Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Simple Joys of Fostering & Befriending Stray Street Cats & Dogs

Missy napping on my lap

"The more I learn about humans,
The more I love my dog."
- Mark Twain

I think this applies to other sentient beings as well such as cats, birds, fishes. I've cared for them at certain points of my life and it's a bit of irony to say that I've rediscovered more of my humanity by caring for what we call "lesser" beings.  We can learn a lot from them if we're paying attention -- like mindfulness for the present moment and unconditional love.  Part of being human is always thinking (worrying is more like it) about the future at the expense of relishing the current moment.  

A dog or cat who loves you will not hold back on his/her joy, not thinking about whether this joy is fleeting or lasting.  I'm fostering street stray cats and dogs since the start of the pandemic and let me assure you, I'm not just a feeding machine for them.  We bond well after they eat.  Even when I'm not feeding them since I don't have cat food with me all the time. They don't care if I'm employed or not, if I don't have any money to my name, if I don't have any title that precedes my first name.  I think what they truly understand is the language of love.

Buddy II & me
Let me be honest in saying it is not an easy path to take -- some people either deride me behind my back or openly be hostile (I dunno why). It also isn't cheap (the Dodo videos can only tell you so much about rescues and leave out a lot of the details such as expenses in 3 minutes or so) as I keep finding myself scrounging around for funds to keep feeding my street fosters. Then, there's also the emotional toll when something happens to my wards. 

Still, I want to give them a fighting chance.  Perhaps, some would get adopted.  Perhaps, I'll get lucky and adopt them. In any case, seeing them fetch me from afar whenever I come out to feed them after work always makes me smile. When a cat decides to nap on my lap or a dog greets me with a bump using his/her nose, that makes my day. I can make a difference in the lives of sentient beings and I intend to keep doing it.  Because they deserve a chance to live another day.

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