Saturday, November 1, 2008
The sad cat
This is my Sophie cat. She's pretty awesome. Although, I've been working on clipping her claws... one paw at a time, with a day inbetween. She is NOT happy. I still have a paw left (back right) and a one claw on each left paw when she FREAKED out before I got them all. But, this post is not about Sophie, although it is about cats.
As social workers, we get taught to have boundaries. Not just the "don't have sex with your clients" boundaries, but emotional boundaries as well, so we don't take our work home with us. Sometimes that makes us seem a little hardened, but it's how we survive our jobs. And so, working at the shelter, I've gotten pretty used to seeing people in pretty bad life circumstances, and while it angers me, and is something I'm passionate about, it doesn't break my heart when I look out at the shelter.
Last week, I saw a cat by the dumpster where we park our vans, as I walked past, it ran and hide under the warm van. I didn't think too much of it, there are a lot of stray cats around, or cats that have simply gone for a walk and will return home. But, I kept seeing the cat each day, and it had the saddest look in it's eyes. Luckily (talk about amazing luck), one of the night staff runs a cat rescue during the day, so I went and talked to him about it. He told me he'll watch for it, and we took it out some food. He also said, if it keeps coming round, but won't approach us he'll get a trap. It turns out he's rescued two other cats from behind the building, he showed me pictures of them now, and they're both really pretty.
Many of my coworkers were of the opinion that I should let the cat freeze to death, that it would be better for it. I however did not agree. They reminded me to have boundaries, not to let things get to me, etc... but here's how I see it. It's okay to be upset about the cat. The cat is not a human. The cat is something different. It's helpless, it has no responsibility for it's situation. And it just looks so sad, and skinny, and scruffy. I can't take the homeless home, but I can try to look out for this little cat. (I'm not taking it home either, but still...I believe I've found it a home if we catch it and it is tame, not feral). Poor little thing...