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.
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.