|No, I did not take any photo of the rat dying on the street...|
Don't mistake me for any saint, though. I think the scene disturbed me much because I had a bad crash while riding down Catalina Blvd earlier in the year. I was riding with a track group and when a rider ahead of me hit road debris and went down, it started an icky chain reaction, so to speak. Luckily I didn't break any bone, though it took the ER surgeon much suturing to make me look presentable again. I was wearing a helmet, of course, and so only had a mild concussion and was able to quickly get off the ground after impact, and got safely off the road. I had a much milder crash back in 1993 when my hand slipped off my mountain bike's handlebar when I hit a speed bump while traveling at less than walking speed. I didn't have my helmet on that time, though, and had a much nastier concussion that practically pinned my head to the ground after impact. My eyes rolled back toward the back of my head, so I couldn't see anything. That was one of my most terrifying experiences - laying on the pavement downhill from a blind curve, conscious and aware but couldn't see anything (I couldn't tell which way I should roll to get off the road). It probably only lasted less than a couple of minutes, but it felt like forever. So... I could sort of feel what that rat must have been experiencing...
I wished he had been knocked out or had died on impact. I couldn't fix him, nor did I have any syringe of anesthetic hiding in my jacket pocket that could offer him some respite... I guess the best thing I could have done would have been to stomp on his head to end his suffering as quickly as possible... but I hadn't the stomach for such brutality just then. No matter how merciful it would have been. So, I copped out, in a way. I had some Kleenex on hand and managed to use that as glove to lift the poor rat off the pavement, deposited him on the dirt under the nearest tree on the sidewalk before getting back on my bike just a few seconds before the light turned green.
He never made any noise, though he was definitely still (barely) alive when I took off. He even looked at me. I don't know what the look said. Maybe it didn't say anything and he was spacing out by then. After all, there's a really good reason why you shouldn't move a trauma patient before stabilizing his head, neck and torso unless you absolutely have to. I hope that didn't hurt him too much.