Monday, January 7, 2013

What Tenderizes Your Heart?

"One can never have too many cats." Anonymous

I confess to latent Crazy Cat Lady tendencies. Though this box of cuties is tempting, I limit myself to two kitties, because I love my husband more. I believe this disqualifies me from being a true CCL, because a true CCL likes cats more than people. Don loves cats, too. It's cleaning litter boxes that he's less fond of.

Our two lugnuts, doing what they do best.
I love animals so much I volunteered at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, feeding squirrels, birds and raccoons, this last much to the chagrin of my dear departed friend Jo Hansen. Jo lived in downtown Boulder, and as far as she was concerned, raccoons were the scourge of civilization. They pooped and mated and caused a ruckus in her back yard at inconvenient hours. No doubt raccoons are the juvenile delinquents of the animal kingdom. But they have a certain louche charm that gets to me. Years ago, I named one of my cats, a female tortoiseshell with rakish black goggles, Raccoon.

Simply irresistible

Our neighbors adopted a puppy after their dog died. I was looking forward to watching another puppy grow up. Then they got the news that he has a liver disease that will likely be fatal. They are taking it all in stride, especially Harley. He doesn't know he has a fatal disease. He's still playing, running around, being a baby, growing and loving life. The family is committed to riding it out with him. He's lucky to have landed with such a caring family.

Cutest puppy on earth. The name's Harley.

Because unfortunately, not every animals lives with high-quality people like the Prices. I receive Facebook posts from Hearts United for Animals, a no-kill dog sanctuary in Nebraska. One of their rescues has especially touched me and many others who receive these posts.

This is the first picture of Noah I saw. The sadness and weariness in his eyes is devastating.
Noah after a couple of weeks at Hearts United for Animals. Despite all he's been through, he looks really glad to be alive.
When I saw the first photo I thought, What on earth happened to this poor dog? You can read more about the circumstances of Noah's rescue here. Scroll down to the December 20 post for the complete story. His story is tenderizing my heart. I often say that our cats have better lives than many people in the world. Until Noah was brought to Hearts United for Animals, that was not true for him. The people there are literally loving him back to health. I hope you'll join me in making a donation to this worthy organization.

This afternoon Hearts United posted some very good news about Noah's prognosis. The tumors they removed from his abdomen were benign. His other physical wounds are healing, and judging from the photos and stories, he's doing well emotionally.

Gandhi once wrote, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by how it's animals are treated." On the one hand, our country is in great shape, with the angels in Nebraska taking such great care of abandoned dogs. On the other hand, our country is in poor shape, because people would mistreat Noah and other dogs in the way they did.

Another great humanitarian, Albert Schweitzer, wrote, "Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human life." Amen to that. I confess there are days when I like animals more than people. Cats don't talk back. They don't tailgate me on I-25.

As I aspire to be even a scintilla of the humanitarian that Gandhi and Schweitzer were, I commit to holding the welfare of people equal to the welfare of animals. Here's to tenderizing our hearts!

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