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Short of locking a cat up for its natural life, you cannot guarantee its safety. They are hunters. They are meant to roam. It’s a risk you take when having a cat, knowing in the back of your mind that the possibility is there. You don’t want it to happen, but it could. Your cat gets knocked over by a car.

That is what happened to Liquorice last night. It was late. It was cold. What she was doing out on such a cold night, I don’t know, but she had always been a solitary creature. I was just taking Yanky out for his evening relief time in the garden when one of the night staff told me. Great timing. I could not leave him in the room and help Cilia. I did not know how long it would take and he might have an accident in the room.

Thankfully, he was quick. I got my vet’s number from my bag and went to Cilia’s room. She was already on the phone, trying to get hold of someone who would fetch Liquorice and take her to a vet. After several calls from both of us, we could not get a vet to come to us. Next solution was to find someone to fetch Liquorice and take her for us. I phoned Byron, she phoned Sue. Unfortunately, her injuries were too severe. Liquorice looked up one last time, saw she was with her mom, lay down again and passed away.

Two thoughts struck me then. Do people ever do house calls any more? Did they ever? I remember the quaint stories by James Herriot where he ran a practice and did house calls in England. Surely in this busy day and age consideration can be taken for some who do not have the luxury of a car and be willing to come to you, instead of you going to them?

And then I realized how people take cars for granted. Able-bodied people don’t give it a second thought to jump in their cars and drive when needed. And then it is such an inconvenience when the car breaks down.

Point being, we in wheelchairs are not so fortunate. Yes, there are some with modified cars. But still, it is a process to transfer from your wheelchair to the car, then pack the chair into the back. It is not as instantaneous as as for someone without a chair.

I am not complaining. I am happy with what I have. But able-bodied people need to sit back and realize they are a lot better off than they think.