I Don’t Know Why I Care So Much About Animals

I don’t choose to feel the way I feel. With so many people just going through life never giving a second thought to the rights or well being of an animal, I can’t help but wonder why I was born to think so much. At times it almost feels like a curse because the heartache I feel for those who are suffering is overwhelming but I cannot ignore how I feel or always explain it.

hey where do you think you are going cat expression

“Hey where do you think you are going?’ Photo copyright Jennifer Moore.

I don’t know why I seem to be the only one in the car who is holding back tears when I see a dead animal along side the road or why the sound of a gunshot in the distance during deer season makes my stomach hurt.

I don’t like chasing after the dogs trying to get a dead rat out of their mouth, to some it would be pointless considering the rat is already dead but for me it’s a respect for the dead animal and I don’t know why I feel this way.

I’m not sure why I choose to stand guard when the dogs have chased a squirrel up a tree or under a wood pile making sure the squirrel gets away safely, I just do it, even if it means I stand guard for the better part of my morning.

I don’t understand my insistence of saving my cats natural prey, spending two hours trying to save a lizard that has found his way into our house of five cats.

I don’t know how I can reach down and pick up a large wild rat that my cats have cornered in our kitchen and carry it to safer ground, I never even gave it a thought while others stood there looking at me like I was crazy.

I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me to syringe feed a cat who is sick and has no appetite or clean up a mess that the dog has made in the hallway because she has an upset tummy.

When a friend calls and says a dog she knows is getting ready to be taken to the pound because he doesn’t have a home. I am not sure why I would get in my car at 9pm and drive 40 miles to get him. I didn’t know the dog, I do now, his name is Petey and he lives next door.

And then at a different time do it again because that same friend knew a black cat that was in trouble and needed help. I picked him up and named him Roo.

I don’t know why I would spend a month of my time rehabilitating a praying mantis who got caught in a web and broke his leg or why I feel the need to rescue caterpillars who get caught in early storms..

I don’t know why it is so important to me to trap feral cats so they can get fixed and then released back into the wild.

Animals are just a natural part of my existence I wouldn’t know how to act if I didn’t have five sets of little paws following me from room to room. And how would I ever get a thing done without their help? And the cat hair on my clothes, on the couch, in my nose, I would end up having allergies or something without it.

Animals make my life rich….they make me smile when I really don’t want to smile.

I don’t choose to feel the way I feel, I just feel it. Some think I am crazy to spend so much time and energy doing what I do but I am not really doing anything but being me. It’s not easy to always care which I suspect is the reason most people turn their heads but for me turning away would hurt so much more than helping. I guess it comes down to what we as individuals can live with.

I know there are many people in this world who feel the way I do but on an average day when I look around, I feel small, alone in this fight as I watch others just look away. And though at times, it seems it would be easier to not care I know in my heart that life is not about how easy it is to get through. It’s not easy at all. But the rewards are endless.

Hearing them purr.
Watching them play.
Knowing their tummies are full.
Seeing them live their lives the way that they were meant to live.

I cannot change the world, I cannot save them all, I am only one girl. But I can absolutely make sure that the animals that come into my life will have a voice, they will have their rights upheld. These are not rights I give them; these are the rights they were born with, that we were all born with.

We all breathe air, we all bleed red, we all feel, we all fear.

No, I cannot save them all but just saving one matters.

Some have asked what I get out of all of this…my answer is simple.

I can sleep at night.


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I Don’t Know Why I Care So Much About Animals — 22 Comments

  1. Beautiful article and thank you very much for letting me publish it here. Your article poses many questions for me. Clearly, on the planet today, not enough people are concerned enough about all animals and nature because the signs of a lack of concern are there for all to see.

    I will make a big guess and say no more than about 1% of the entire human population of the planet are as concerned as you are about nature and animals.

    Many people are concerned about animals but it is a question of degree. When a person is as concerned as you are, I believe, that it makes life quite a bit more difficult. This is because there are a lot of animals in need of help and animals are vulnerable and therefore your degree of concern can be quite painful, emotionally.

