When I was just a few years old, I had something big weighing on my mind. I was feeling extremely guilty – not for something I had done as a once-off, but for a repeated offence. What was worse, Tommy seemed to be affected in the long-term from what I had done only a handful of times. It was innocent at first – placing clothes pegs on the ears of the family cat seemed a logical place to me. But then I got hooked. I kept doing it, because it was such a comical thing to see the cat’s ears drooping with the weight of the plastic clothes pegs! It was no longer laughable when I was aged five and a half. Not long before Christmas, Dad was backing the car into the driveway and tragically ran over Tommy, who died on the way to the vet.
I was shunted inside pretty quickly after running outside to investigate, but I remember the spattering of blood on the path. For quite sometime later, I blamed myself. You see, Tommy was deaf. I mistakenly thought that it was because I had placed pegs on his ears, when I was just a pre-schooler.
It wasn’t until perhaps a year or two down the track, when we were discussing the matter at the dinner table, that I blurted out my confession. I couldn’t understand why the family was in stitches – to me this was very serious; I had indirectly caused the death of the family cat, or so I thought. Mum and Dad set the record straight, and I can’t tell you how relieved I was.
Isn’t it funny how one tiny thought can turn into an unnecessary burden, if left unchecked!
(Originally posted in 2014 on an old blog).