52. Marcia loved cats. She had two of her own. Their names were Spot and Dash. Spot had a white spot on his black face, and Dash liked to dash around Spot and the entire apartment. They were brother and sister, and she had gotten them for free when they were kittens. The cat in the dumpster had probably been run over, she thought. People drove too fast in her neighborhood, and cats were occasional victims. She never let Spot and Dash out of the apartment. They weren't going to die in the street. Their only acquaintance with the great outdoors was when they sat on the window ledge in her living room.
A couple of days after viewing the unfortunate cat, she was at a restaurant with a couple of friends. The restaurant served a variety of delicious hamburgers. She had tried, and liked, all of them. She ordered a hamburger, medium rare, as was her liking. When the waiter brought everyone's orders, they all dug in.
She bit into her burger, and then spit it out into a napkin. She couldn't eat her burger, and she couldn't sit there and watch her friends eat their burgers. She made up an excuse, gave a friend enough money to cover her meal and tip, and left the restaurant.
When she had bitten into her burger, she immediately pictured the dead cat. That was it for her. She refused to eat red meat anymore; she didn't want to risk seeing that cat over and over. Fish and poultry were all right, though. She could still enjoy both without thinking of the dead cat. She promised herself that she wouldn't lift the lids of any more foul‐smelling dumpsters, just in case they contained a dead fish or chicken. Much worse, of course, would be if she actually saw a dead baby. How might that affect her desire to have children? 4.6, 319
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