Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel ~ Proverbs12:10

Eight or so months ago the girls & I travelled up to Redcliff to acquire two cats.  It was something of a bitter sweet experience because we were still grieving Issi ~ & it was a difficult experience because for the first time in my cat owning life I was acquiring shelter cats.  Even so I couldn't bring myself to go to the RSPCA. For every animal I didn't take I would have felt personally  responsible for & however foolish that is it is certainly the way my mind works & I don't need the guilt. I also have issues with any animal being caged & though there are certainly times when this is necessary & unavoidable it is not the way things were meant to be so I get all churned up about it.  Needless to say I do not like zoos.  However my friend, Siano, worked in cat protection at the time & I was hearing plenty about all the lovely cats in need of a *forever home* so I was prepared to look for a cat in a *no kill* shelter.

The internet is a wonderful thing & it was particularly wonderful in this instance because all the shelters can put up pretty pics of their available animals so you know before you set out who's got what. I fell in love, unmet, with Marlow. It wasn't just that he's a pretty, pretty boy.  His mug shot showed him sprawled on his back absolutely relaxed & contented.  Having kept cats for many years I know only a very trusting  & secure cat will do this ~ & that's the sort of temperament we wanted.

I loaded the girls in the car & we made the long trek out to Redcliff to here.  The boys were actually in foster care & being older kittens had become very attached to their carers.  Some of their behaviour oddities I'm sure stem from having sensitive, high strung natures & being in a shelter situation even though they were wonderfully cared for.  We had no intention of taking Kirby.  We wanted a smaller kitten as well & Star certainly had her eye on another, very sweet little grey tabby but during the course of our visit it became obvious it would be cruel & inhumane to separate the brothers so we took both cats.  I'm so glad we did. 

Now in the course of a misspent life I had lent our cat cages to various other bodies at different times.  One never came back at all & one came back in pieces so I no longer had carriers ~ a situation I notified the shelter about because they do cardboard ones.  However there were no cardboard ones available & we were debating coming back.  The carers, having decided their much loved kittens would be in a suitable & loving home with us were loathe to let the opportunity to rehome very special cats pass so lent us two sturdy metal carriers & spare litter trays ~ which we have had for 8 months! Yesterday we returned them.

Siano & I made the long trek out to Redcliffe, showed off recent pics of the boys lolling round the house like Lord Muck, admired & drooled over the present furry inhabitants & fell in love with the latest batch of kittens, dumped, half starved in the overnight cage in the pouring rain! It makes me so angry.  Just because we were given dominion over the earth & what inhabits it gives us no right to mistreat anything!  The kittens were not only gorgeous but desperate for affection & a little love ~ even before food.  The little girl, a Siamese cross [& I do have a terribly weak, soft spot for Siamese!] decided I was her person & curled up along my arm, snuggling deeper whenever I attempted to remove her & miaowing piteously whenever I ceased stroking her.  Hard to leave ~ but she barely weighed 300 gms at 6 weeks when she should weigh closer to 7 & the carers have a lot of work to grow her into a  healthy adoptable cat.  Her tabby brother was a real love bug with the loudest most rumbling purr for anyone who so much as glanced his way.

I know it's a fallen world & that all of creation is groaning as it awaits the fulfillment of God's promises.  I know that God says a righteous man will take care of his beasts. Genesis 9 indicates there will be some sort of judgement for animals, as there is for us frail human beings. With that in mind how we deal with the animals we are responsible for should weigh heavily on our conscience.  It is a mistake to think they are incapable of devotion.  Scripture teaches differently.  Besides, even without scripture, I have owned cats that were extraordinarily spiritually discerning. 

 Issi, who from kittenhood loved to sit with me while I listened to preaching & prayed, adored Christians with whom the spirit of God was strongest & got protective & aggro with some non~Christians.  Losing Iss was devastating.  He was only 5; well loved, well fed, well housed.  We should have had him for many, many more years. At the risk of being considered delusional & theologically unsound I know Issi is with Jesus.  I know because Jesus showed me so.  I was shown both Issi & Gyver [my aged part Siamese who was our first rescued cat] walking on either side of our Lord.

In the beginning God created.....& he considered it all very good.

We are still in the midst of kitten season.  Why people do not desex their animals I do not know but if you buy a shelter animal they come desexed & microchipped, & up to date with all the necessary shots ~ no small thing when you consider the cost of paying for these things yourself.  You won't get a pedigree with all the fancy papers but you will get an animal just as capable of affection & devotion & immensely grateful to have a loving home.


Diane Shiffer said...

I'm not exactly sure why but our neighborhood is teeming with stray cats.. not so bad in the summer when things are warm and food is fairly easy for them to find, but oh, the winters. I desperately dread the winters for the sake of these poor neglected and forsaken creatures. I do what I can, but I can only do very little: a bit of food on a fairly regular basis and the freedom to use my porch as shelter unmolested. Even the most fortunate and healthiest ones become gaunt and ragged and get the most pathetic desperate look in their eyes. The unfortunate ones get sick or injured and suffer the most unspeakable horrors. Honestly Ganeida, I can hardly bear to witness it all, but what can I do? The mystery to me is that it seems to bother so few other people. How can ordinary people... people who are basically "good" folk, not be moved by such suffering? It boggles my mind. It really does.

