Of all the things I carry with me every morning to go feed the city cats, the heaviest of all is uncertainty. I have a great fear of finding my things trashed or stolen. Of the 14 locations where I have set up shelter and food stations for the average of five cats per location that gather around when I am there, there are two that are now causing me great anguish. It’s the Parsells location, where I’ve been asked to move, the same location where I’ve recently trapped and neutered/spayed close to eight cats, rescued baby kittens, and also rescued Teddy from last year. I’ve had to move several houses away to a vacant porch of the duplex house, until the owner/landlord comes by soon and trashes it. The second spot, on Chamberlain I was kicked out of on Friday. I had been feeding on this vacant house’s porch all winter, with beautiful shelter against the harsh westerly storms, and by spring, the homeowner next door trashed my wonderful shelters on the porch, and boarded it up so that I could not gain entry again. I left a note, told him I would do my best to find another location, and continued to feed on the side of the house with a lean-to board leaning against it to protect the two food bowls and water. Every day recently someone was knocking the board over, and taking the little plastic tote I placed there. I finally went over there on Friday during lunch to speak to the man, and try to work out some arrangement. Two good people who read my blog, June and Gary, offered to meet me there. It was good to have ‘back up’ in case I needed it. I certainly was not expecting violence on that sunny day, but it was just nice to know I was not alone.
When I went to the door, I asked the woman who answered if I could speak to her husband. I told her my name, that I fed the cats, and boy did she go off on me. She began shouting in my face, told me to stop feeding there, and after I told her I would not stop feeding these starving animals, she threatened me by saying ‘I will throw the motherfng’food in your face’. The man that came out was more calm, and after the woman told me that I killed her dog by having him come out, confront a rat, the dog bit the rat and had died, I told the man that his wife had some anger issues and was ‘out of control.’ He agreed in some way, but said that I had to stop feeding there. He told me that as a homeowner, it was bringing the rats to his house. I had no choice at that moment, knowing that the minute I placed the food there, she would come out and get rid of it. So Gary packed up my most perfect board I’ve ever had (not sure where I got it from, but it was perfectly weather proof and perfectly sized), and I asked him to follow me around the corner on Garson. There was an open field with a garage behind it, so I marched up there and placed everything, in the broad daylight, praying the cats would find it. I thanked June and Gary for their presence and moral support, and drove back to work, being sure to go past the nut case’s house tooting my horn goodbye. (yes, I can be bad – but that’s really as bad as I get in reality – although my mind can dream up all sorts of nasty stuff to retaliate against evil with).
I was quite shaken up when I returned to work, and dreaded the following morning. But so far, so good. I’ve tried to coax the cats, at least Casey has found the new location, and just this morning, there were some girls on the porch across the way from this ‘new spot’, and I pulled over before leaving, got out , introduced myself, and was met with kindness. Phew. I told her what I was doing, what happened around the corner, and she went on to tell me about a mother cat having kittens over there (at the ‘new spot’). I asked her to call me if she sees the kittens around, and told her I would leave my information on her step tomorrow morning. I thanked her for her kindness after telling her, and she agreeing, about the meanness of people around there.
So, as you can see, there are a lot of people in these neighborhoods who hate cats, and could care less about their well-being. In reality, there is nothing in a cat or any animal that can be hated as they all behave naturally. If a person hates cats he hates a natural animal. He therefore must hate nature and as nature is the fabric of our world he hates the world but doesn't know it. Truth. That woman’s anger probably stems from a poor childhood that lacked security and there may have been violence in the family. This is the way I see if for most of these poor black people in these neighborhoods that despise me, and the animals. Violence begets violence. And one way of expressing anger is through violence. Its hard for me to speak up for the cat in a hostile world heavily populated by ignorant people. I get nervous, and don’t know what to say to people in the face of anger and hatred. I lose my voice. I am very bad at confrontation, and will do everything in my power to avoid it, but when it comes to my shelters, I have to do something. These two situations caused me a great deal of stress and sadness this weekend. I must figure this out.
Have a great day.
"Iron, when heated and pounded, becomes a fine sword. Likewise, our true strength and potential cannot be forged without hardships."