Friday, August 9, 2013

Peace at the playground

I fed Willy at the playground today. More and more, I am inclined to believe that he lives on the road perpendicular to mine and that is why he is often seen in this particular section of the playground. You know how cats have a certain territory and they normally do not wander beyond their boundaries.

So I sat with Willy as he ate. No worries about Mr Zurik coming because while Willy was eating, Mr Zurik was in the cage at the patio (I released him after Willy finished his meal).

After eating, Willy hung out at the playground watching the little children play nearby.


How often have I seen children getting all happily excited when they see a cat or dog at the playground only to have this happiness and excitement curbed and destroyed by parents who quickly tell them everything negative about the innocent cat or dog.

Goodwill, love and caring come naturally to children. Adults recondition their way of thinking and destroy these lovely humane attributes in them.

Meanwhile, I got talking with one of the walkers who happened to be friends with the neighbour who, yesterday, came over to complain about me feeding the cats (and thus, in her line of reasoning, causing cats to visit her house and giving her much unhappiness). This walker, whom I know to be a compassionate and diplomatic person, suggested that I could perhaps feed the community cats (Rosie et al.) at the playground instead of at my house.

Well yes, that is a possible solution too, but there is also the safety issue. We all know how unsafe it is these days, especially if you are seen in a certain public place at the same time every day, that's not exactly a wise thing to do.

I feed the Patio Family at my own patio and this neighbour does not like it. It's only Willy whom I feed outside my house, but I do so responsibly with proper bowls and I clean up after that.

But that is not the issue. The issue with the neighbour is that I'm attracting cats to our section of the road and these cats enter her house. She does not like that.

And she is not interested to wirenet her house when I suggested it to her.

It takes all kinds to make the world.

There will be those who say, "This earth belongs only to humans, not the animals." Similarly, there are also those who say, "This earth belongs only to my race, not to the rest." and this leads to apartheid rule, genocides and ethnic cleansing. We humans call this racism and condemn it as an atrocity.

Speciesism is also an atrocity, but not all humans recognise it for being such. Because not all humans have the wisdom or realisation that we are all so deeply interconnected to each other and we must care for each other, more so, for the needy, the unsupported and the defenseless.

I wrote this in my book, Here for a Reason:
Are we so Different?

Charity for animals, as we all know, is one of the hardest projects to undertake. This could be largely due to “speciesism”, a widely held belief that the human species has greater moral rights than animals and therefore animals are less deserving of help. This is why charity for animals is often given last priority in most human communities.

While animals may be “different” from us in that they do not have some of our complex cognitive abilities, they bear many similarities to us too. They are conscious, they are able to love and very often even able to express gratitude. At the very least, they are alive. They are able to feel pain and they can suffer, just like us, when conditions are not favourable for them.

Since animals share the same capacity as humans to suffer pain and to enjoy wellbeing, they rightly deserve the same help, support and compassion that we would offer to any suffering human being.


It is said by many, many philosophers and meditators that the greatest wisdom is kindness to all beings. Unless and until we, the human race as a whole, see how deeply interconnected we all are, humans and animals, until then, animal caregivers will always face an uphill battle providing the basic needs for animals, let alone championing their rights.

So, every little deed that we succeed in providing for the betterment of animals is an occasion for rejoicing.

Today, I am happy that Willy is back safe, I fed him (without any incident) and he is now happily enjoying the peaceful and restful atmosphere at the playground while little innocent human children play nearby.


Rejoice in the moment, folks!


1 comment:

Amir said...

here is my personal experience. When I was a kid, I had to move back to my mom's kampung. My uncle and grandma (despite how wise they are) could not appreciate stray animals. I'm talking about someone who would shoo any cats at our house's area armed with the penyapu lidi.

Few years ago, there was this one insistent female cat, who decided to stay at our area no matter how many times she was shooed away. This even created a dispute between my mom and my uncle because my mom was feeding the cat. Every morning,the cat, she brought dead small rodent and big lizards just right in front of the door. From what I heard, she was a very agile cat.

To cut the story short, my uncle and grandma finally grew fond of this cat, even let her enter and stay in the house to catch the lizards and properly fed her.

The cat got sick one day, she was 'raped' by the male cat, had a problem with her back part. My mom tried to put traditional ointment minyak gamat , kept the cat inside the house, and slept with her. The day my uncle wanted to bring her to the vet, the cat happened to just disappear. They found her the next morning, right at our door stairs, breathless. My mom called me crying and she said " Pak ngah pun nangis masa tanam Comel bawah ampaian".

So that is my story. My point is, sometime no matter how much we try to put some sense into people, it may be vain and petty. Some people need to learn and feel by their own. When it hits, it hits really hard.

From that moment, Pak ngah is having no problem feeding stray cats and be gentler to other creatures.