Last week I met this cutie about a block from my home. She looks so much like my baby girls Speckles and Lily 😍
She had a collar on and always hung out at the same block of apartments 🏡 It was likely she had a home, but, she was so skinny! I could feel her spine when I patted her. I have been feeding her all last week. I decided to go on an adventure on Friday by catnapping her for a vet visit.
It turned out her name is Boo and she is 15 years old! She is microchipped and desexed. She had fleas, bad teeth and possibly hyperthyroidism (which would explain why she is thin). The vet gave her flea treatment and reviewed her general health. The vet didn’t want to do any invasive procedures without owner consent.
Boo and I went back to where she had been hanging out. After a few door knocks I found the owner. The owner was an older lady who has TWO tortie girls (a reflection of my future self?!). The owner was nice and said she takes care of the cat, which I believe is true. She admitted that she sometimes skips the monthly flea treatment – obviously not a good idea.
I told her that I took Boo to the vet, and the Boo needs some dental work. I told her about the fleas and the importance of monthly flea treatment. She was appreciative of the information. We spoke for a while about both of our cats.
I suggested she take Boo and her other cat to the vet again. She said that she will. I left my phone number and said she can contact me about the cats in future.
I have no doubt I will see the cats again during my evening walks. I am glad to know that Boo has a human and a place to call home. I will still give treats and cuddles on my way. I hope Boo gets the treatments she is desperately in need.
Please take care of your pets. They depend on us to do right by them.
I am sorry I took a while before getting on to part 2 of my letter to you. You know why it took this time, but I better explain it to our readers.
On September 4th I accidentally opened the garage door without realising you were in there. You freaked out and bolted out. I didn’t even see you. I spent an entire day searching for you inside the house without even realising you had escaped the house via the garage door.
When I finally realise what had happened, I was devastated. I thought that was it. I thought I’d never see you again. But I didn’t want to give up so easily. See I knew you a little more than you give me credit for. So I kept leaving food out for you every night. Surprise surprise they were eaten by the morning. But was it you? I couldn’t be sure.
Then I was racking my brains out as to what to do. I mean were you near by or had you gone wondering far? Ah I had crazy ideas, I nearly bought a $600 video camera to confirm if you were the one eating the foods.
But then a better idea occurred. I dropped some leaflets into our neighbours with your picture asking if they have seen you. I wasn’t expecting anything, but alas I got 2 leads! You were still in our unit complex. The word was that you were living under our neighbours deck. I was relieved to know that you had some form of shelter. But seriously, it wasn’t comfy as our soft cushiony beds now was it? 😜
Nevertheless, knowing where you were was good. I knew I had to lure you back with noms. And you know what, I DID! Remember, 2 weeks after you left the house you wondered right back inside. I guess you knew your house 🏡
Anyway, I just want to let you know Rocko, that I love you very much and I am glad you are home. I want to say that I love you and care about you very much. I wish you weren’t so scared of me. I have nothing my love for you. I will take care of you. I will give you lots of noms, comfy beds and lots of love. So please don’t run away when I want to give you a hug. But I understand why you run away. You haven’t had good experience with humans. But I am hear to show you that not all humans are bad. I am a good one. I care for you.
There is no pressure, we will go at your pace (and I know you are improving because I can reach for little head pats now). I have faith that we will get there. But in the mean time you have your dotting Speckles 😻
Your forever human ❌ ⭕️ ❌ ⭕️
The shelter kitten who changed my life
I am an engineering professional in my late 20s. I had a pretty ordinary childhood, except during my childhood I was never allowed to have pets. Not because we particularly disliked animals, but because my parents were too busy. Both my parents worked full-time. My mother barely had any maternity leave when she had me and my sister. So I grew up being quite indifferent to animals, even scared of little kittens and puppies.
It wasn’t until my 21st birthday that I ever had a pet. On my 21st birthday my then boyfriend convinced me to adopt a kitten named Winkle from the RSPCA shelter. Winkle changed my life.
Winkle made me realise that animals have personalities; they feel joy, sadness and pain just like humans. And so my transformation began.
Following Winkle, I welcomed Billy, Meg, Lily and Speckles into my life. I have also watched hundreds of foster animals come and go. I called myself an animal lover.
But I felt something was not right. So I started questioning what was so different between the animals we love, like cats and dogs, and the animals we eat, like chickens, cows, pigs, and goats. The answer was nothing.
Subsequently I changed my lifestyle. I stopped consuming and using animals. I felt liberated to finally call myself an animal lover. My actions finally aligned with my values.
I have visited various farm sanctuaries. I have met Heather – a sow rescued from a piggery, Coco – a rooster rescued from a broiler farm, and Mary – a dairy cow who has had her babies taken from her for the majority of her life. My interactions with Heather, Coco, Mary and many of their other friends only confirmed that humans and animals share the same capacity to suffer and enjoy life.
The more I learned about the animal agriculture industry, the more I believed that I have done the right thing by eliminating the consumption and usage of animals. For example, I learnt that male piglets are castrated without anaesthetics and unwanted baby pigs are killed. Apparently this was standard industry practice.
I was heart-broken. I think any person who aspires to being a good, kind and compassionate person would be.
I also read the recently published 82-paged “Life of a Dairy Cow” by Voiceless which reports that the dairy cows are impregnated and their offspring removed within days of birth. The male calves are then killed while their female counterparts are grown to endure the same fate as their mothers.
The way the animals are treated in today’s society affects the way I function my life. This includes my work, what I buy, what I eat and what I do.
Living a life that has no direct contribution to the use and abuse of animals has benefitted not only those animals but also myself. My diet is much healthier now and as a result I am healthier. I am contributing less to adverse environmental impacts by not actively participating in animal agriculture, which causes greenhouse gases, water pollution, deforestation and climate change.
We are privileged to live in a time where there are various non-animal based products available – to eat, wear and use. So if we can thrive without hurting others, why wouldn’t we?
I believe that we should thrive for a world without the use and abuse of other creatures. It will lead to a better future for creatures on earth, including us humans.