cat in pain
The other night I was driving home on the highway. I saw a cat that had just been hit by a car. It was writhing in pain or convulsing. I thought about stopping to help, but by the time I made a decision, I was too far past to back up on the busy road and resolved to keep going. I changed my mind just before the next exit, and went back. My stomach was in knots.
When I got back to the cat, it had stopped moving. I watched it for several minutes, making sure it was dead. I was incredibly relieved that I didn't have to kill it or take it to a vet. I pulled it off the road and went home.
On the way back, it struck me that my initial cowardice and indecision caused this poor cat up to an extra 10 minutes of pure agony. I tried to remember the pain I felt when I broke my leg, then imagine that initial pain lasting for an extra 10 minutes if I had been jerking my broken leg around, as the cat had been.
I am a coward.