The cages are stacked floor to ceiling in a tiny postage-stamp sized room. Each cage was full, some with one cat, some with a mother and kittens. Each morning I’d go into the room to change the litter and feed the cats. In better times, the cages wouldn’t be full. But even when they were full, cats and kittens if healthy and sociable had a chance of adoption. Then I could let the cats out for a bit to stretch and socialize, some would let me brush them or clean their ears. But not these.
These cats were feral, picked up by the animal control officer for reasons I didn’t understand at the time. On this morning I went in and found several motionless kittens whose mothers had literally neglected them to death. Feral cats hate people, hate being in cages, won’t eat, won’t let you touch them. I had been bitten and scratched so many times my hands were a bloody mess. But I had to get the dead kittens out of the cages.
I begged the animal control officer to either euthanize the cats or spay them and let them go. No, and no. No is the only word he knows. He would make up reasons why we couldn’t help them. No we can’t euthanize them because “people will get mad.” No we can’t spay them because “the town won’t let us.”
It was on this day I finally figured out why he kept the cages full of unadoptable cats. I heard him on the phone telling a resident he couldn’t come pick up a stray cat “because we’re full.” The pure evil of this man hit me full force and I swore then and there if I ever got cancer I would name it after him. I took pictures of the cat room, listed everything that was wrong at the city pound with the dogs and cats, wrote a list of suggestions, prepared a speech. I made appointments with the city manager, the chief of police, and the mayor. They listened sympathetically but claimed they couldn’t get involved.
To those people who are dead set against euthanasia, I urge you to visit a city pound. If putting a wild animal so full of fear that she will let her own babies die while she rots away in a tiny prison isn’t worse than death, then you tell me what is.
Stephanie from Be Kind Rewrite provides five prompts on Inspiration Monday. I struggle with them woefully because I’m no writer of fiction. All I know is how to write the truth, which makes each story more depressing than the last. It’s not the prompts, which are always good—it’s me unable to fashion a story from them. I love fiction but writing it couldn’t be more foreign to me. I think this will be my last attempt.