Cats are so often in my dreams. My nightmares are only about cats. I’ll be frantically trying to scoop up too many kittens to hold. I struggle to hang on as a few claw me not knowing that I’m try to save them. I don’t let go. This is when I awaken in a sweat.
On the farm, cats were dropped off almost as often as the mail. My grandmother always put out milk for them. It was ,at least, some nourishment although not the good kind. I watched many die of disease. A feral cat’s life span was long at two years.
I’d lie down with the tame ones in the hay. They’d purr and rub. Even as a kid, I did this while thinking that it may be the last kindness of their life. It was ALL I could do. It was like the line in Platoon when the guys are partying and they are feelin’ no “pain”. “Sometimes feeling good is good enough.” I could not effect their life but I could affect moments in their life.
Since the harsh true life experience of the farm, those cats have haunted me. For awhile, I was a “cat lady”. Finding homes for every litter that I heard about. There came a time when I had 4 cats of my own and no more favors to call in for the homeless.
I finally realized that I could not save the world. I wasn’t rich and I was emotionally drained. I give to shelters when I am able and still make a phone call, now and then, but each of us can only effect moments and I accepted that.
Please offer the advice of spaying and neutering to anyone with a kitten. We can only do something small but with each others’ help we still can make a big difference.