I don't know about you, but I've had a tough week. So if you too need your heart warmed, here you go: Two cat ladies and some monkey wranglers (with links, for those who'd like to make an for end-of-year donation):
Siglinda Scarpa of The Goathouse Refuge in Pittsboro, NC:
Lynea Lattanzio of Cat House on the Kings in Parlier, CA:
It's important to note that these women are not hoarders. These are not cats kept in filth, there's no dead cats in freezers. Cats at these facilities, if they are healthy and adoptable, are all up for adoption. If they aren't, they have a clean place to live where they can live out their days I haven't been to Cat House on the Kings, but I have been to the Goathouse Refuge, and it is not just a refuge for cats, but a place of calm. It's also immaculately clean. If you think you're going to walk around these fenced enclosures and step in cat poop, guess again. It takes an army of volunteers to keep these places clean and the cats healthy -- and a ton of money.
"But what about people? Isn't it better to help people in this economy?"
I'm not sure that one precludes the other. When I worked in New York City in the 1980's, I went through the World Trade Center every day for eight years. There was a homeless woman who always parked herself near the token booth at the E train terminus. Her name was Sharon. Sharon had a cat that she carried with her in her shopping cart wherever she went. On most days, you could see Sharon sitting on a blanket at that token booth, feeding that cat, often as not from a tin of Fancy Feast. The cat was always sleek and healthy-looking. I still think about her sometimes and wonder whatever happened to this woman who despite her own circumstances, always made sure that the one being that she could rely on to not torment her was cared for.
And now for something completely different: The Nosara Wildlife Rescue:
I would hope that those inclined to give to animal organizations at this time of year would eschew the envelopes full of address labels, holiday cards, and slick photos of sad-faced tragic animals -- organizations with millions of dollars in endowments and enough money to send these mailings, and focus on groups like these -- smaller rescues that put their donations towards care of the animals instead of fat executive salaries and payments to direct mail houses.