Monday, November 8, 2010

Be Still My Bleeding Heart

This will be my first soapbox blog post. It’s something that’s close to my bleeding heart – animal welfare. I’ve always been very fond of animals – to the point that I’m quite convinced that I’ll end up as a crazy cat lady. And in my more maudlin moments, I imagine a Bridget Jones-esque scenario involving me dying alone in an apartment and being eaten by cats, as opposed to Alsatians.

For a while now I’ve been volunteering at the RSPCA in Burnie, which only has small animals like cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. It’s actually a lot of fun for the most part. I help clean out the cages and in the meantime get lots of cuddles from animals. My motivation for helping them out wasn’t completely selfless though. My own cat still lives in NSW, and I miss her terribly. Her name is Torrance, but is more often known as Fatty. She has a very changeable temperament, drools far too much, and is known to seek revenge when she is cranky. But I love her – drool and all. So the RSPCA gives me time to chill with cats and get some quality animal hugging time in.

But as much as I enjoy working there, it can be pretty upsetting as well. I’m quite the sensitive young lady, and just can’t believe how some people treat their animals. And I haven’t even seen any of the abuse cases yet – I’ve only come across plain and simple stupidity.

There are lots of reasons why the RSPCA ends up with these animals, but the bottom line is that these little critters are just waiting for somebody to take them home to a loving and caring environment.

One fellow in particular has really gotten his rarely used claws into my heart (and his fur all over my black t-shirt). His name is Mouse, he’s 3 years old, and he’s blind. Mouse is just the coolest guy. His blindness doesn’t seem to bother him or intimidate him. As soon as his cage is opened, Mouse strolls out into the corridor to check things out. He loves exploring, and always comes back to have a quick rub up against your legs just to check out what you’re doing. He’s brave, friendly, and loves a good cuddle.


I’m really worried about him though. People come into the shelter wanting to pick kittens, or at the very least, an animal without an impediment. And especially coming into kitten season – Mouse is going to be overlooked. What I don’t think people see is that he’s actually pretty independent, and looks out for himself.

Basically, what I wanted to say in this post is that if you’re going to be getting an animal at any point, please consider getting it from a shelter, and don’t discount animals just because of their age. Breeders are always going to manage to sell their animals, but some animals sit in shelters for months, without a home to go to. As for the older animals – they have just as much personality as the babies, require less training (in the case of cats, they’re already house-trained), and have a lot going for them.

*climb off soapbox*





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