Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why I'm the "Crazy Cat Lady"

Yeah, I admit it. I'm crazy about my cats. I cuddle with them morning and night, kissing their faces and smelling their fur. I'll even talk to them and get mad at them as if they were my own kids. When my Lucky was just new with us, my siblings and I spent 2 weeks nursing him to optimum health at 24 hour watch. I would get up at 5am to give him milk, make him poop, and put him to bed with a warm bottle of water to cuddle up to (his surrogate mom). Now my siblings and I have a routine of cleaning out the litter box and making sure the cats' food bowls have fresh food and water. When Lucky had the E Coli bug we would give him antibiotics 3 times a day. While I hate hate hate touching meat, I wouldn't mind picking up a piece of it for the cats (for those people who're about to start calling me a hypocrite... Cats are natural carnivores! Get over it!).

Those are my confessions and I'm not ashamed to tell the world that I'm gaga over my cats. My parents think I'm insane but my dad seems to soften up to them (sad story, he stepped on Lucky when Lucky was just 2 weeks old and he was a pirate kitten for some time. My dad's never heard the end of it since.). My mom's different though. So one day coming home from work, she was waiting for me to make her beso and instead I made a beeline to Velma and gave her a huge kiss and cooed over her (I'd be sick to my stomach if I saw my behavior too, that's how affectionate I am to them!). My mom complained that I gave the cat a kiss even before I gave my own mother one! Then she said (miracle of miracles), "Marie, you need a boyfriend." Yes, this is coming from the strictest of all mothers, the one who instilled fear and mistrust of the opposite sex in me, the one who banned me from hanging out with guys in high school (!), the one who said that I'll need to bring one of my brothers to my first dates (um, to the guys out there, sorry if it'll be some time before you meet my parents. Or if I'll have to not mention you to them). Who'd've thought that cats would bring my mother to beg me to get a boyfriend.

But I digress. Here comes the drama. If the world wasn't so cruel to non-human animals, I wouldn't be a crazy cat lady. If only we never abused and harmed animals, if only we treated them like God's creatures, just as we are, I'd be perfectly alright without having any cats (they shouldn't exist in the first place! If we don't breed them, they won't exist). We've brought it upon ourselves: the problem of too many stray dogs and cats that their dead carcasses literally litter the streets.

Today as I was driving by the market at Boni Station on the way to work, I saw a dead cat on the road. I was near enough (and it was traffic enough) to see that his skull was crushed and his eyes popped out of his sockets. His black and white fur was dirty. What a sad death it was -- he was a
poor forgotten and unwanted creature.

Last Sunday on the way to church in the village, I saw a cat on Country Club Drive, right smack in the middle of the road. He wasn't even completely flattened -- he looked like he was just bumped by a car and fell unconscious on the road. On the way back from mass I drove up to him and saw streaks of blood on the ground and on his fur. He was the same color as Lucky. I felt so horrible seeing this cat -- he died because some reckless maniac drove over him and didn't bother to check if he was still alive or dead. Oh and on that same day, I saw a stray brown dog happily walking down the same street, but this time closer to the intersection with Langka St. Some stupid owner let his dog out without a leash.

Last Thursday, I saw a ball of brown and white fur trying to cross SLEX while I was getting on the highway. Naturally this guy was rammed into by a car and he stumbled and fell. I so badly wanted to get out of my car and check him out, but I was on a 1-lane ramp. I think it was a dog, because he wasn't run over. Going down the Magallanes exit, I saw a flattened bloody carcass on the road. I couldn't even distinguish what the color of his fur was.

"Marie, you shouldn't care too much about animals. What about the poor people?" my mom tells me. Just because I care about animals doesn't mean I don't care about humans (for the record, I spent one week on a deserted island taking care of humans. I made a baby goat friend in the process...). I think we underestimate ourselves in terms of how compassionate we can be. I mean, it's such a burden thinking of the millions of poor people in this world who live by $1 (or less) a day. My heart breaks whenever I think about children whose parents have left them on the streets to make some money while they (the parents) are busy sniffing rugby. I hate hearing about baby corpses found on streets, wrapped in plastic bags and thrown away as if trash. I care.

But I also care about the billions of animals we ourselves have subjected to slavery, abuse, and a lifetime of suffering and unhappiness. I care so much that I don't eat them or participate in the system of suffering. It isn't right. Yes, even if it's "to feed the millions of hungry people in the world," it still isn't right. We can't make "what if" excuses for these atrocities. People can eat beans and rice and fruit and vegetables, and these are damn better for them than meat. The lack of food isn't the problem, it's the politics behind food distribution that's the problem. There are tons of grain (most of the time corn) left to rot in warehouses just to control their prices. Or, you've got tons of grain that could be fed
perfectly well to humans, but instead go to livestock to feed them so they (the livestock) could be killed and fed to people who can afford the meat. See where I'm getting at?

So please don't call me crazy. Don't call me unfeeling. Don't say I don't care, because I do. I look forward to coming home at night to see my cats and I treat them the way I do because of what I see in and know about this world. After seeing dead carcasses on the road, I think about my cats and thank God that He's been so good to them. I also thank God for giving me the strength to embrace a compassionate (no matter how "inconvenient" it is, no matter how emotionally burdensome it is) way of life. I see my cats and I hug them and I talk to them, only because I know that all animals deserve respect and love. ALL ANIMALS, not just domesticated "pet" animals.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails