Just older than a week, not more. The kitten meowed weakly and tumbled down from the footpath to the road. It stood there for a small second and meowed in it's soft and weak voice. It's tail way up in the sky and the white fur shining in the bright day. It took a step forward on the road and meowed again. Everybody around paused and stared at that little cute ball of fur and awed. It sniffed the road and as curious as it was it just stood and looked on.
John Doe was the biggest fan of cats, and a kitten was a killer to him. He, too, like many others stopped and embraced the cuteness of the kitten. The kitten looked straight into John Doe's eyes and went back to meowing and learning about the wonders of the road. John had just realised there was something that didn't add up.
It's a free for all, free real estate, casual living area for stray cats. No one bothers them, people of the area actually feed them. Many cats live in the city and live pretty lavishly. Such an environment where there are roads filled with bustling cars has become a norm to the cats. They understand the laws of living along with busy people and fast cars on the roads very well. There are rarely any roadkills simply because since birth the cats are aware of limits and what a car can do.
That was the missing piece of the puzzle. This kitten was maybe a little younger than 2 weeks old. It should already be familiar with the world surrounding it. However, it seemed like it was just learning about roads and the fact that it tumboed down from the curb instead of climbing down made things worse. There could be a high chance that this kitten wasn't taught or maybe exposed to the world it lives in.
The sweet little black and white kitten took one more curious and careful tiny step forward. It all happened in a split second. John Doe couldn't think very fast...or maybe just couldn't process it quick enough. He had to battle between thinking that the kitten is like all the others and aware, or it might be one of the once in a blue moon situation. He had to battle between letting the kitten rely on it's instincts ir going ahead and moving the kitten away himself considering the kitten might not be suited for this environment.
It was too late to make that decision already. A brand new Toyota Land Crusier was already at the corner. John Doe was on the other side of the road on the footpath. It was impossible that the driver would notice the tiny kitten, considering the ride height. But, there was a high chance the kitten knows about cars and would instinctively escape the forthcoming vehicle.
Wouldn't it better for John to signal the driver to stop? Wouldn't it be better that John run and pick the kitten up before the Cruiser comoletes the turn? Or will everything work out perfectly? Is being proactive and precautionary just extra?
The car completed the turn, the kitten looked at it coming forward. John and few others still had their eyes stuck to what was happening. There was a cracking noise. The worse had happened as everybody except the driver squirmed. There was a cruiser on it's way, a few people staring, and a late kitten flinging itself on the road in pain like a fish fresh out of water.
John Doe couldn't look anymore. All he had were the beautiful memory of a beautiful kitten...and a broken heart with a lot of regret.
There was a lesson for John Doe somewhere in there. Maybe the lesson was that not everything happens according to the "normal". Maybe it was that beautiful things can stun you, but you need to take steps to make it everlasting. Maybe the lesson was that beautiful things last for a tiny moment, and everything else is a memory. Maybe it was that everytime your gut says something, usually it's right. Or maybe the lesson was that it's always better to be proactive and safe than sorry.
John wished he had a time travellng knob to turn.