    In addition, as there is a general lack of concern at the highest levels and far too much animal abuse and neglect, there is a general downward trend in respect of wild cat species populations in the wild and the same applies to all wild animals living in the wild. They are being pushed off the planet by the disease that is called the human race.

    I understand your article because I feel the same way but perhaps not quite to the same degree as you. For me it results in anger; anger at people such as sport hunters who I consider complete idiots. Anger at the massive exploitation of wildlife. International trade in wild animal species amounts to billions of pounds every year. Tiger parts are worth tens of thousands of pounds or dollars in terms of individual parts of the tiger such as his penis! It is all quite insane.

    I detest the people who trade in tiger parts because it leads to the extermination of the tiger on the planet, in the wild. Of course, I could go on and on and on about animal exploitation and abuse but it will only make me more angry so I tend to put it out of my mind.

    • Thanks Michael. You are right, it has made my life more difficult at times but mostly not because as I said I am only one girl. I do not have the power to change it all but I will stay true to my heart even if that means I only help one. We live in a painful world where animals do not carry the same rights and it hurts me. But I can’t change that, I just try to put it to good use.
      Oh and I cannot resist sharing a very special Tiger with you….His name is Odin, I am friends with his Trainer Lee Munro, a man who has done his best to take good care of a Tiger who was born in Captivity
      This is Odin….he lives at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Odin is a 13 year old White Bengal Tiger who was hand raised, his trainer is Lee Munro. Odin is 10 feet long from nose to tail and he loves to swim; he is the star of the exhibit “Odin’s Temple of the Tiger”. Odin’s mother was the first White Tiger born at the park. I took this photograph myself in 2009 ( he was 8 years old when it was taken)
      I was so taken by this guy, he is so handsome and has such a personality. The face he is making here is actually keeping the water from going up his nose.

      • I completely understand where you are coming from. I understand your feelings about animals and I fully agree that if we help one we help them all. At the end of the day, we can only do what we can personally do and every little bit helps.

        Tigers are wonderful swimmers and they like water. Many of them stay in water for long periods in the daytime, in hot climates. I have a page on the ubiquitous Lion versus Tiger fight which people like to discuss, and in it I compare the athletic abilities of the Lion and the Tiger. As for swimming, Tigers certainly wins the battle. I read that a tiger swam in the open sea for 2 miles off the coast of Sumatra – I think it was Sumatra – to an island. Pretty impressive stuff.

        The tiger is an enormously impressive animal in respect of athletic ability. That is why people like to kill it and eat it because they think it makes them more athletic and better in bed! That’s people for you.

      • I am friends with his Trainer Lee Munro, a man who has done his best to take good care of a Tiger who was born in Captivity

        If you have time and the inclination you can write an article about that. There is nothing on this website about caring for a captive tiger. You will get paid for that 😉

  2. love this article and yes i cant save them all too as i know im at my Quota. I feel for animals esp hurt even when my cats bring a bird half alive in i try my hardest to save that bird to let it fly away. I guess im sensitiveness and too caring. Its all worth it though as animals give so much back in return and they dont ask for much.

  3. I can so totally empathise with you Jennifer, I love animals so much that it hurts!
    I just had to work with animals, I had no choice, sometimes it was unbearably sad but I couldn’t walk away. My life would have been so much easier in any other career but I felt compelled to try to do some good as a vet nurse. I have many dreadful images etched into my brain from that career as I’m sure you do too.
    All my childhood I cared about animals but didn’t realise the extent of their abuse until I grew up and became involved in the RSPCA, the BUAV, Cats Protection and various other organisations.
    Now I’m well into my sixties and can’t do as much physically, I’m driven to doing more and more for animal welfare on line, educating especially about the cruelty of declawing cats.
    Like you I know no other life and we wouldn’t be us if we hadn’t dedicated our lives to animals would we!
    This Thursday we have a huge event at my sister’s workplace for our 4 local Animal Rescue Shelters, we are frantically busy preparing and emotionally and physically drained, but we both feel we need to do this, the Shelters are all overflowing, they need our help and we intend to make this go as well as we possibly can.
    My treat to myself is writing for PoC and reading lovely articles like yours. I’m too busy to indulge myself this week though with designing posters and I miss that!
    PoC is my second home now 🙂

