The Dead Chipmunk Who Taught Me About Life.

Domestic cats: A blend of cuddle and deadly predator.

Cats are my favorite animals. They are the kind of pets who makes you feel so special when they show you affection. You go from being an ordinary person to the most special person around when a cat decides it loves you.

I own three. They are the cutest beings ever. They all have different personalities from the most precious soul, to the dedicated soul mate, to the perfect snuggle bug. I love them; they are my children.

The other day, I had them all outside with me. I put them in the fenced-in area in the backyard while I am gardening. A couple of minutes later (literally), I go back to check up on them, and there I see it. Bear, my Maine Coon, is standing by a chipmunk he has just caught. My heart stops and I run towards them hoping I can do anything at this point to save the rodent.

I quickly push Bear away and grab the chipmunk.  I’m looking at the poor thing. It’s a male. Good. No babies left behind. I am no vet, but I try to feel a heartbeat, I look for injuries. Nothing. He looks perfect. I swear it felt like time stopped. Thinking about it now, it seems really stupid, but I truly felt like everything was in slow motion as I was looking at him. He was perfect. His fur was soft and shiny, his cheeks were full of seeds he had probably just gathered from the birds feeders I have a few meters away. His eyes still had life in them it seemed like he was, all of the sudden, going to start jumping around.

I felt so sad. So sad that his life was stopped so quickly. That one moment he was eating and the next he was dead. And I was so angry at my cat for killing him; I was so angry at myself for letting my cats out in the first place. I should have been supervising them.

I am sitting down in the grass with him on my lap and I have tears rolling down my face. I feel stupid for crying for a dead chipmunk, but it’s more than that. It’s my 27-year-old self realizing the preciousness of life. Realizing that we are not eternal. That I  should live my life to the fullest.

You know, since I went vegan a few years ago, the biggest change in my life has been feeling very connected with nature, feeling at peace with how I live my life, feeling like this is exactly where I fit in this puzzle called life. This dead chipmunk reached into my soul and made me realize I was way too comfortable in my routine.

My biggest weakness is that I always postpone things for tomorrow. No matter what it is. Even the things I deeply care about.

Well, there is no tomorrow anymore. Only today. And I intend to make my life beautiful and fullfilling and happy.

My cat may have ended a life that day, but he rebooted mine.

Marie