel might have turned on her  anyway and accused her of unspeakable cruelty.  Sadly, Hazel was like that.  You were damned if you did and damned if you didn't with Hazel.

So here was Coleen, on a short getaway to recover from the emotional upheavals of the previous week.   She loved coming to her sister's  house out of town.   It was a  retreat from the world if things got out of control.  Which they did sometimes.  Like now.

Coleen  remembered  the screech of  tyres and the animal's howls as Hazel's beloved cat was run over.  He'd just left the house for a ramble after his breakfast.  Coleen ran out and saw Sam lying on the road, helpless as the red car receded into the distance leaving a victim in its wake.  Her first reaction had been to take the cat inside immediately and then she'd called Nancy.

"Nancy, can you please come right away?  Sam is hurt!"

The doctor took one look at the agonized animal and advised putting it out of its misery.  Coleen's eyes filled up at the thought of losing Sam, who she also  loved, although not with the fierce obsession Hazel did.

"Are you mad?" hissed Nancy, ever controlling.  "You can't make a decision to put  Sam down!  He's Hazel's cat!  She'll never forgive you, you know...."

Coleen knew.  Her daughter, an air hostess on long haul flights,  currently out of town, would go crazy if the cat was put to sleep in her absence.  Unmarried at thirty five, although in a long term relationship, that cat was like a child to her.   She  constantly brought him  expensive gifts, a diamond collar here, a designer coat  there.  To inform her of this accident while she was at work was unthinkable.  She'd fall apart.

It fell to Jake, Hazel's boyfriend, to break the news to her.  He picked her up at the airport.  As expected,  she hadn't taken the news well.  She'd railed at her mother, accusing her of  'killing my cat' by allowing the animal out in her absence.  Knowing that independent Sam was impossible to confine.

"I'll never come back," she said.   Coleen wept.  Her only crime had been compassion for an injured animal.

'I'm afraid I spoilt her.  Well, she was my only child.  But I'm sure she'll come round in time when she recovers from her grief' , reflected Coleen, sipping her coffee and  staring at the water running over the stones.  'She can't stay angry with me forever.   She's my daughter after all......'

This post first appeared on Write Away on WordPress on 27/7/2010

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