    • Ruth, I am happy to know that there are others out there that care so much. Sometimes it’s discouraging, as Michael said, there is so much lack of concern. But in the end, no matter what other people do, as long as I keep fighting for them, I know I have done my part. I will never be a part of the problem only part of the solution.
      It does get overwhelming, I have been working in rescue for so long now and sometimes it gets to me but the only other option I have is to look away and that is not an option that I can live with, I’m glad it’s not an option for you either.
      As for this website, I love it here, It’s wonderful, I have been reading everything for days now. 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading the article.

    • I know exactly how you feel as well, Ruth, about animals because I feel exactly the same way. Both of us are like Jennifer and the other regulars.

      You know that I am a great admirer of you in the work that you do to help animals and your clarity of vision and thought about what is right and wrong in respect of how we interact with animals.

  4. Oh Jennifer.
    Much of what you wrote sounds so much like me that it’s spooky.
    I can, especially, relate to chasing down those lizards in order to save them, not to mention the countless spiders and grasshoppers.
    I’ve always had that animal passion too.
    I wonder a lot of times who I would be if I didn’t have, or never had, that love.
    So much of my identity is defined by that.
    I guess I would just be an empty shell.

    • Spiders are where I draw the line. LOL Not a huge fan of them at all. 🙂 Thank you Dee, I am so happy to hear of your love and dedication to animals and the like….it makes me smile.

      • I am not bad with spiders really (he says confidently!) 😉 I capture them with a glass and then slide a bit of cardboard underneath the glass to trap them in the glass and then walk them out of the home and release them. I never kill them.

        • I pretty much to the same thing but not with cardboard and a glass, thats too close for comfort for me. I use a bucket and a broom. LOL I don’t like to kill them but I have been known to kill black widows or to have them killed. Only because of safety for everyone though.

          • I use a bucket and a broom.

            That sounds very safe 😉 In the UK we have almost no poisonous spiders. We don’t think of spiders as possibly being poisonous. It does not enter our minds really. I guess that helps.

  5. What a lovely article,i know you wrote it a couple of months ago but I have just come across it while looking through my emails.You Jennifer are a wonderful person and I wish more people were like you and understanding like you.I am an animal lover too but my favourites are cats.I have recently had to rehome one of my babies as she was being terrorized daily by her son.He has behavioural problems and has to be on Prozac so the animal behaviourist recommended I rehome her.For her to have a better life I rehomed her and her new mum is a lovely lady who I will be forever grateful too.I have cried since she went though I know my baby is better off,it’s nearly killed me.i couldn’t eat,go out or barely function and no one could really understand,you will be right or just get over it they said.As I don’t have human children my cats are extra special to me but people do not understand and they think I am crazy but I don’t care what they think.It was so nice to read about you and how much you love animals and how much they love you.I do think to love and care for animals you can’t be a selfish person and you must always put the animal first.Maybe that’s why so many people are heartless when it comes to animals because they are to wrapped up in themselves and too selfish:-(

    • Well said Ali. We understand completely. I lost a cat in 1994 who was a daughter to me. I can still cry over her loss 20 years later. Did you find out why he was terrorising his mother? Is there an explanation? People tend to be ego-centric and arrogant when it comes to their relationship with the domestic cat.

  6. They sure do,like it is okay to love humans and dogs but when it comes to cats it is a different story.They are the ones missing out though because the love a cat gives is the best.The cat you lost in 1994 obviously showed you the sort of love I am talking about…Getting to my cat Hendrix and his bad behaviour towards his mum he has treated another female cat we had the same way and we had to give her back to her previous owner.The vet said that the stress his mum is showing he picks up on it then chases and bullies her whenever he can.Without him around his mum is a very nice laid back loving cat but when they are together she is a nervous wreck which is not fair to her at all.Rehoming mum was my only option as the vet said Hendrix wouldn’t cope being rehomed and it could make Hendrix’s condition worse.

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