Don't Feed the Animals, Please
This is my eternal dilemma. I have never had enough money to do what I want to do in life. Sad fact, but true. If it were up to me, there would be no poverty especially among the animal kingdom which has become such a throw-away species. Too many cats, dump them off somewhere. Good God! Don't go to a shelter. They may want some money. Dog a pain in the rear, dump her off at the park somewhere. So here I am facing my dilemma of the week. 2 stray cats, and a stray dog. They are all hungry, skinny, probably with worms and whatever else plagues uncared for animals. I look at my two well-cared for cats as theysit by the patio door and watch these creatures of misfortune. I wonder what they are thinking as I 'shoo' the stray away.
On the one hand, we are on the first floor, so these little critters can slink on up to the screen and have nose to nose communication with my cats. That's nice, but I can't even afford to keep them healthy--barely that is. The pro for shooing is just that, you don't know what all the animal is carrying. Then when you feed one, suddenly you have an entire community of cats and dogs, strays and otherwise, showing up for the nice lady's generosity. I personally could not afford to undertake yet another creature's welfare.
On the other hand, I cannot watch anything starve. I see their eyes when they come around--showing fright, anxiety, and appeal all at the same time. I believe animals in general are very noble creatures who would rather follow instinct than to depend on generosity which is inconsistant at best. I believe they, just as the human species, embarras easily and that dire straits resurects old primative feelings and actions best forgotten in the good times.
So what did I do? I put out a bowl of dry catfood for the skinniest cat I have ever seen, and hoped that if I am ever in dire straits, that someone at least would not let me starve whether for food or kindness. We'll deal with the other stuff tomorrow. Today, this little cat will eat.
(originallly published 5/4/06)