This morning, I was waiting at the covered walkway overseeing the carpark, for my dad to fetch me to work, an everyday ritual. It was raining very heavily. Beside me, pelted by the rain, was a Hyundai parked very close to the kerb.
I heard this consistent meowing and saw a cat under the Hyundai. She was looking at the kerb and meowing non-stop. I didn't think much of it until I thought that she might be looking at something in the drainage hole of the kerb. Gradually her meowing became more intense and there was a tone of panic in it. She dived into the drainage hole twice, just to emerge again with nothing except for thoroughly wet fur.
At that moment thoughts starting formulating. Was she trying to retrieve something from the hole? Did she want to join something that was in the hole? Was there a rat that she wanted to prey on out of hunger? All the while when I was thinking, I just stood there, looking at her, not moving an inch.
And suddenly her panic intensified. She started looking around for help and she saw me. She gave me a look as if asking for help, and meowed loudly. Just then, I confirmed that she must have something precious that fell into that hole. Most probably her kitten.
But I still stood there, motionless. If I were to help her, I will get totally drenched in the heavy rain, and I was going to work in my uniform (SAF). The Hyundai was parked so close to the kerb that there was no space for me to reach my arm into the hole, not even to see what was in the hole. My dad was coming and he would be impatient to wait. I was not even sure what was in the hole, what if there was a snake?
These thoughts kept me standing there, just looking at the poor cat. After a while, she dived into the hole for a third time. Just then my dad called and asked me to go to the main road as the rain made it inconvenient for him to turn into the carpark. As I was about to walk away, the mother emerged from the hole, with a newborn kitten in her mouth. The kitten did not even have a full body of fur yet, and it was all wet, although visibly still alive. The mother put the kitten down on the road, and gave me a look I could not forget, a look which pierced right through my conscience. She then picked up her child and ran away.
Could I have done something?
My friend told me there was nothing I could do. It does sound like so, the way he reasoned. Somehow, my conscience still hurts.
What would you have done?