Sorry to go on and on... this has been on my mind quite a bit lately as winter is upon us and some of my old friends have been declining before my eyes. I'm so glad your boys are fat and sassy and healthy and so well loved♥

Finding Joy said...

Don't get me started on the poor treatment of cats (or pets in general). Charlie is the cat we took in at around 6 weeks, a little tiny thing someone dumped in the middle of a heat wave. She would have died, but she found us and we saved her and in return she has provided us with much love and joy.

The RSPCA said on the news the other night that their shelter is overflowing with animals that people have dumped so they can go on HOLIDAYS. Why didnt they care enough to organize care for their animals considering how much love their pet gave them. It makes me so sad.

I give my pets so much love as they give me, unconditionally, love and friendship to me. They are one of Gods creatures and they should be treated well.

Off my soap box. Off to see my two beautiful cats:)

Happy new year


Anonymous said...

My lot get home care while I'm away. Yes, it costs; but that just gets factored in to the holiday budget. It's a lot less stressful for the cats than going to a boarding facility and the mail is collected, bins put out, plants watered etc. I come home and the cats have the television going -- the carer doesn't want them to got bored!

Pets are not commodities. However, while there is still debate about whether animals experience pain and have emotions, I suspect this view will remain. Cats also have the unfortunate reputation of being more self-sufficient than dogs, say, and therefore better able to survive if left to their own devices. While cats are enormously adaptable, abandoning them creates welfare issues that ultimately impact on human society as well as on the cats.

'Nuff said about that. Here's to a happy 2011 for humans and pets alike.


seekingmyLord said...

I would love to get two rescue cats but--and I really dislike writing this--the cost of a rescue cat here is too pricey at nearly $100 for just one; I could get a cat with a pedigree for nearly the same.

I have been looking for a bonded pair of barn cats, but I have been disappointed with the regulatory road blocks. It would cost me less to have a cat, wise in the ways of the outdoors as I need, fixed than to adopt rescue cat that I also have to sign a paper promising that it will be indoors only. In my area, there is far too much regulation and expense to adopt a rescue cat. This fact is far sadder to me than the population of feral cats they all report being concerned about in my county.

Even though acquiring food in the winter is a challenge for any animal, I think outside cats are far healthier because they supplement their diets; their teeth stay white without needing cleaning also. And as for my county's regulations, we are not allowed to have a cat outside at all here without a leash. People do it, but one neighbor's complaint and you could lose your cat. Can you believe it!

Unknown said...

Rescue animals (cats or dogs) I think make far better pets than ones purchased at a pet store or breeder. To me it just seems that the animals are so grateful to have a loving home. Some of the best pets we've ever owned came to us from shelters or as strays.

We currently have two kitties that rule the home. Miss Ebony came to us as a stray and Keeper was a kitten of a cat I was told was spayed when we acquired her. Neither cat cares much for being held or sitting on laps, but when they want attention you will know it!

I too tend to avoid shelters because they make me sad to see all the abandoned animals. I generally get my animals from foster care through shelters, but without having to set foot in an actual shelter. Of course some of our best pets were actually abandoned strays.

Ganeida said...

Diane: I know you are an absolute softie & that you acquired your boys through generosity of heart. Dumped cats don't last long between the snakes & the paralysis ticks. We've tried a couple of times to lure one here to home but they are very skittish. One thing that came to mind as Siano & I were chatting about your comment was asking the neighbours if they would contribute to a food co~op for the strays. Even table scraps would help but a packet of biscuits or some tinned food would be good. After all, it really is everyone's problem.

Jo: Yes, I've heard of this & just don't get the callousness. For all the love they give, unconditionally, no holds barred, that is an apalling way to be treated. I shouldn't start. It upsets me.

Siano: Your purdies are spoilt & loved & very, very lucky purdies.

Seeking: wow. Your regulations certainly make things difficult. We paid about that for each of our boys ~ cheap at the price too. The desexing alone costs nearly that ~ & that, of course, is one of the problems. People can't afford it but want a pet. A pedigree animal would cost at least triple that, depending on breed, but there are always ongoing costs, & not just for food.

Birbitt: I agree. Gyver, whom we rescued, was always, always so grateful for the home we gave him & he was a most lovely & loving cat.

Sheryl Buchan said...

Dear Ganeida,
Thought that I would let you know that Piper, Jedd, Jag and Smokey Joe are all doing extremely well. We had a fight on our hands with Joe and nearly lost him 3 times, but he is a tough little man. When he got over his health hurdles he just bloomed. He is actually the only one of the 4 who has gone to a home. You can see how well the others are now if you look on the PAA website. Thank you for being such a wonderful Mum to our boys. We love reading about them on your web site. Sheryl

Ganeida said...

Sheryl: I have been checking on them. ☺ Unfortunately our council limit is 2 cats ~ which we now have ~ or I would certainly take Piper. She is a little beauty. Our boys are wonderful. Marlow crawls all over me when I pray purring like mad. He gets quite nutty. lol Kirby really likes to wrap his arms round my neck & press his face up against mine & I have to fend of kitty kisses. December was hard on them because Star & I were gone so much & though my Dearest trys he is not the one they want. Today they followed me in & out to the car while I brought in our shopping. Dearest says they know the hunter~gatherer is bringing home the kill!