This past few weeks I have been trying to wrestle with little animal issues that are challenging in the extreme.
I have an open-yard policy to any creature that would like to be fed and try my best to make sure that no animal is left behind. So every day I feed my cats, any stray cats that come on for a meal, raccoons, possums, birds, and squirrels.
It’s a commitment and one that I feel very lucky to be able to meet. It takes a genuine slice of my time to do this but I made the commitment a few years back and until I fall over dead, it is my intention to always be here for these little guys.
The money impact is probably only equivalent to a pack of cigarettes a day, so it has no real relevance. But I also keep a small stock of cat food in my car in case I see any strays while I am out and about. For example, last week at Walmart, I fed seven little cats there and they all seemed happy to get a meal.
I wish everyone in the world would just help little creatures a little. And indeed, there are many like me that give it a try. Unfortunately most of humanity just take from animals and don’t seem to have the soul to give. I can understand that. It isn’t in their nature.
Some of humanity goes out of its way to abuse animals and that, I will never understand.
But the biggest issue with helping little creatures is that sometimes it brings a person right up against their own limitations. You give it your best shot and just come up short.
Sometimes we give it our best shot and it works. Like Rocky (two images of him today at the end of this blog) … he arrived on my property one or two years back as a small kitten and his tail had been completely savaged off by a dog. He was such a brave little kitten and after two very difficult surgeries and quite a bit of post-surgery care and worries, he is doing great.
He lives indoors with me and despite having no tail, he is the most brazen and feisty of the four cats that do. He has a wonderful attitude and knows no limits. He sleeps at my feet most nights and wakes me up in the morning before the alarm goes off to let me know it is time for breakfast. Theirs, not mine.
I love the little guy so much.
I was also able to help take care of a lovely lady raccoon who was severely damaged in a fight and could barely walk and after months of getting her fed before everyone else, the improvement was noticeable. By the end of it all she was as right as rain and roams freely now somewhere.
I’ve had major problems like Coco being bitten by a snake and Beauty almost losing an eye. Not to mention normal injury repairs to some of the other guys.
Unfortunately for each success story there are several abject failures.
There was the poor crane that I encountered a month back with a really badly broken beak that still had part of the offending PVC pipe attached to it, that was responsible for the break.
Right now I struggle with TC who hasn’t been able to walk on his paw for over a week. He is a stray and won’t come within ten feet of me. And there is Fighty who a week or two ago had most of his tail savaged off by something and I can’t get within 20 yards of him.
I really struggle with being able to take my hands off and realize my own limitations. I keep stretching my mind as to what I can do. I feed them and maybe even over-feed them. But I need to make sure that while they are fighting what has befallen them, that at least they don’t have to worry about food. I hope that just like the lady raccoon I mentioned earlier, that a steady food supply will give them the strength to win their battle.
Realizing our limitations is a very humbling experience. In case we didn’t know it already, we are not gods and therefore there are very real limits on what we can achieve.
It hurts my heart at times like these but regardless of how wishful we are and how sustained our efforts, our impact on the world around us is not boundless.
I think it is important that we try. Not trying is akin to not caring and we humans should care. Each creature on this planet deserves a chance of life and I would even argue they deserve a good one.
Our impact on creatures lives has been one of habitual use, abuse, torture, and killing. In the court of world justice, humanity would indeed be judged a villain.
While we won’t ever be able to completely undo the damage we have done to creatures, their habitats, their lives, we do have the ability to mitigate this damage.
All it requires is a bit of caring, a bit of love, and a bit of effort.
Though we may be parasites on the animal kingdom, we are intelligent parasites.
This means that unlike the fleas and ticks that makes animals’ lives miserable, we should know better.
Which ultimately means that all we can do is the least that we can do.
… just a thought!