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.