On Monday as I almost all the way to the university, when from up on an abutment of the highway I heard the mewling of a kitten. Being the animal sucker I am I stopped. “I’ll just help it down,” I told myself. However, after having looked at it and touched it, it was clear that it hadn’t eaten in some time, and it had an infection around its eyes and nose. I decided to take it to the nearest convenience store to get some food. I got canned food and tried to feed it that, but it wouldn’t go for it. I guessed it was either too scared from a bicycle ride in a basket or just too small to eat the food. Thank goodness there is a vet right near the convenience store, so I ended up taking her there. The vet opened at 9am, so I waited decided to wait for about fifteen minutes. In the mean time, the vet had started to pull out of the clinic in his car, probably going to run a quick errand before office hours. He immediately pulled the car back in and came to see what we were doing in front of his clinic. I showed him the kitten and he said that the infection was serious, and that he had already lost one eye to it. I would have to give it medicine to make sure it didn’t die. When I said that I had cats of my own, he said that I couldn’t take it home until the infection was cured, that it would spread to the other cats. He went off into his clinic and got some medicine, some drops for his eyes and nose, and showed me how to administer them. I thanked him and offered to pay, but he rejected it, and said that he was happy enough that I would take care of the cat.
The honest truth was that I had no idea what to do with it. I couldn’t take it home, and the vet said that I could spread the infection to my cats by contact with my shoes and clothes. I had to find something else to do with it. It couldn’t even stay in my office. Well, I got some food and milk, the kitten was dehydrated according to the vet, and a box to put the kitten in. I came back to school and put the kitten outside in the box until I could find a student to volunteer to take care of her for a couple of weeks until she got over the infection. Then I would take her home. I found a student to take care of the cat and made all the arrangements to transport it and so on.
But, when the student went the box where I had put the kitten, she was gone. She had somehow escaped from the box, and was nowhere to be found. I was crushed. I knew that if we didn’t find the kitten she’d die. I had to submit some paperwork to another teacher at around 5:30, and was waiting for him when I decided to buy some juice from the vending machine near the cafeteria. As I bought the juice, a young woman came around the corner carrying the kitten. She had found it near the box, and didn’t have the heart to put it back in, so she just took it. I couldn’t have been happier. I told her the story, and confirmed that she would take care of it. I happened to have the medicine in my pocket, so I gave her that, and the food that I had bought. I showed her how to administer the medicine, and sent them off to live together after I gave her my card and told her to call me if she found that she couldn’t keep the cat or in about six months when the kitten could be spayed. I would pay for the procedure.
Take care of your animals. In our neighborhood there are often dogs or cats that have been dropped off by people who don’t want to care for them anymore. One of our neighbors is very generous and finds homes for them or keeps them herself, but it is sad to see animals hurt or sick. Some people think it is inhumane or cruel to spay or neuter their pets, but it is truly cruel not to and subject the babies who are born as a result to the horrible, short lives they have. I was at a park in Kumamoto with my son some years ago. The maintainers of the park were apparently having some problems with stray cats at the time, so they were rounding them up, putting them in plastic crates, and drowning them in the pond. Fortunately we were in the car as we passed the grisly scene, and he couldn’t see outside at the time, and of course I never told him with was happening, but if he had seen that, what would he have thought? What brutality he would have witnessed.