Dogs were predators in their evolutionary past. It is a disturbing realisation that dawned upon me only today. I know their closest living relative, the wolf, is a highly accomplished and skilled predator that hunts in packs but domestication would have surely made dogs ineffective hunters, right? So learning that my pet dog had playfully killed a kitten was quite unexpected.
I know my dog is no angel. He has always tried to give chase (from behind my car porch gates) to cats that arrogantly walked past my gates, taunting him with the freedom they possessed over him. It's in his system to react to these taunts because dogs are highly attuned to detecting movement and the slightest motion often triggers them to give chase. They are territorial too.
At first I was furious and shaking with anger after learning my pet dog had killed a poor little kitten. Watching my tweens crying didn't help either but there was nothing I could have done. What had happened was not right or wrong. I bet my dog must have been surprised he caught a cat because cats are too quick and nimble. They always seem to escape their predator.
After close inspection, we realised the kitten was frail. It looked like it hadn't eaten in days. It didn't even try to run away when my dog bolted towards it, pulling us behind him with force. He was too quick and nearly pulled my daughter's arm out at the speed he went bolting. Perhaps it was blind too. It was just sitting in the middle of a road. I assured them it was not their fault the kitten died.
After a simple burial ceremony, it seemed like my kids had forgotten the whole incident. They weren't upset any longer with the dog and were cuddling him to show him that they were sorry for being angry at him over the whole incident.
It wasn't until bed time and during their nightly prayer they broke down. They were feeling utterly guilty that they could not stop an innocent life taken. They kept playing it over and over in their head, what if I had stepped out with my dog a couple of minutes later, maybe the kitten would not have died. What if I had taken a different route, maybe the kitten would have survived.
So many alternative solution they came up with but towards the end nothing mattered because they knew the kitten was dead. It was an emotional night for all of us and nothing my husband and I said gave much peace.
I guess sometimes all someone needs is a shoulder to cry on. They cried themselves to sleep but their compassion touched my husband and I rather deeply. A beautiful lesson learned on the power and guilt of innocent life taken.
Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts