Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The Rich Dog and the Poor Kitten
A few weeks ago, David found a stray cat that lives in the cracked foundation of the house next door huddled between my Carolina Jessamine and Margariette's hollyhock in the front flower bed. When she saw him, she ran away and left her new kitten behind.
I've enjoyed watching that little kitten hide under the srubs in the alley and paw at the branches of the low-hanging trees. She was getting a little bigger every day.
On Saturday, David found her in the gutter making a horrible sound. Her little body was contorted and bloated. We called animal control to come and get her, but they called us later saying that she was dead and they "don't pick up the dead ones." We couldn't wait for the sanitation department to come and get her today, so David burried her.
On Friday, Corduroy Dog received $280 worth of vaccinations, cortisone injections and special medicine to make her coat shiny and her skin less irritated. I took her to a very Posh animal clinic in Altadena where the vets have all written very Posh disertations about various animal ailments and their cures. They have a million different doggie medicines at their disposal to make every doggie shiny and healthy and strong. In their exam rooms, there are pictures of happy German Shepherds with their happy families and fluffy cats sleeping on warm windowsils. I'm going to send them this picture of Corduroy Dog today.
They love Corduroy Dog (and who doesn't?) so, they take very good care of her every time she comes in. And we love her, too, so we keep taking her there. Our vet, Dr. Moyana, is the best. And we want our doggie to have the best.
Corduroy Dog was sitting on the porch when David burried the kitten. When he finished, I thought of her and of the kitten and how some animals go to very Posh Animal Clinics and receive more advanced care than is even available to humans in most parts of the world, and some animals die in the gutter of neglect. And it's true of people, too.
Here in Birmingham, there are people dying in the gutter of neglect within walking distance of some of the most sophisticated medical facilities in the world.
My cynicism tells me that there really isn't much to do about it, either. There's no end to poverty or suffering or loss. Sometimes, I think it's kind of a joke to think there's anything to do about it, either. So, I just try and be grateful for what I do have. That's the only real response, I think.