“God bless you, little animal” and Other Sappy Feelings

I’m not sure if I’m an idiot or compassionate, but I’m definitely sad.  On my way home from work this afternoon, one of the cars in front of me hit a little squirrel. I didn’t know until I came up closer and saw it flailing in the middle of my lane, clearly badly injured.  I’m not particularly a fan of squirrels but I love animals and it really broke my heart.  It was flopping around, like it was trying desperately to get up.  I contemplated the rest of the way home if there was something I could do for it, so it wouldn’t suffer any longer, but I couldn’t imagine running it over to “end it” either.

I’m such a sucker for animals, yet I’m such a hypocrite with living things.  Here I am with tears for this little squirrel that I have zero connection with, but when I listen to the news and hear about humans who’ve tragically died; it doesn’t upset me this much.  I feel bad for them and their families of course, I’m not cold or heartless.  Maybe it’s the fact that I saw the squirrel struggle and there was nothing I could do for it.  I mean, I know if it were a person who got run over, I would feel just as affected.  And if you’ve followed me for some time now, you also know that I don’t like crying; that somewhere I have some deep seated distain for it.  I’m slightly embarrassed that my husband will come home soon and see my puffy eyes because of a simple squirrel.

I’ve seen plenty of road kill in my day.  I suppose my sensitivity comes from my Mom.  She is very compassionate and loving.  Since as long as I can remember, if we ever saw a dead animal, she’d say “God bless you, little animal”, even if it were a big deer.  It was something that I consider sweet and kind because they live and hurt like we do.  I started saying it myself when I got my license and had/have gotten made fun of many times by fellow passengers.  It didn’t bother me because I knew I wasn’t doing anything wrong.  I’d feel like an ass if I stopped saying a simple blessing because of peer pressure.

I’m not even a vegetarian.  I enjoy a steak like a lot of people.  But I wouldn’t want to see a cow mutilated for my benefit.  I believe in the food chain but I don’t believe in causing unnecessary pain.  So conflicted.  Who is to say what is right or wrong.  I won’t buy products tested on animals though, that’s for sure.  We’ve done enough scientific tests through time to know what ingredients are safe without torturing living things repeatedly. You can keep your animal tested lipstick; I don’t need it that badly.

I’ve also banned myself from the animal shelter until we are ready to add another dog to the mix.  I always want to bring them all home and then I’d be depressed that I couldn’t singlehandedly save them all.  That’s how I ended up with a few different dogs and cats when I was a kid.  Unfortunately my Dad was not ok with my Mom’s efforts to save the pet population on her own.  Luckily I had a Grandmom who accepted the animals and loved them for us.  Don’t let Dad fool you though, he has a heart.  I forgot about this till just now, but a squirrel nest fell out of a tree in our yard when I was very little and the mama squirrel abandoned her baby.  My Dad took care of it until it went off on its own.

I hate being so sensitive about animals, such a sap, but I suppose I’m glad to be sympathetic to them than not.  I’d rather feel compassion than feel nothing at all.  Even if a run-over squirrel made me cry today.

Well, God bless you little animal.

Photo by Runner Jenny

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