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.
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.