Thursday, April 14, 2005

Compassion

Number of Cats the Society was asked to take in :- One

I had a long conversation with a caregiver today. As I mentioned in my earlier blog today, how far would one go for a cat? In addition, this caregiver has a multi-cat household AND she is completely and utterly broke. She called for advice. She is obviously a very kind hearted woman, and loves her cats dearly as she was very upset on the phone. However, she is spending all her money trying to cure a cat which according to the vet cannot be cured. In the meantime, some of the other strays she is looking after are not getting the special diet they need because she does not have the money - this in turn is going to lead to her other cats possibly getting ill and then THEY will need medical attention too. She told me that her problem was compassion - she wanted to save every cat and she finds it very difficult to euthanise cats even though she mentioned the cat might be suffering.

This made me think - what is compassion? A woman is causing some caregivers in another area a lot of problems. I spoke with one of the caregivers today and she said that this woman keeps dumping cats in their housing estate. The woman constantly brings home cats from other areas, keeps them for a while, does not sterilise them, and then when she cannot cope, abandons them. This means the caregivers are then stuck with the problem. She does not want to sterilise even though the caregivers are offering to do it for her - and only after a lot of badgering did she allow them to sterilise one cat yesterday.

The reason this woman gave? Compassion for the cats. She said she cannot bear to see them suffer outside, so she brings them home, but then she cannot cope, and they get dumped outside, where in all likelihood the town council will round them up because there are so many of them all of a sudden.

So ironically, compassion kills sometimes - in one case to prevent suffering, and in the other case, because the person just does not care about the outcome of their actions. Again, I think the thing to always consider as the paramount consideration is the cat's welfare. It's not about making you feel good - ie I'm so compassionate, I care about these cats. To paraphrase John F Kennedy, it's not about what the cats can do for you, it's about what you can do for the cats. Or to paraphrase another American President, "It's about the cats, stupid!" :)

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