The sidewalks on Van Ness Avenue were bustling and I was pressed for time. Although late for an appointment, I stopped, curious to see what the gathering crowd was looking at.
The calico cat was thin and mangy, obviously a stray. She looked at the mob with terror in watery yellow eyes and tried pitifully to get up and run, but her front legs were bleeding badly, crushed by a car. The horrified crowd was murmuring about what to do.
I hurried on my way, hoping somebody would call the city Department of Animal Care and Control.
Maybe Animal Care rushed to the rescue. But maybe not, since this department has only three old vehicles to handle every single call, and no money to fix the vehicles. And, like many city departments, there is a proposed 10 percent budget cutback for Animal Care and Control.
It's unlikely help is coming from Sacramento, with the state budget staring at $26 billion in red ink. Proposed cuts include a $3.2 billion drop for Medicaid and welfare.