Alright, let’s see what’s rolling around in the ol’ noggin today. Give me a sec, I have to get the broom and sweep out a few cobwebs.
There, that’s better. It’s cleaned out, but nothing. So, guess I’ll be talking about my babies again. Yeah, the cats!
I wonder sometimes if these guys know just how great a life they have living in my home. They may not have the largest home or the greatest amount of space to run around, but they sleep most of the day (and night) away anyway! They’ve always got fresh water, meals twice a day, dry food available 24-7, clean litter boxes (semi-regularly, but then again, they do have 3 boxes for 6 six cats), and a comfortable bed to lie on when I’m in it or not.
I was out walking on my street the other day. I know, for people to actually walk in Taiwan is rare, but once in a while I do get a chance. I happened to see one of the neighbourhood street cats. I really do feel sorry for these little creatures. Dogs or cats, it doesn’t matter, but for some reason, and it could be because I am a ‘cat person’, I feel a little more tug at the heartstring for cats.
A few years ago when Ingrid and Daniel (my ARC employers) were running the kindergarten in my neighbourhood, I had a bit of a break between classes. I would take this opportunity to walk around, and have a smoke, and familiarize myself with the ‘hood. On many of these breaks, I saw a couple of kittens. I assumed they were related somehow, since they were always together. They’re markings were similar, but still different enough that I could tell them apart.
A few months ago, as I was coming home, I noticed one of them on the side of the road. He (or she) was just sitting there, not moving, but sitting upright. Normally these cats will run out of the way when someone, especially on a scooter, comes near them. This time, this cat did not move. I got off the scooter, and as I did try to go near it, it tried to move away, but it’s back end was dragging. And then the meowing started. I knew there was something wrong.
I went home, got a carry case I use for taking my cats to the vet, and went back. I coaxed this little one into the case, and took it over to the vet near my home. A couple of hours later, I got a call from the vet saying that someone must have hit the cat. There was too much damage, and that the best thing was to have it put down. How sad I was about this, I had to agree.
Back to the other night. I saw the other cat of these two that I mentioned. This one is not as afraid of people as the other one was. It was walking around in front of me, and stopped by a clump of grass. I noticed that, although the cat wasn’t thin or sickly looking, it wasn’t as plump and clean as my cats are. Understandable. This cat lives on the streets. I had just come home with my dinner – deep-fry. This cat starting munching away on the grass. Here I am with fried chicken, sausage, vegetables, and this poor little creature was chomping away on bits of grass. I took out a few pieces of my chicken, and tossed it to the cat.
Now, I realize that this is not a lot to sustain this cat for very long. But the way this cat gobbled the pieces of chicken, I knew that it was hungry. As it was eating, it was making little noises, almost like ‘yum-yum’ sound. I know, crazy as it sounds, that IS what it sounded like.
I’m actually surprised that this cat is still around the ‘hood. I would estimate that it is at least 5 or 6 years old by now – human years. I was watching a show on Discovery or some other channel a while back about cats. They had mentioned that feral cats (non-domesticated, wild, or for lack of better meaning, street animal) have a life expectancy of 2 years. When you figure that they have to fend for themselves, dodging traffic (and if you’ve never had the PLEASURE of experiencing Taiwan traffic…), avoiding other feral animals such as other cats and dogs, human animals that are out-and-out cruel to cats, especially in Taiwan, you begin to understand why they have such a short life.
Five out of the six of my babies, were destined to be feral cats, had I not intervened. When I put these images into my head, of what these cats’ lives COULD have been like, it just makes me want to hug each and every one of them more.
As I said before, they may not have the biggest area to run around. They don’t have a chance to go out and walk the streets. However, they do have food all the time. They have fresh water. They have a place to poop and that “I” have to clean out. They have other cats to play with. They have two floors of my home, three rooms, and lots of hiding places to sleep or play. They have people who pat them, play with them, hold them, love them. They are safe from danger. They have a great life. I wonder if they really understand that!
In my next life, I want to come back as a cat, living in a home like mine!!