Tonight, a stray dog died in ONSL. This dog, who a neighbor had named Scully, could often be seen around the neighborhood doing typical stray dog activities: running, begging, digging through trash, playing. I can't say I ever really interacted with her except when she thought I had food, but still, she seemed much less aggressive than a lot of stray dogs are, and I guess I tended to notice her because she sometimes actually seemed happy.
Tonight, we were driving up St. Louis Avenue and there was Scully, in the road, in a pool of her own blood. Someone had just hit her, but she was still alive. Her head was up and she was looking around. Saddened and terrified, we called neighbors and knocked doors until we found a neighbor who's adopted a few local strays himself. He made calls, we made calls, and we trudged back to the scene to look at her and call the Humane Society. But when we got around the corner, she was gone. We couldn't tell if she'd crawled away or been picked up by someone, but either way, she will probably be dead within the next 24 hours.
A neighbor I'd left a message with called back to see what was going on, and we talked about Scully, and then he told me that the stray kitten I'd been watching up in Hyde Park got killed yesterday. The kitten, whom they'd dubbed Blair, was also hit by a car. (Seeing that Blair was a mostly black kitten, I really hope it was not an intentional Halloween thing.) I've already cried over it; I had previously made some feeble attempts to catch Blair with the intention of fostering her into health and sociability, but I didn't think I'd tried hard enough yet, and I didn't succeed. Michael reminded me that no one else even tried on her behalf and I shouldn't feel bad, but still, it's awful. Our friends who found her are burying her tomorrow.
Even though I grew up in this city and should be used to all the strays around here -- their constant presence, and constant troubles -- it's still sad and disturbing to me.
I feel sad even trying to pull a lesson out of this, but please, spay and neuter your pets, please think about adopting an animal in need, and please, for god's sake, drive carefully.