(10th March, 2016)
The pound. Just the words makes dread spread through my body. Red, Blondi, Naranga and Albina are missing from the neighborhood, as well as less frequent cat visitors I have not named in my head. The neighbourhood cats are my friends; we hang out and chat, which is what friends do, right?
I don’t know if they have been rounded up and caught, poisoned or what.
Apparently there is a “pound” in town. Noone I’ve asked knows where. There’s no way of knowing how long they hold onto the furfolk they bring there to give humans a chance to reclaim their furry family members. Or if they are “destroyed” straight away. I don’t want to dwell on it or think about it. To me it is equal to murder, and I want to scream someone is murdering my friends!!!
So many thoughts and feelings running through my head. They’re my friends – what you are doing is a feline holocaust. I’m anthropomorphising I know, but I can’t seem to stop. I’m wondering what they will think of me for not coming to look for them. I feel I have failed my feline brethren even though it is not my obligation for lack of a better word. I can’t keep the whole world safe.
“You should have run, been even more careful!” I cry. ‘Everything is a co-creation’ I tell myself but it is scant comfort. If you want to be a creator you have got to let everyone else be one too. In this instance it’s no comfort at all.
What if we did find out where it is and went there, and were greeted by fifty – a hundred – hopeful or despairing furry faces? And only could bring home one or two? Could my heart bear to walk away from all the others, knowing their fate? Knowing they’ll be murdered? It would feel like it is my fault, I’ve been found lacking when it comes to being able to help our feline and canine sisters and brothers out of their predicament.
I tell our two to be careful every time they step out of the house and not eat anything suspect, to stay out of reach of humans. I make sure there’s always food in the bowl. “It’s not you I don’t trust” I whisper in their ears, “it’s other people I don’t trust any more.”
I detest how so many common people have no respect for other forms of life, unless it is a darned chihuahua.
Who teach their offspring cats are dirty and vermin. Cat’s aren’t dirty! They keep rats, mice and snakes population under control, and Tabita is very talented at killing any cockroach she sees. They are far too small to remove a bag of rubbish from a bin. Here it is the dogs who drag garbage bags into the street and rips them open, but it’s not out of malice, they are just hungry.
Why are there so many? Because people here seem to inherently dislike having their pets fixed, even with free spay and neuter clinics. And because in low season a family may not have enough to feed that dog so let it out in the street to forage for itself as best it can. It’s not a cute little puppy for the kids to play with any more, and thus it joins the feral’s.
I miss our orange boys, their sweet faces greeting me at the door in the morning. They only want a safe place to hang out, a place to sleep and rest, some food and love. Just like you. Just like me. I miss them a lot but probably less than Milou and Tabita.
I can’t get away from feeling I have failed in my self appointed role as their guardian, even though they are their own responsibility and not really mine at all. That my love and softness somehow set them up for perhaps letting their guard down with others. It makes me once more ashamed to be associated with the human race.
I pray whatever did or will befall them, it was/is quick and painfree.
“I’m so sorry, so so sorry” I whisper to the night air and tears run down my already wet cheeks. Forgive me for letting you down, please forgive me for not trying hard enough to find out. Forgive me for not going to look for you. I just cant do it.