Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Been picking up some great books lately, and I find a new source (of used books) every few days. There's an animal shelter combined with a thrift store - both recent additions to our small town. To be honest, I've tended to view animal shelters with a degree of scorn. There are so many needy people out there, including children, and even if you don't much like people there are other causes to devote time and energy to that seem more worthy. There are TOO MANY cats and dogs running around the world. It ticks me off. People get so stupid about them. Oh, all right. I get stupid about the goats. Before the goats I did have cats and dogs (the goats surpass them in so many areas that four legged house pets aren't appealing anymore) and I was pretty danged stupid/feely about felines and some canines. I used to spend inordinate amounts of time working with animals that had almost no practical use and drained off large sums of money for pet food and shat all over the yard or in the garden. I don't miss them. ~Anyway~ it irks me to see some family stuggling to get by, on welfare or barely able to eke out a living, that has 7-8 dogs and a whole fleet of mousers. You see dirty little kids pawing through a litter box or having food snatched out of their hands, the barking is incessant, and wonder where the priorities are...

Then there are the folks who get tired of a pet and just turn it loose any old place, often out in the country, because they haven't got the balls to do what they should, namely, to put it down. The forsaken pets wander around lost, unhappy, bewildered, get run over, go scrounging for food... get picked up and advertised day after day as lost on the radio...or sometimes resort to running stock or raiding much misery do they endure before they're finally shot or adopted or sent to an animal shelter? (Where, by the way, the cycle may start all over again). A bullet is quick, clean, merciful, and leaves no room for false hopes or fantasies of a lovely life for poor old Fido.

So I go into this place, which I'd never have visited were there not books there; there are stacks of free postcards- glossy with either a puppy or a cute kitten- that read SPAY- NEUTER. I felt like applauding. Suddenly I felt that we had something in common after all. I think there are too damned many unwanted pets running around proliferating. The animal shelter is devoted to helping to solve the problem. Why the bad attitude on my part? As I left, we looked at the caged cats through the window. A tortoiseshell tom was nestled in one. I could tell it was a male, because his tail was a mere stump, truncated right next to the body, exposing his sex. The shaved appendage had stitches. Frostbite? A slamming door? A mean man or kid slinging it out the door by the tail, breaking it? A dog attack? Poor thing. I wanted to take it home.... :blush:

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