We can’t keep them safe

Posted by on August 1, 2012

Today one of the deaf lady’s strays got hit by a vehicle right outside our driveway. I went over to her house to let her know and she followed me. When she saw the kitty, lying still on the road, she cried out, gently scooped it up, and carried it home.

How does she bear it? She must see this all the time. She cares for a lot of cats, so, while there are lots of births of new kittens, there must also be lots of deaths as well.

This woman feeds all the strays in the neighborhood. The strays run from everyone else, but they know her. They gather around her, snaking their way in and around her legs. They know when feeding time is and congregate outside her doors in expectation. There are cats that look hearty and well, cats that look skinny and mangy, cats that have goopy eyes, there are the kittens who soon learn to run and hide. I no longer see the blind cat, but he lived a remarkably long time outside in spite of being blind. The deaf woman loves all these cats, that is plain to see.

We also cared for an outside feral cat for a few years. But I didn’t think I could take the stress and worry anymore I wanted to keep D’Ni safe. I didn’t want to find her lying on the street. So we gave her no choice and, in spite of her howls, inside she came.

But can we ever keep them safe? We can’t. Even indoor cats die. And it is hard to see that. We can eliminate some dangers, but we cannot eliminate death. Death is part of a great circle.

By Rev. Andrew Linzey in his book, Animal Rites: Liturgies of Animal Care

Pilgrim God
who journeys with us
through the joys and shadows
of this world

 be with us
in our sorrow
and feel our pain;

help us to accept the mystery of death
without bitterness
but with hope.

Among the shadows
of this world,
amid the turmoil of life
and the fear of death

you stand alongside us,
always blessing, always giving
arms always outstretched.

For this we know:
every living thing is yours
and returns to you.

As we ponder this mystery
we give you thanks
for the life of (Name)
and we now commit him/her
into your loving hands.

Gentle God:
fragile is your world,
delicate are your creatures,
and costly is your love
which bears and redeems us all.

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