I should have named my cats Lucky, Fortunate, and Charmed. All three were rescued from stray-dom, and now live a dry, protected, well-fed, and healthy existence. They receive regular scruffing, head pets, and belly rubs if they so choose. There is no chance that, as they lay in a sun puddle by the window, anything dire will happen. My cats even have an outdoor room built just for them so they can go out to watch the birds and roll in the dirt, despite the sideways looks from my neighbors, some of whom still think the catio is a chicken coop.
So, when I encounter stray cats like this sweet, little black kitty, I feel sadness and shame. Sadness because I can tell she’s not getting the health care she needs, or the best nutrition, or shelter from the heat or rain. As far as I know, she’s the only kitty who lives in this culvert, at this gas station, in this wealthy, gated neighborhood area in San Antonio, Texas. Shame because my cats live the feline equivalent life of the 1%. (And do they KNOW how lucky they are?!)
Black kitty could be considered lucky among the feral and stray cats. I asked the gas station attendant who tended to her, and was told that she gets plenty of food and water from the kind people who work there, and from people in the nearby neighborhood. That’s good. There are many, many people who care about animals. And this black kitty is a true feral. She would not respond with purring to a scruff on the head, even if you could approach any closer than about 8 feet.
I can’t possibly help every kitty in the world. I understand that change comes one kitty at a time. I also know that this black kitty’s story plays out in thousands of culverts, parking lots and abandoned buildings all over the country, and that not every kitty is faring as well as this San Antonio gas station kitty. I try not to be overwhelmed, and give my support where I can.
Here’s a scruff for all kitties, everywhere.