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.)


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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