Yesterday as I was preparing more nectar for the hummingbird feeders, a Bible verse popped into mind: Proverbs 12:10: “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.”
I was wondering — could you classify a hummingbird as a “beast”? and even if you could, it isn’t MY beast. But the little guys have been coming into my yard since the honeysuckle opened up a couple of weeks ago, so I dug out the hummingbird feeder and cooked up a batch of nectar. (And I don’t understand why people BUY this — It is simply 1/4 C. sugar dissolved in one cup of boiling water. Can’t get much simpler or cheaper than that!)
Anyway, it got me to thinking about taking care of the animals. Two weeks ago, for instance, Lop Ear started to limp. What on earth?? It was just slight at first but after a few days became pronounced. I tried to feel his back leg to see if there was anything obvious like a lump or a bite mark, but he pulled away and I agreed to just let him be. By Friday, I decided he needed to go to the vet. And, of course, it was Friday before the 3-day weekend. Isn’t that always the way? I called and found they would be open Monday so I made an appointment.
Monday morning after breakfast, acting really casual, I pulled out the cat carrier and set it on a dining room chair. Then I went out and picked up Lop Ear, explaining to him in a very soothing voice that we were going to see the doctor who would make him all better.
Once he saw the carrier, Lop Ear had other ideas — it took some manhandling, but I finally managed to stuff him in and secure the door. He did that howl that cats do — a most unnerving sound. I continued making soothing noises to no avail as I lugged the carrier out to the car. (He weighs 20 pounds). Just as I was ready to set it on the seat, he made a valiant lunge and managed to snap the door open — and he was gone! G-O-N-E, gone. Through the hedge and over the wall into the neighbor’s yard.
I cajoled and cooed, but as soon as I got anywhere near, he took off. He sure could move fast for a cat with a bum leg. I watched in dismay as he darted into the (thank heaven car-less) street and slithered through the fence into another yard — no mean feat for a cat shaped like a bowling ball.
Bottom line — he got better all by himself. No vet needed. When I related this all to my friend Suzy in Houston, she said that sometimes cats will limp to get attention. Well, maybe so but that cat gets plenty of attention. Let me tell you, when a 20 pound fur bowling ball lands in your lap, it gets your attention mighty fast!
So I figure I saved $75 on that little proposition which made me happy and Lop Ear is just fine, thank-you-very-much.
But that brings me back to the beasts who evidently don’t have a person to look after them. Like the twin black kitties who have been showing up here at dinner time, looking for a hand-out. As I pulled out of the driveway last night on the way to a party, I saw them slowly sidling up to the water bowl that I now keep out front and where I occasionally put a handful of kibble. No kibble tonight, kitties, I thought with a slight pang of guilt. They’re not my kitties — nor is the larger black cat who shows up occasionally.
Who is caring for those beasts? Is there a righteous person out there giving them food and water and a warm place to sleep at night? And please, don’t look at me — I already have four cats and an assortment of hummingbirds. That is more than enough for anyone, righteous or not.