Monday, March 13, 2006

Taking Care

A photo of me and Brendan from last week. I was surprised to see how grey my hair has gotten this winter (call hairdresser). Sigh, I'm not ready to let it go just yet and I was letting it grow and realized it's just too much of a pain to deal with. In my twenties I had nice long hippie hair to my waist but, oh well. One thing you lose after fifty is your vanity and it might as well go.

We spent five hours shooting at the shelter yesterday and I was totally exhausted when we came home. Not so much from the physical demands of shooting but from a lingering illness (I almost fainted while holding our long mike and had to sit down while we propped the mike on a chair for the rest of the shoot), a lousy winter with no snow so no outdoor activities and of course, losing Fergus. I think my hair turned grey from that, I know I still feel a huge sadness from not having him around.

It's impossible for people who haven't experienced an amazing relationship with an animal to understand how much it can mean to you. Fergus was just such a funny, loving and demanding character. He brightened up our household and our lives really, like no other cat has done. We loved them all but some are just extraordinary. Brendan is extraordinary in his quiet way and Silas in his gentle way but Ferg was our joker and clown and joyful spirit.

We did a long interview with our vet and I realize how little I know about animal care. I think one thing still sitting on my shoulders is when she said that ten million animals are killed every year in our shelters because there are no homes for them. And then, when we were in the huge shopping mall down south, we walked by a pet store with little puppies for sale. It struck me how wrong it is to take a living creature and put its cute little fuzzy self on display and just sell it to anyone with a credit card. But I bet that most people admiring the cute little puppies didn't even think about it, because they just don't know.

At the shelter there are some Katrina animals. Three new cat arrivals, doing well and very content to be secure and fed. A couple of adult dogs and some puppies. There were six little black lab mix puppies and all of them got sick. One has died, even with intense loving care and one was very very miserable, wrapped up in a blanket in a private room, sick with parvo. Three look like they will make it but they are underweight and they need to keep eating and growing.

They look at you with such hopeful eyes. What did we ever do to deserve dogs? They love us, all of us and a puppy just wants human contact and affection.

I guess it takes something out of me as it must with anyone who tries to help with these issues because the biggest problem is human ignorance and nature. Selling puppies, not taking care of the animals we have, not neutering them and allowing a population explosion that ends up with healthy animals killed.

I would think that if we could make a world that is better for animals we will have changed the world immensely for people too. Because a species of humans that care about animals is also going to take better care of everything living.


Scooby, Shaggy & Scout said...

I can see your sadness in your recent pictures. Even though you are with Brendan in this one , holding himclose & loving him up, your eyes have a deep sadness. sss's mom

Fat Eric said...

It's depressing how many animals end up in shelters. I also find it depressing how many people still choose to breed puppies or kittens for sale when there are so many needing homes already. Thank goodness for all the people who work in shelters and animal care, life would be much worse without them.

Patches & Mittens said...

Mom had to quite working at the shelter because it made her way to sad. Before she left she brought Mittens home.

We, too, can sense the sadness in your face. It makes mom so incredibly mad when someone says, "it is just a cat, get another one."

Anonymous said...

I agree - how people can buy bred animals when there are so many needing homes is astounding. The fact that the mixed pups and kittens are stronger, smarter, and healthier (if taken care of) animals just makes the confusion worse! I'm saddened by the knowledge of that huge number of unwanted animals. It's so needless. It's so careless.

No cat (or dog) who is lost is "just another one." (Patches, you tell your mom you are willing to give a good scratch to anyone who says that!)

animalfamily said...

yes, don't get it at all. someone paid good money to import a maine coon into singapore only to give it up a few years later for some lame reason at best.

don't just get sad, get angry. they were soundly told off which is what they deserve.

Beau Beau & Angie said...

Losing my last cat took a long time to get over, and now that we adopted BeauBeau & Angie I can't believe I waited so long. They all have such different purrsonalities and each is special. Give Brendan a special love squeeze from us. He looks so content there in your arms.