Tuesday, January 19, 2010

THOUGHTS OF HAITI



                                                               CRY BABY

Construction has begun at a site about fifty yards from the edge of the woods--close to Thomas Moore's shelter-- and all the cats are nervous wrecks. With the grinding truck gears and clanging metal, they could barely lion-down their breakfast. On top of this, Cry Baby showed up with what appears to be a bite wound on his tail and will require antibiotics. Drugs are easily administered by putting them in a tablespoon of kittie pate and offering it on a separate plate to the cat in question; however, if the patient does not show up to eat or another cat grabs the doctored food it's a problem. To add to what was already turning into a gray day (cloudy with intermittent rain), I found a dead vole floating upside down in one of the water dishes. Surprisingly, this is the first dead creature I have found at the colony in two years. Not certain if it was an accidental drowning, or somebody left me a little thank you note?

Of course, to magnify the gloominess, news reports from Haiti are horrific. I can't help but think that the cats at Stone Ledge are faring better today than tens of thousands of humans on that crumbled island. Yet human suffering and disasters like this always seem to beg the question (or perhaps the 'defense') of why do all this for a bunch of cats? Why spend the resources to feed and house undersocialized animals that live in the wild when so many people, even in this country, are food insecure?

I have no satisfactory answer. For animal and cat advocates the response may be 'why not?' That is, who are we to assign a value to the suffering of any creature--human or animal? Another argument might be that we, a highly evolved species, must be the stewards for these helpless creatures. If people do not advocate for their welfare then who will? For me, I take care of the cats because they are here, I believe that I can improve the quality of their brief lives--at least in some small way, and I enjoy spending thirty minutes of my day with them. In many ways, they are my daily prayer.

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