If human behavior teaches us anything as we progress as a society, it’s that we have done nothing to deserve the unconditional love we receive from dogs and, yes contrary to popular belief, cats too.
The story of a Warwick resident leaving their cat outside in a box in sub-freezing conditions “because they could no longer care for it” is proof positive of that hypothesis.
Rather than make adjustments to have the cat taken care of properly, whether they would give it to somebody else who may want the cat or, at the very least, contact animal control to have the cat taken and properly brought to a shelter, this person simply made the choice to let a domesticated cat with severely matted fur try to fend for itself in the midst of a New England winter.
It’s a heartbreaking story, and although it was a particularly disgusting decision, we won’t pile onto the mistakes this person made – as this sort of thin undoubtedly happens all the time, and the person simply isn’t caught. Hopefully this person will understand the mistake they made and become a more empathetic person, as we will hope is the case.
But the real story in this instance wasn’t the person who did something horribly wrong, it was the multiple people who did the right thing and wound up saving the animal’s life.
It was about the apartment complex property manager who first noticed something was wrong, and reported the cat being outside to Warwick Animal Control. It was about the Warwick Animal Control handling the situation promptly and getting the cat to the benevolent folks over at the Warwick Animal Hospital, who treated the cat in its close-to-death state and saved its life.
The story is about the wonderful folks over at Purrs and Paws, a small but passionate animal grooming facility that also trains and houses dogs when owners are away from home for extended periods of time. They spent upwards of three hours on a Friday night – one of the employees had already begun to leave to go home for the weekend – cleaning, trimming and shaving the matted fur off the cat, giving it a second chance at being able to live a good life.
These people are the ones who dispel the notion that we don’t deserve animals as our pets, confidants, sleeping buddies and truest companions. These people are the ones who hurt inside when they see a defenseless animal hurting, and wish to make things better for that creature who has nobody to advocate on its behalf.
These people can be found all over the world – whether they wear a uniform, help run an animal shelter or hospital or they simply smile at every dog they see as they go for a walk. These are the people who epitomize the spirit of human empathy and our ability to feel for, care for and be better for other sentient beings who, although they may not be able to speak our language, can feel our emotions, soothe our sorrows and generate unparalleled joy and excitement in us.
Animals can bring out the best in us, and they deserve our best for how much they inspire us and support us – without ever realizing that they’re doing it. Hopefully, following the actions of a collection of kind humans who helped save this one’s life, this cat can go on to brighten someone else’s home, and make them happy when times get tough.
We don’t deserve the animals we get to keep as pets, but they love us anyways, and they always will. Do not squander that love – or you will have ironically lost sight of what it means to be human.