Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Preacher’s Corner
Please do not bring me any more kittens
Someone did a terrible thing to me last week. About supper time last Thursday, subject or subjects unknown left a cardboard box with four kittens beside the driver’s side door of my car.
As it happened I was heading out to vacuum my car. I had earlier shifted some boxes in the carport, and spotting this one with the kittens — I did not as yet realize there were animals inside — assumed I had missed a box and sort of tossed it on top of the others in the corner. I had the vacuum running and so did not hear anything from the box. However, when I finished cleaning the car and switched off the vacuum, I heard furious mewing, and immediately thought one of the neighborhood strays had given birth to kittens in the shrubbery around my house. It was only then, upon careful investigation that I discovered what was in the box.
Whoever brought me those kittens surely does not know me personally, or they would have realized that I know absolutely nothing about kittens! They were not old enough to have their eyes open and were crying — not screaming — piteously. I could tell they were very, very hungry. Who would take little babies that young from their mother? The box had towels in the bottom, so they had not simply climbed in. Two of the kitties were gray and white, two were all gray.
My first thought was to call a friend who works with our local humane shelter. She said they were overwhelmed with animals and could not accept any more just now. It is no wonder. My own neighborhood is overrun with cats and dogs that apparently belong to nobody. Everybody down here likes to claim they are “pro-life,” but once it is born, they just turn it loose and let it wander. I think the real attitude is “pro-birth.” And yes, I think it applies to the way we treat humans as well as animals.
Knowing that something had to be done, I checked online what a kitten with its eyes not yet open needs, and headed out to Walmart in the hope that they would still be open and would have the special “cat-milk substitute” that was recommended. I remembered somehow that cow’s milk is not right for cats. They did, and so I fed the wriggling little ones with a dropper. Finally after many dropper-fuls they quieted down and went to sleep, all in a pile in the center of their tiny box. My dog was going crazy with all this racket, so I bedded the little ones down in the utility room—thankfully it was still hot outside that night, for baby animals must be kept warm.
Church business was taking me to Iuka the next morning, so I decided to see if any of the shelters over that way had room. I was in luck! The nice people at the Corinth Animal Shelter said to bring the babies right over, so after an early morning feeding we set out for Alcorn County. The sound of the car’s engine immediately quieted the crying kittens, and I was reminded of the story my parents used to tell, that riding me in the car was the only way to quiet me when as an infant I suffered from the colic.
I cannot say enough good things about the Corinth Animal Shelter. It is where I found my own dog, “Gracey.” In fact, they just happened to have another dog last week that could have been Gracey’s mother or sister. But Gracey does not want any competition for my company, so I just left the kittens and a donation and drove on to Iuka, with a prayer that all would turn out for those helpless little quadruplets.
When I got home my phone was ringing with offers of help from Holly Springs animal lovers who had heard what had happened. God bless our little town; we do stick together! So the story turned out all right. In the meantime, please do not bring me any more kittens. I wish I could gather up all the homeless creatures and make them all pets. But this is not a perfect world, and if you would, give a donation to our humane shelter, or volunteer to help those good folks, and let’s try to make sure so many homeless, helpless animals are not brought into the world to fend for themselves. “My kittens” were among the lucky ones. A sadder fate awaits so many others. We can make a difference, and I hope you will resolve to do so.
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