“Being a family member means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” – Lisa Weed
It was the 24th of August, 2017 – a very special day for Ukrainian people. And also it was the day when I found one more family member. It’s the day when we celebrate our Independence. My girlfriend and I were coming back from the main square in Kyiv, where we celebrated the event with thousands of others, to our home. The path was through the park. The weather was bleak, and it started to rain once we entered the park. And even though trees were protecting us from the liquid threat that could cause us flu, we still felt iced drops and cold wind in our bones.
Suddenly, we heard a strident moaning. We looked around and realized that the moaning was coming from the bushes. I leaned forward to take a glance at the creature making this kind of noise. You won’t believe, but it was a tiny kitten that could fit in the palm of my hand. It was completely black with eyes full of fear and distrust. I took it in my arms, trying to make a small miracle warm as it could not stop crying and shaking. I did not bring Baguette (the name of a found kitten) to the shelter. Instead, I made her a family member.
Family member abandoned to die
When we found her, it was evident that she wasn’t born by one of the homeless cats. She looked healthy, nails were cut, the skin was soft, and she had no fleas. It seemed that someone has just thrown the poor thing away like garbage in the bin. It had to challenge the destiny and most probably die without shelter, food
I understand that the financial situation of many Ukrainians is difficult. Some individuals struggle to provide for themselves and their families. And it is definitely an issue to take care of pets. Money is needed for food, vaccinations, surgeries, sacks of kitty litter, toys, and many other things to make sure they are healthy and happy. However, I do not understand why often people treat animals (or pets) as inanimate objects? Why people make animals suffer because of their human problems? Why do not try to find another home for the family member they can’t afford anymore?
In France (I talk about France because I witnessed the following in this country), people often leave their dogs strapped to trees in parks or forests. They do this because of different reasons: moving to another place, going for a long vacation, having financial problems, or just getting tired of their unhealthy or not so pretty pets. The animals are tied so they can’t follow their owners.
As a result, these animals are left to die without shelter. But the sadness in their eyes is not because of the lack of food or water. The sadness is because of the incomprehension of the situation. Pets fail to understand what they could have possibly done to be betrayed by people they trusted the most.
Some people say that dogs are best friends of humans. But I would disagree with the statement that humans are best friends of dogs. I see many videos on Youtube and Facebook when dogs are left in the car with closed windows during a scorching day. Or there are videos of some jerks being violent towards animals (beating them or even killing them online!).
In some countries eating cats and dogs is a part of the culture and traditions. “And what about cows or sheep?” – You may ask. Well, that’s a kind of another story. And I do not want to talk about other types of animals in this article in order to make my point clearer about pet animals.
Anyhow, In my opinion, the way relationships between human and pet animal, or between human and “family member,” have developed in the 21st century is a huge social problem. Every social issue has a solution, but I struggle to understand what solution could be applied here. There are already thousands of shelters around the globe, including shelter in Ukraine, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers ready to find and help abandoned animals. There are individuals and organizations donating money to support those shelters. But the problem is human nature. Until people understand that animals can also have feelings and rights, nothing can be changed.
Animals, our smaller friends, are also entitled to have their right to live as they have been on this planet since the existence of humanity. They depend on humans a lot and trust us every time we provide them food and shelter. They can’t express their emotions and pain with words and definitely can’t tell us, “Please, don’t leave me on the streets to die.”
But it does not mean that we should take advantage of our superiority over them because we are stronger and smarter. No! We should use our superiority to embrace them and make them feel safe even if we have no money. You don’t need money to bring an abandoned pet to the shelter or the nearest vet clinic. And you definitely do not need money to make them warm in your hands for just a little bit.
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