Monday, June 16, 2003

I work at the animal shelter in our town every other Sunday. I am a pet-aholic, owning three beloved cats and a dog. I really enjoy my experience there, and haven't really had the urge to quit (I am also a quit-aholic, quitting most everything I join.) I work with the cats. I feed, water, scoop poop, scour cages... whatever needs to be done. I even helped a kitty mom give birth once ("helping" is a strong word. I really just petted her and cleaned up the yuck afterwards.) And I've been okay with the fact that half of the animals that I am taking care of are going to be put to sleep. You can't do everything, you only do what you can... that's been my thoughts. I can't save them all, but I can give them an extra helping of food and pick their fleas off and give them some much needed love during their last days.

Anyway, lately, it's been alot more difficult for me. Maybe because it's kitten season. I could just take all of them home with me. Also, a Persian that I really liked was put to sleep a few weeks ago, and I adore Persians. No one wanted her. After that, I was like, "Did I truly not have enough room in my life for that one small cat?" But I have to be respectful of my husband. He's being generous enough to let me have the ones that I have. It's just so hard sometimes. The more you give, the more you get your heart broken.

I had a cat, Nouwen, several years ago that died in a really nasty accident. He jumped into the dryer while my husband was doing laundry. I found him after searching the whole house for him. It was really awful. It's still really horrible for me to think about. Not just that he died, but that he died in such an awful way and that it was our fault. It really took me a very long time to get over it-- by "over it" I mean not crying when I think about it. I'll never really be over it. When you love something like that, I don't think you can ever truly be over it. But my only consolations about it are that he was a very loved cat and had a good life and brought at least one person much joy. And also, I know that in some way that I certainly don't understand, there was a purpose for it. His life, as small and insignificant as it was, was worth something.

So that's why I work at the animal shelter. It's a small thing to do, for some very pathetic little creatures, but maybe that little bit of caring will be worth something in the long run.


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