Many people become involved in animal welfare because they don’t like humans much. No offense to any of you, but homo sapiens is not my favorite species.
It is also common for people who have worked in animal welfare for a long time to say that they like people even less as time goes by. Presumably because they see more of the horrible ways people can treat non-human animals.
But, after 12 years of doing this, I like people more than before. How can this be?
Here’s my secret: I started with very low expectations. The truth is that I didn’t expect to find much good in my fellow humans. And, while I have seen my share of cruelty and neglect, I have also seen an amazing amount of human kindness.
We have had many cats who we “knew” would be with us forever, due to medical or behavioral issues. But we’ve been amazed again and again by … well, humans.
People have adopted paraplegics, diabetics, unfriendly, ugly and otherwise “unadoptable” cats. I started to make a list, but, frankly, it would be too long for a blog post. Instead, let me just tell you about the most recent example.
A few months ago, a series of unfortunate circumstances led two senior feline citizens to Tabby’s Place. Zachary and Patches were 19 years old. Admittedly, they were in great shape for that age, but 19 is pretty ancient for a cat.
We welcomed them and moved them into the Lobby, where they could get more human attention, space and food (think of First Class on an airline). Within a week, however, two volunteers fell in love with the two old felines and decided to give them permanent homes.
Thanks to volunteers C and P, these two old-timers are comfortably ensconced in loving homes. And, my opinion of homo sapiens has ratcheted up one more notch.