Coming back from the party late this evening, I walked through the door to find feathers on the floor. Oh, great, I thought. The cats have savaged the feather duster. Then I saw the sad little body lying on the carpet. Oh. I only wish they’d savaged the feather duster.
The mess won’t be hard to clean up: while there seems to have been no shortage of feathers, there was very little blood. The kids’ unattended porch privileges will have to be revoked permanently.
I feel like I owe the dead bird an apology. Something along the lines of, I’m sorry. Your death was pointless, unnecessary, and doubtless terrifying. I am ultimately responsible, and I would make amends if I could.
At times like this, I reflect that it’s strange to be affected by the death of a creature no larger than my fist when I’ve just returned from an evening out where I sampled lamb, chicken, beef, and pork, among other things. I’d like to think that the difference lies in the bird’s death having served no useful purpose, but if forced to be honest with myself I’d probably have to admit that it’s nothing more than the hypocrisy of a carnivore who has someone else do the butchering for him.