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Life Arts

Caring for Companion Animals

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Someone who knows that I care for 7 cats, a dog, and a bunny should have known
better then to suggest I take on another charitable work he had in mind.  I
responded rather harshly and said to him - what do you think I do all day - sit on
my tush?

How anybody can handle many animals and provide decent quality of life for
them would have my supreme admiration except that sadly, when they take
in too many animals, the animals will suffer.  There are just too many sad cases
of animal hoarders who start out with the best of intentions, but who end up being
so terribly impractical.  One can only do so much and then animal suffering begins -
until finally the hoarder is found out and the animals still alive will be rescued.    

So, I thought maybe some of you who might also think that this "retired" senior
citizen has little to do except indulge herself would like to share an ordinary every
day with her.

I get up around 6.  Casey my dog wants to be let out.  While out, I go to my seed
container and scoop up a quart of seed to spread in my driveway.  Then I go inside
to get the large pan of torn bread which is covered with an oil/peanut butter coating
I prepared the night before, and that too, is spread near the seed.  Soon the birds touch
down and hungrily peck. Most of them are pigeons, sparrows, and starlings though
occasionally I'll see a robin, a mourning dove, or a blue jay.   I'm NOT a bird watcher.
I'm a bird feeder.

Usually there is time for a rosary walk with Casey before liturgy.  This twenty-to-
thirty minute walk is good for both Casey and me.  We both get much needed exercise
and I can pray part of my rosary.  Back home - I then leave her in the yard while I
take off for the 8:00 liturgy.

After liturgy, I drink a cup of tea or coffee and eat anything I might want and then its
time to feed my 5 cats and bunny in the basement.  My two upstairs cats have already
been fed.

I think my bunny gets a great looking dish if I do say so myself.  Pieces of carrot, apple,
pear, and banana go into his bowl.  Then strands of parsley and a chunk of cauliflower
and broccoli get thrown in as well.  Lastly, I sprinkle rabbit pellets into the bowl and
sometimes he gets a dried apricot and a brussel sprout if I have any.  A gourmet delight,
in my opinion.

Into the 5 small dishes for the basement cats, I dole a spoonful of Poultry Platter, Tuna
and Egg, and Shredded Turkey and Cheese.  The "menu" changes daily.  While they're
eating, I drop in some dry cat chow into their bowls. 

Now cleaning time - 5 cat litter boxes and 1 bunny litter box.  Scoop and pail in hand,
I remove their droppings and most of the urine- soaked wood shavings and litter.  Then of
course, I replenish it with fresh wood shavings and some litter.     

Well, I've been up since 6 and it is now around 10.  A good 4 hours well spent in
my opinion.  I will feed them again at 4.  In the mean time I have to keep on
replenishing the staples.  A trip to the bread outlet for bird bread.  A trip to a
grocery store for the bunny's veggies.  A trip to the pet place for cat and dog food,
bird seed, and rabbit pellets. 

Cleaning is always going on in some fashion or other.  I need to do some sweeping
of the basement to pick up the wood shavings that seem to cling to the cats and
then are spread around in their part of the basement for me to sweep up.  And
hopefully, at least once a month, I take a mop and soapy water to pick up some of
the upchucking of hairballs, etc.  Yes, I  pick up the hairball deposits regularly as well.
And then taking 3 or 4 bags of soiled litter to my outside garbage container is a weekly
affair.  

Sometimes I wistfully think of all those retirees who have no responsibilities
whatsoever -- but then that's just for a nano second.  I wouldn't change my life -
caring for these beautiful creatures who need me-- for all the pleasures in the
world that others may be enjoying.  Way better in my opinion then playing golf, bingo,
or canasta all day while sipping cold drinks and eating chips. Canasta?  Wow -
that's antique, isn't it? I really don't even know how to play it or if senior citizens
do anymore either.    

How about a leisurely cruise or a trip to Europe?  Thank goodness, my trip to Slovakia
in the 70's when it was still a part of Czechoslovakia and under Communist rule gave
me the thrill of a life time.  To visit the place of your parents' birth in my opinion is the
ultimate.  I met my still living aunt and her son, my cousin, as well as other relatives.
I traversed the villages where my parents walked and played.  Oops -probably not much
play because during the Austro-Hungarian Empire occupation they were under Hungarian
rule, and probably had to help their parents work the farms of the Hungarian barons. 

Later I was happy to learn that Communist Alexander Dubcek ( a Slovak) was the
moving force behind the Prague Spring when he valiantly tried to put a kinder face
on Communism.  We all know how the Communist bosses responded.  Soviet tanks soon
fringed the Czechoslovak border.  I will always be proud of him for this effort even
though it was squelched. 
 
I was able to visit some of my grandparents graves and see the churches they may
have attended.  This is the best in my opinion.  I have no more "bucket" wishes now
except to try to be a better person and get my house in order.  I  think all of us will have
to admit that we aren't perfect and need personal improvement in some area or another
in our lives.   

I probably won't print this for my "friend" who thought my days are too leisurely
spent.   They might not be leisurely, but they certainly are rewarding and gratifying.

 

I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
 

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Sadly, even animal shelters are sometimes guilty o... by Suzana Megles on Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 12:42:15 PM
Your day sounds familiar(:-). With three dogs and ... by Marlys Thoreen on Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 2:40:51 PM
It's good to know that there other people who also... by Suzana Megles on Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011 at 3:21:44 PM
I would say that your days are certainly well stoc... by Brenda McGuire on Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:16:34 PM
Almost missed your lovely comment. And then I was... by Suzana Megles on Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:30:32 PM