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Ever walked past a sick or injured animal?
I assume most people have. And with the average person it invokes a momentary feeling of compassion. Of course if we could, we’d do something to help. But most of us can’t be bothered.
There’re too many reasons not to help. And in a brief moment they fill our conscious. I don’t have time to deal with this. I wish I could, but I need to get to work. And even if I helped it, I couldn’t risk getting my clothing dirty. What would I do? Bring it home? I don’t have the space. My spouse would probably hate that. I don’t think we could offer it long-term care. Maybe a day. Maximum. And what would I really be able to do for it anyway? I’m not a vet. I’ll probably just make things worse.
The list of thoughts dismissing our ability to help is endless.
But For Me, It’s Different
So we don’t. And we stop thinking about it almost immediately. We move on with our lives, never looking back to wonder what happened to the kitten with the thorn in its paw or the dog stuck in the fence. Our lives continue to move forward and we have no choice but to move forward with them.
The next minute is already a new day.
That’s how it is for most people.
But that’s not the person I married.
I married the girl who wants to take in every abandoned kitten, every confused wandering puppy, and every bird with a damaged wing. And I think I’m finally starting to realize how deep it goes, and to appreciate it for what it is.
I Move on with My Day
Naturally, I fall into the other category. Yeah, I’ve tried to get a seemingly homeless dog to follow us back to our apartment so we can take care of it. But it never seems to work, and once it walks away from me, I move on with my day. Hey, there’s a lot going on in life. It’s hard to put tons of time into some stray beast that is more than happy to rummage through garbage for a bite to eat. My mind instantly becomes preoccupied with everything from looking for a solutions to a work problem to where should we live to the subtleties of the plot of the Barbie Movie.
And the dog becomes a distant memory.
Maybe it’s an effective defense mechanism. It keeps me safe from complex and damaging feelings of guilt or even inadequacy, since I failed to lure a hungry creature to my home. And I’m far too busy to even consider being stressed about something else.
And I move on with my day. Fully and completely.
I Married the Girl Who Cares
But I come home everyday to a very different energy. An entirely different mindset.
The other day someone at work mentioned a kitten outside that was injured, abandoned, and doing very poorly. I went outside to check on it. The cute little thing was clearly fighting to survive, but wasn’t doing well at all.
Now I was faced with a dilemma.
I know I don’t have what it takes to save the little guy. Even if I could somehow summon the will and energy to help it out, I don’t have the knowledge. To be honest, I’m not really a cat person. Team dogs all the way!
So I really could have muttered to myself something about it being sad, and then walked back inside and immersed myself once again in my work.
I knew if Devorah knew about the kitten she’d panic. The drive and passion to find a solution would kick in, and she might even go so far as to drive out to where I was to pick it up and do what she could to make a difference.
I could have just not mentioned it. The thought crossed my mind.
But it would eat at me. It was a part of my day. And at some point it might slip out, and she’d wonder why I didn’t say anything. Which isn’t a great thing for any marriage.
Others Are Just Different
So we discussed the little thing and if there were anything in our power to help.
Ultimately someone stepped up to the plate, and as of this moment, the kitten’s alive. I can’t say for sure it’ll stay that way for much longer. Sadly, I think the odds are not in its favor.
But that’s not really what I’m writing about today.
There’s like a billion cats in this country. They’re born and die every single day. The world is filled with chaos, and I will not lose sleep over the fact that some cats have it pretty bad. I can’t. But that’s doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate what it means to have overwhelming compassion for them. All of them. Seriously, every single one of them.
I married the girl who cares.
When someone in my office reached out about the injured kitten, the response was… non existent.
Everyone kept on clicking away at their computers as if there weren’t a poor little creature dying right outside the walls.
And I don’t mean that as a criticism. The response is average. Reasonable.
I don’t know what’s going on in people’s hearts and minds. Some may have felt awful and a whole lot of compassion. And they could have just reasoned it away, because it’s not in their power, for whatever reason, to make a difference that day. And that’s OK. I’m certain every one of their explanations would have been extremely acceptable.
A Better Place
But I’m not here to criticize. I’m here to praise.
I sat there and looked around at a building of people who didn’t jump to save a kitten, and I smiled to myself and said, “I married the one who cares. I married the one who loves animals. I married the one who wants to save each and every one of them.”
We’ve mulled over the idea of getting a nice-sized home with a yard for the express purpose of being there for the animals of Israel who have no one. It’s a pipe dream at this time, but a dream nonetheless.
And we’re both on board.
Because I married the girl who cares. And I’m so happy I did.
And I’d love to watch her make Israel a better place, one kitten at a time.