Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday # 88: The Animal Sanctuary

My apologies for the lack of posting this week, but it’s been kind of busy up here, just North of Hollywood North. First of all, my dog’s in-laws dropped over for the week.


That’s my friend, Dusty, on the Left, her Mom on the right and Grandma sandwiched in the middle.

Anybody who owns a dog knows they don’t really require that much work. Maybe less than an hour a day to do the actual feeding, watering and maintenance part. Walk and play time additional and often non-negotiable, of course.

Add two more dogs and the time consumption increases exponentially, especially the navigating of three extremely happy to be outside animals on three leashes.

Our lives were complicated on day one of the visit when they suddenly stopped galloping around the wilderness that backs onto our home, freezing stock still and then converging on a grove of trees. I thought they’d sensed the arrival of some local wildlife, maybe a deer or racoon, hopefully not a skunk or the pack of coyotes that had already been howling at that night’s full moon.

It turned out they’d found a couple of kittens shivering in the bushes. They were about a week old, according to the emergency clinic vet, and not likely to pull through without a lot of care. I bought a can of Kitty formula, willing to give it a shot. He told me that I also had to make them urinate and defecate, something the mother cat accomplishes by licking their butts. I said I wasn’t quite that committed to saving them. He told me a damp cloth would work as well.

Turns out I didn’t need a damp cloth. I also didn’t need to keep watch to make sure they were comfortable or warm enough. The makeshift kitty box in the kitchen was immediately surrounded by three large female sheepdogs, all making sure these tiny members of a completely different species got the care and attention they needed.

Butts were licked. Sleeping forms gently nuzzled. Bodies groomed and guarded. Sometimes they took turns. Sometimes all three silently hovered in case they were needed. Even though I did the feeding, I did it with an attentive audience that wasn’t above nuzzling my arm into a better position or nosing away the bottle so nobody was overfed.

daphne's kitties

By the time the in-laws went home, the new arrivals had clearly weathered the worst of their storm and the neighborhood kids had delivered the addresses of good homes nearby willing to take in a new addition to the family.

It’s funny how this all works. Dogs normally loving to chase cats and neighbors who suggest a pet’s too much trouble suddenly showing a side of themselves you never expected.

But then, we all tend to do what’s unexpected sometimes and it often leads to further unexpected results. You go somewhere you would never be caught dead and discover how much fun it is. You taste something you’ve always turned up your nose at and realize what you’ve been missing. You talk to somebody you really have no interest in, soon you’re friends and sometimes you’re more than that.

I think in the end, we’re all lost kittens or those who know it’s not really going to kill us to help. And we all take away more from the experience than we had or were before.

Everybody needs a good friend --- or another one.

Enjoy your Sunday.


DMc said...

You know, this isn't that far off your usual fire and brimstone here, Jim. I think writers in Canada would do well to learn the lessons in this post.

Oh, and we're clearly licking the wrong butts.

Brandon Laraby said...

All butt-licking aside, I met my wife by trying something completely different and vastly out of my comfort zone.

Truth be told, I'll never be a So You Think You Can Dance finalist... but I met her at a Salsa dancing class.

My first and only. ;)