“It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man. On the contrary, all other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of anything else” Maimonides (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon)
I rise extremely early on the Gold Coast which is great for making the most of the morning before the heat sets in. On this particular day when I encountered the lost or abandoned creature, I cycled early to the neighbouring beach then decided to optimise my ride by going to the nearby shops. But as I was too early for the shops, I had a coffee at an outlet where you could slowly sip and enjoy a stunning view of the beach. Unfortunately, the coffee was “exécrable” as the French say so I ditched it and cycled up to wait for the shop to open. And that’s when I saw her; the most beautiful ginger ragdoll cat. There was a small water bowl nearby almost hidden in the bushes.
“When man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard” Native American (Lakota) Proverb
As she lay on the soon to be baking concrete I wondered how she came to be there At that moment she looked up from the task of cleaning herself and gazed at me directly. Then she miaowed. I couldn’t ignore her invitation and went to investigate. She was indeed a beautiful cat, so friendly and affectionate, allowing me to pet her as she purred. But she was so gaunt, so thin! By that time the shop had opened so I rushed in to get her some food- she wolfed down the two cans in minutes. Clearly she was lost or abandoned. A worker came out from the shop and said that she had put the water bowl down but the cat had run away from her.
“A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is as bad as an act of cruelty to a human being. ” Mohammed
I couldn’t leave her to starve so asked the worker if she could get the Animal Welfare League phone number and I would organise Miss Ragdoll’s rescue. And what a process it Was! the woman on the other end of the phone told me to ring the local council first so after speaking with three different people I was informed that the inspector would arrive within 45 minutes but only if I would guarantee that the cat was contained. Naturally I said I would stay with this very beautiful and affectionate cat and help the poor trembling inspector with her confinement.
Then something happened; a woman carrying heavy shopping bags approached us, smiling. She’d been told by the worker about the cat and wanted to see for herself. Still on the phone to the council I was then told to take the cat to the local vet.
Like me, Julie couldn’t believe how such a lovely and loving cat could end up there. As I didn’t have a car with me Julie offered to take her to the vet and mentioned that she would love to adopt Miss Ginger, however, she had to think about it as she had recently adopted two Marema dogs.
Later, I rang the vet who had advised that it looked though Julie was going to adopt the cat.
The night before I had watched a show called “Sacred Animals” (http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s4548036.htm) which looks at the sanctity of animals are in different cultures. I recalled someone from the show stating that animals can help us get in touch with our own animal nature within, our own sacred creatureliness.
It was so easy to focus on the worst possible scenarios that could have produced this loving creature to be sitting there on hot concrete not far from the busy Gold Coast Highway. We humans have a terrible capacity for cruelty not just to Mother Earth, animals and vulnerable humans but also to ourselves, the sacred animal within.
But in these times of shock, terror and division in the world, I would rather focus on the goodness of the worker and the kindness of Julie and the loving nature and resilience of the lost or abandoned creature.