I see Thestrals…

Too often.

I’m going about nothing much, and I glance out the window for a moment. Some movement caught my eye. The neighbor’s cat is flipping something small and live in the air. So I run out, chasing the cat off, and find the resulting damage. It’s a baby hare, small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, so perfect and beautiful if not for the clearly broken back and large chunk of exposed thigh muscle. There’s nothing I can do, and I know it, but I can’t leave it there, with the cat lying in the bushes, just waiting. This isn’t the food chain here, Fluffy has a bowl of Friskies waiting at home, and I have a dying bunny nestled in my hand.

Why is it I always seem to find these things, enough that I know by the way it’s breathing it only has a minute, maybe two. So I hold it, and the breaths become slower, more strained, the racing heart beats unevenly. The cat waits. A last gasp, then limpness. My neighbor pulls in as I stand with a handful of dead baby bunny.

“Cat got another one, eh?” He laughs. “Least those things breed like, well, you know. And cats, well, you know how they are.”

Yeah, I do. Almost every night my kids stalk and kill that elusive little red dot from the laser pointer. Ruthlessly, relentlessly. They wake me as they play hockey with a hair tie, or some string, or just chase each other up and down the halls. They’re fond of stalking cornstarch packing noodles and knocking change off the counter. High score if it ends up in the dog water bowl. Yesterday they unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper. I know how cats are.

I walked away and buried the hare in my flowerbed. At least it got a decent burial.

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