My partner and I are turning North onto Lansdowne at Bloor when I spot through my passenger-side window a gorgeous cobalt-blue faux fur coat lying on the sidewalk near the curb.
Being a bit of a nut for second-hand clothes, I excitedly order my lover to "Stop the car! I have to have that coat! I mean it. I really want that coat! Stop!"
He gives in to my insanity and comes to a halt a block or so up the street. I jump out and make a beeline for the garment, all the while thinking to myself, "I have to get to it before someone else does. Look at all those people just walking by it. I'm so lucky. Just another second and that coat will be mine!"
Whew! I get there first.
I gaze at it for a moment, just to be sure it's truly in the fabulous condition it appeared to be from the car. Damn near brand new, as a matter of fact. It occurs to me that perhaps it was dropped by a thief during a robbery. Ah, well. The thief's loss is obviously my good fortune.
So I grab the sleeve and oh my god. Underneath is a dead cat.
As I'm standing at the curb staring down in disbelief, a guy walks by. "Yup. He's definitely gone," he says. "Sad, isn't it? Some irresponsible pet owner let this happen. But the coat's nice. You could always dry clean it."
I take another look at the poor creature, turquoise collar and all. There's nothing I can do for it now. I re-drape the coat over its lifeless body. "I'm so sorry, little cat," I whisper.
For the next few hours I try to figure out what actually happened there.
Did someone - wearing a brand new cobalt-blue faux fur coat - hit that cat with her car? Did that well-dressed someone carry the injured animal to the side of the road, remove her beautiful coat and gently cover its bleeding body before driving away? A loving and apologetic gesture, atonement for human self-absorption -- or just a quick way of shoving the slaughter out of sight?