“Quick into the car. We don’t want to be late for school.”
“Okay, Mom. Let me just move my backpack over the seat,” Bob said as we pulled out of the driveway. Then we hit a bump.
“What was that, Mom?”
“I don’t know.”
And then I saw her: a big gray cat. She ran up the driveway and settled under the yellow rose bush. I stopped the car and ran to her. She was laying down, breathing hard. I pet her head.
“Little gray kitty, are you okay, Baby?”
She look at me. Her breathing eased and then it seemed to stop.
“Oh no, Kitty. Oh, no. Oh, no. Kitty!”
“Mom, what’s going on?”
“Just stay in the car, Bob.” I picked up the cat and brought her to the car, resting her in the passenger seat. I dropped Bob at school on the way to the animal hospital.
The tech ushered me into a small room. She checked the cat for a heartbeat. The tech looked up and shook her head.
“She must have been sleeping under our car. I didn’t see her.”
“I’m so sorry. That’s horrible. How would you like us to take care of it?”
“Can we have her cremated? At least we can bury her in the yard next to some other nice animals.”
“Sure. I have the form here. She doesn’t have a collar or a micro-chip. Do you want to name her, or leave that part blank?”
“Well… she did run to the rose bush, so I guess, Rose?”
“Rose. That’s a sweet name. Sign right here.”
I pet Rose on the back.
“I’m sorry, Rose. I’m really sorry.”
I cried the whole way home. I cried for Rose.