“Look what Alex found!” She walked in the door holding a tiny black and white furball in her hands, her two cocker spaniels dancing around, trying to get a glimpse. “I think it’s injured.”
“I’m surprised it’s still alive if Alex found it! Where was it?”
“Just lying there in the shrubs along the walkway. The boys were sniffing around, then got all excited. I couldn’t get them away from the shrubs, so I checked it out – and there he was, just meowing and looking forlorn. He’s so tiny! How old do you think he is?”
“A few weeks. Probably hasn’t been weaned very long,” he said.
“Well, he can’t walk. I’m going to take him to the vet. Be back in a while.”
A few hours later, she came home, sans kitten. “The kitten didn’t make it?” he asked.
“He’ll be fine. He has two broken legs. Probably hit by a car. They have to pin the legs in place. But the vet is going to do both legs for the price of one.”
“How much is that going to cost?!” he asked in utter disbelief.
“About $300.” He glared at her. “What else can we do?” she said. “His legs won’t heal properly without being pinned.”
“Where are you going to get the money? How are you going to pay for that? We can’t even keep this cat! You’re going to spend $300 on a cat and then give him away?”
“Well, yeah. I guess I’ll put it on my credit card.”
“And then what happens when Mac or Alex gets sick? How will you pay their vet bill? We don’t have the money for this! You can’t possibly be thinking about spending $300 that you don’t have on a cat that you can’t keep!”
“Look,” she said, trying to be reasonable, “the only other alternative is to put him to sleep.”
“Well, that’s what you need to do, then,” he said, thinking he was finally getting through to her. “We don’t have the money. You can’t take on this expense.”
“NO! I AM NOT GOING TO KILL THE CAT!!” she exploded, yelling at him like she’d never done before. “If YOU want to kill the cat, then YOU drive your sorry ass all the way to Irving and sign the paperwork. I’M NOT DOING IT!“
It was a challenge that she figured he’d back down from. She never thought for a second that he’d really do it. But then she heard murmuring coming from the bedroom. He was on the phone, calling the vet’s office. He hung up the phone, grabbed his wallet and keys, and left without another word.
“He won’t do it. He’s bluffing,” she thought. “When he gets there, he’ll change his mind. He’ll negotiate some kind of payment plan or something. He won’t kill the cat. He likes cats. No, he won’t kill a sweet, innocent kitten. Not over $300.”
But he did. And he broke her heart, broke her trust. How could she ever forgive him? How could she ever forgive herself?
She never did.