I Corinthians 13:13 (King James Bible)
One evening last month, our friend, Maria Soroski, called us to ask for our help. She was on her way down to the Grandview Cut, where trains run occasionally through the East Side of Vancouver, to try to trap a small, black cat who had been spotted wandering along the track-bed. Maria wanted us to stay up on the bridge above the tracks with our binoculars and one of her walkie-talkies, to warn her of any approaching rail traffic, while she and another friend set their traps below. We were official train-spotters.
People being what they are - social and curious - the exercise attracted a number of passersby. One young woman stopped to ask what we were doing, and the Tall Lady told her the story.
"Why don't you worry about homeless people," the woman snapped, "instead of wasting all of your time and money on useless, fucking cats!" At the best of times, Sheral is not confrontational, so she just stood, open-mouthed and silent, as the woman stalked away, emitting streams of indignant smoke from her lug-'oles.
A few months before, I read a column in one of our national newspapers. The correspondent eloquently derided the the work of those ubiquitous animal rescue groups (all of which, incidentally, are exclusively comprised of psychotic, lonely, single women of middle age, each of whom hoards hundreds of sick, fertile, feral cats in her single-wide trailer), which are funneling away resources that would be better used in caring for sick children.
There is drought in Africa. Crops fail, and famine is the result. Surely that is a more reasonable direction for our compassion!
Sometimes, we believe that things are either/or. There are two choices, and we are in or out, on or off, pro or anti...black or white. This is most especially true when we are measuring the actions of others. If they embrace one cause, they must, of necessity, reject all others.
By the same logic, the carrot sticks I ate last night would make me a vegan, and the milk I poured over my Rice Krispees this morning makes me a hypocrite. I hope that neither is true.
I am proud of my friends involved in VOKRA, as I am proud of all of you who try to give until the hurting stops. Our capacity for charity is not limited to any one arena, it goes as generously as we can afford, and as deeply as we can care. And I'm not trying to disorient your moral compass - you know best who is in need and how deep to reach.
I'm only saying that this is one of my concerns, and asking that you consider adding it to your long list.
Thank you again, friends - be well.
To donate to
The Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association