This story relates my perception of an event I witnessed when I was feeding street cats on a regular basis in Jerusalem:
The four-week old kitten peered out from under the filthy rubbish skip. His left eye was bloodshot and diseased. The adult cats ran around excitedly as the passer-by threw some left-overs on the ground. The kitten trembled, disorientated and frightened by his new reality. Yesterday, he suckled at his mother’s nipple – though her emaciated condition had drained all nutrition from her milk; today, she had rejected him and he was hungry. Where was he? Where should he go? Who would care for him? He felt weak. He took uncertain tiny steps towards a piece of rotting fish. Before he could eat it, one of the adult cats let out a high-pitch screech, pinned him to the ground with her fierce claws, and gobbled down the stenching white flesh. The kitten cried out in pain. His face squashed into the filthy earth by the clutching claws that were clamped around his ear. When finally he was released from the adult cat’s grip, he stayed still, very still; not understanding, not knowing; afraid to move in case he would be once more attacked. Slowly, he found the courage to wander into the rubbish strewn around the skip. Syringes, empty aluminium tins, paper, mouldy bread. Just a scrap of food. Where could he find a scrap of food?
Volunteering, or donating, is always a positive way to respond to the suffering of others – in this case I refer specifically to animals. Critically important work is done by many animal welfare organisations. My experience has been with only two – see the links below – whose staff and volunteers have greatly helped to ease the suffering of many cats and dogs.
Sam Red, 11 May 2015