We continue to work with our cat, Nori, who, as I wrote in an earlier post, we adopted from a shelter. They had found her as she left a wooded area and when we adopted her she was terrified of pretty much everything, especially men. She is still alarmingly skittish, especially when I put on my winter coat. This morning she bolted and hid when I did so.
We’ve had her four months now and much has improved. She is a little less food focused, asks for play and brushing, and seeks us out for company when she is lonely or bored. She still cringes when she thinks she has done something wrong so we are uber careful not to scold her. We still can’t pick her up without terrifying her, but she is now comfortable pushing away our hands when she does not want touch. Last night she allowed Jennie to sit with her and pet her while she was curled up in my recliner, her new favorite chair.
We and the vet are reasonably certain she was in a home where she was mistreated before she was dumped in the woods. We wonder whether the persons who rejected her knew she was pregnant. In any event, she had finished lactating by the time she was caught and shows all the signs of a conically malnourished animal who was physically abused.
We’ve had her long enough to have learned she is playful, keenly intelligent, and good, if sometimes distant, company. We are smitten.
I simply cannot fathom why anyone would abuse an animal. Nor can I comprehend how so many property owners, large and small, make their lives and land inaccessible to wildlife. The world is shrinking at an unprecedented pace, both as technology links us, and as human encroachment in the landscape destroys habitat and food sources for many species. The result is an almost unfathomable decline in the populations, resilience, and diversity of most species.
I believe all creatures have the same right to thrive on the planet as us humans, at least as long as they don’t over indulge in our garden or threaten the integrity of our bodies and house. Today the incessant greed and indifference that characterizes so much of the current epoch is weighing mightily on me, all the more so as I see no sign we are, collectively, inclined to change our ways. It remains inconceivable to me that so many fail to understand our fate is interwoven with that of the Earth’s ecosystems, and ecosystems are dependent on complex relationships between climate, plants, and animals for stability. Those relationships are not frayed and extensively threatened.
Chances are that if you are reading this post this is not news to you; nor is the increasingly desperate state of the non-human world, as well as of many marginalized human communities. That we humans are exhibiting the behaviors that characterize overly stressed mammals is no solace, for we will need compassion, empathy, and generosity if we are to avoid multi-system collapse.
This morning I awoke sad and alarmed; this madness is all to painful. Fortunately, we were able to pick up coffees and head to the river. Sitting in the car, listening to early season bird song and enjoying the reflections on the still surface of the gently flowing water was a relief, a balm. Of course, also sitting with us was the knowledge that such moments are increasing endangered. Knowing that all this harm is the stuff of prophecy is not much consolation.