As anyone who knows me will tell you, I dearly love animals. I inherited my love and respect for animals from my father, and grew up with an assortment of critters in and around the house. He was forever bringing home some kind of stray, and wasn’t particular what species it was. He daily fed a family of field mice that lived in the cigarette machine at his gas station, as well as the alligator that lived in the canal behind. My mother was forever shooing away cats, coons, possums, squirrels and iguanas that took up residence on the back porch looking for a handout.
Later in life I was fortunate enough to have chosen a husband who had the same admirable quality. Fred (aka Freddie Bear) had always grown up with dogs and declared that he didn’t have much use for cats. I discovered how full of the proverbial “stuff” he was at breakfast one morning. We were in the military, and lived off base in a very tiny trailer. When I turned to give him his coffee, he was no longer sitting at the table. A mother cat had given birth to three kittens under our trailer, and he was lying on the floor, hanging out the door feeding them his bacon. We later gathered them up and took them to a shelter, but kept one of the kittens. Say hello to Cat-Cat. This tiny fluff ball and my husband became inseparable, and frankly I was surprised. I think some people find it difficult to obtain the friendship of a cat because cats are philosophical animals, and don’t place their affections and loyalty thoughtlessly. Cats appear to be excellent judges of character. After that we were never without feline companionship, even though we later adopted a couple of dogs also.
If I were a psychologist counseling young people looking for their “soul mate,” I would advise they take note of how their significant other treats animals. I honestly believe that a person who doesn’t like or would be cruel to an animal would not hesitate for one second to harm another human being. I could forgive a lot of faults in a person, but cruelty to animals is something I will not tolerate, and neither should anyone else.
CALLING ALL HEROS! Don’t be shy! I want to hear how you, or someone you know, who has saved the life of an animal and the rewards you’ve garnered in doing so. Email your story of courage and compassion to firstname.lastname@example.org. Allie