Saturday, September 1, 2007

Positive Parenting

I was sitting on my porch today, when one of my cats (Sarel "Runs Like Rabbit") jumped down into the garden. A few minutes later, I saw him eating something, along with a little girl and her mother standing by and watching quietly. Assuming that not everyone understands a cat's nutritional needs, I asked the little girl what she had fed him, and she answered, "Leftover chicken." Proteins are fine for cats, though they prefer it raw and I can't vouch for the recipe her mother had used; I thanked her on behalf of my cat, who was busy scarfing down the unexpected treat.

The little girl, a confident and friendly five or six year old, seeing that I was officially owned by Sarel, explained that she had seen him touring the neighborhood, and was wondering why he didn't have a tail like other cats. I told her the story of how I found him (run over), how he had surgery and not only lived through it, but has thrived significantly since. She then said that she liked feeding cats on the street, she liked sharing their family's food. The whole time, her mother stood by, observing our conversation, and I can only assume that it was her mother who packed the bag of leftovers for her daughter to distribute.

I have witnessed other occasions, most specifically the children of the Ultra Orthodox set, shouting, throwing rocks and kicking street cats, or dogs whose owners have let them out for some fresh air. Apparently the theory states that cats and other common household pets are not "Kosher" (Edible for religious Jews) and therefore cannot be owned, and nor should they be treated with any respect as a living being. Because G-d created all beings, but those that do not stand on two legs and can understand the Torah, and are worthy of being consumed, deserve less.

When I go out to feed the street cats in my area, I often pass an older Israeli man, who thanks me for showing these animals kindness, and will bless me and say, "A person who treats animals with love has love in their heart for all beings." Those who abuse animals most probably don't treat their human counterparts much better.

I can only hope that when I have children, they turn out like this sweet, loving girl I met today, in the way that she treats both human and feline; her parents have obviously given her a proper education, and I commend them for it.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

That's really sweet; thanks for sharing.