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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Enjoying the Present and Planning for the Future

Last night, after I went to bed, there was a cat meowing at my window. It sounded so forlorn, almost like a baby crying. But Brownie didn't bark or pay it any mind, and neither did I. In the night, it rained, and there may have been distant thunder, for Bow woke up and vocalized and displayed in the dark. He was safe and sound indoors, whereas goodness knows what may have happened to that cat.

I am allergic to cats, so that cat has no chance whatever of being adopted by me. But I will tell you what I am also not going to do: I am not going to call the authorities on this cat or turn it over to an animal shelter. If it wants to be a feral cat and feed on the rodents on my land, that is all right by me. I am not going to hunt it down, to have it spayed or neutered, nor am I going to insist that it has only two options: to be adopted and neutralized. or to be put to death.

I consider my outlook on cats to be humane. But it is certainly not Humane Society policy. Many people mistakenly believe that the Humane Society (HSUS) is there to help other animals. It's not. Nor is the current "welfare" attitude toward all living things in the best interest of most animals. A lot of very good people are duped by the propaganda, only to find out later that they have been betrayed. A friend of mine who volunteered regularly at an animal shelter to help socialize cats who were unaccustomed to having a home or who had problems relating to dogs, recently wanted to adopt one of the cats she had been working with. The shelter did a home study, and put her through all sorts of rigmarole, to see if she was "good enough" to adopt that cat, even though she had been volunteering there at that shelter for years. Finally, they turned her down. She now says she is not going to a shelter to adopt ever again. If she needs a new animal, she will go to a breeder.

Breeders are not bad people. But there is so much propaganda in the air to make you think that they are, and it is not being done for the sake of other animals. It is done to empower certain people to become social workers "advocating" for animals.

Today it is dark and cloudy and Bow is sleepy. But in the past couple days it was sunny and hot, the way Bow likes it. He spent a lot of time outdoors, sunning himself and vocalizing.

I love his changing expressions as he goes through his routine.

This is self expression. Bow is very uninhibited, and his cries resonate a long distance away.

That kind of vocal power is something many a human singer or orator might envy.  But there are also many quiet moments.

Lawrence is still away, but yesterday Bow met with a few delivery people. He was cordial to each. And in the middle of the day he got a nice surprise: the gift of a peach from a neighbor's tree.

Bow knows how to enjoy and savor every bite.

It's the simple things in life that he appreciates the most.

In the end, when there is nothing left but the pit, he reluctantly relinquishes it to me.

It doesn't make him happy to give up that pit, but he once ate the inside of one, and it made him sick for a day.

So very reluctantly, he gives me the pit and looks away. I am kind of bossy about certain things, but I think I give Bow more freedom, all in all, than he would have anywhere else around here. In the long run, I want someone else to continue in my footsteps. I want to leave a legacy. I am not looking for a way out.

On my walks, I see lots of animals from the tiniest insects to the rabbits and deer. I do not tell them what to do at all. And if they eat something that disagrees with them, it is their own problem.

There are many ways for humans to interact with other animals. Some are hands on, and some are hands off. I do both kinds of interactions. I support other people's right to do the same, choosing the degree of control and responsibility that they take for the animals on their own property.

I would also like to help educate the public to the issues involved. So many people can't see past the labels -- puppy mills, breeders, abuse -- to think about what those words actually mean. They use these labels against other people, and then they are totally surprised and shocked when the tables are turned on them. "Live and let live" is harder to teach, apparently, than some other slogan, like "death to the infidels" or "down with puppy mills." But in the long run, we all benefit from being less judgmental of others and more free to do what seems best in our own eyes.


  1. I am glad I adopted Irina when no body else wanted here.

    1. Irina is certainly lucky to have you, Julia.