A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Being Kind to Animals

Posted on: January 19, 2015

cat relaxing in shoebox

My senior cat, Skittles, relaxing in a shoebox

This morning found me at the vet clinic with two of my pets: my dog, to see whether her ear drops were working, and my senior cat, to find out why he’s losing weight.

Pets have always been part of my life, and I value the companionship and the fun they bring to my life. And so I can’t understand why people would mistreat their pets.

A few months ago, someone abandoned a cat at the end of my parents’ driveway—and not for the first time. The vet could only estimate that this malnourished black kitten was four months old.

It took a day or two for my parents to catch Midnight, as my father dubbed her, and get her under a vet’s care. A few days after her rescue, as we were all working to find her a forever home, we learned that Midnight had passed away during the night.

Even as I write this, I still feel angry that someone could abandon this helpless animal where she was likely to starve, die of exposure or become a predator’s meal.

We read in Genesis 1* that God created the birds, fish and all other creatures and gave us dominion over them. But the scriptures also tell us that kindness to animals matters to God:

  • He calls us to return lost animals: “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him” (Exodus 23:4).
  • He tells us to help struggling animals: “If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, you shall…help him to lift it up” (Exodus 23:4).
  • He reminds us to give rest to our animals: “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest….”(Exodus 23:12).
  • He wants to take care of our animals: “A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).

The many veterinarians, groomers and rescue volunteers who help domestic and wild animals others have hurt or abandoned put the human in humane. I pray that more of us would follow their example and treat animals with kindness.

(*Scripture reference and quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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