Saturday, August 02, 2008
Harper and Ramona share a peaceful breakfast before Walkabout.
Harper's new favorite spot, in the window with a blankie.
This is Tucker, who lives at the shelter in a large cage. He is FELV positive though I have been told he will be tested again and might be ok at that time. I don't know much about FELV but I guess it means he is positive for Feline Leukimia but might not get it.
Anyway, he is a very very sweet guy cat looking for a person to love. He wakes up when you come by and puts his paws through his bars longing for a human touch. Walking by all the cats in the shelter, some of whom have been there for a long time, I was struck by how alive they are, conscious beings sitting in a small confined place and yet communicating with the people who come by. I wonder what they think, how they feel and what they are hoping for.
Harper and Ramona are happy cats. They have security (which I think is big on any cat's list) and they have affection, comfort and a stable food source. They also have Territory (or in Ramona's case, a Queendom) which is theirs and protected from outsiders.
What do the cats waiting patiently in the shelter hope for?
I was reading Fraise in Nice a while ago. She has just lost her beloved Malo to a vehicle accident and then immediately had a kitten walk into her life. She talks about meeting a woman at the vet's who had a kitten that had been found in a dumpster in a tightly tied plasic bag. She also mentions how many people in France will go off on vacation and just abandon their animals rather than arrange for someone to care for them.
The kitten in a plastic bag scene is so awful it is hard to imagine what kind of heart a person has who would do this. I imagine it as rather a small,dark, cold, shriveled thing. Who could do this to a living, feeling creature and walk away without a care for its panicked suffering? And yet, stories of abandoned animals are everywhere. I see them all the time coming through the shelter and New Hampshire is actually a remarkably good state for animal welfare.
You can't walk through a shelter without being aware of the emotions and personalities of the animals.
I don't see any reason that human lives should be considered more valuable than animals. And I really believe that until we have learned to be kind to other living things we are never going to have a society that is kind to people, let alone animals. I live in a huge tourist destination. Every spring the peacefulness of winter gives way to the frantic sounds of more and more people relentlessly chasing their desires. Shopping, entertainment, more shopping, pretty views, happiness, more stuff, more shopping. The valley sounds like a hive of angry bees, especially when it rains! And then September comes and everyone goes home. Whew.
The animals have very simple desires we could all learn from. Kindness, simple security, a warm spot by the fire, something to eat. And they pay you back a million times over.
This morning I woke to find Ramona snuggled up to my shoulder with a paw thrown over my arm. We got up together and walked down stairs for my coffee and her breakfast. She loves to walk down the stairs with someone. "It's a new day!" she says. Then she came back up to read the news with us. She is such a sweet happy creature. Harper was sleeping on a footstool near by. I said "Good morning, Harper." He rolled over to invite me to pat his lovely floofy belly. Cuddling up to Harper you can feel his contentment, his joy at your nearness.
I often wonder why humans are so hard on ourselves. Especially in the US we have built a society in which no one is secure unless you are very rich. So everyone is anxious and many people are lonely. Why do we make it so complicated? Why do we make it that everyone has to work like crazy to have a place to live and health care and some kind of security for their elder years? Why have we taken such a beautiful planet and torn it to bits? Why do we build such ugly buildings?
Anyway, enough ranting for a lovely Caturday morning. Please Celebrate Caturday. Hug your cats. And support your local shelters.