The first time a cat taught me was a lesson was back in 1995. I was living in my first apartment by myself in El Paso. There was a stray cat that would visit the apartment complex every morning. I hardly ever saw it at night. I have never been a cat lover. I am however an animal lover. Each morning I would pour my leftover milk from my breakfast in this cute little bowl outside my front door.
I don’t know who complained but obviously someone did. I came home one afternoon and I saw the stray cat in the animal control van. The animal control officer was waiting outside my door. As I approached, she started writing a ticket for me. I learned that if you feed a stray cat, it becomes your cat. I had apparently adopted this cat without even knowing it. The nice lady gave me a ticket and told me to stop feeding stray cats.
I thought the ticket was funny and proceeded to forget about it. I came home during the summer break to East Texas. People laughed at my story of getting in trouble for not having a cat on a leash. I returned home and went on with my carefree college life. I never thought about the cat again until one cold night the following winter.
I pulled up to the military base and the officer randomly asked to see my id. He returned shortly and told me that there was a warrant for my arrest from El Paso County. I was so confused. They held me until the police from El Paso came and got me. They were nice to me and allowed me to call my dad. I told my dad over and over again that I had no idea what the warrant was for and there must be a mistake.
When I got to the substation, my dad was already there. I didn’t have to stay long since my dad had already paid for everything. To my surprise my dad wasn’t mad. He was as shocked as I was to find out that I had a warrant for not having a cat on a leash. We laugh about that story and for some reason my dad loves telling it. I never knew animal control tickets were real tickets. I guess I was just too young and dumb to realize it. Glad that cat taught me that lesson.
After my first encounter with cats, I haven’t dealt with cats since until recently. A stray cat had kittens in my garage. My first instinct was to take the cats to the pound. I couldn’t do it because I knew they would be put down. I let them stay and this past week I woke up to about 100 flea bites. I had to call an exterminator, go to the doctor, and I missed a day of work because of it. I was furious and in a lot of pain. I vowed to never ever deal with cats again.
I posted pictures of the cats on an online garage sale site and to my surprise I got rid of them in one day. I decided to give them a bath for the new owners. As I gave them a bath I saw dozens of fleas on the kittens. It made me so sad. I was miserable after spending one night with fleas and these poor kittens probably never knew what it was like to live without fleas. The kittens behaved so well while I was bathing them. They loved it. Afterwards they laid down so nicely as I dried them off. I swear they were trying to say to thank you.
I felt so bad for the kittens. I wish I had given them baths sooner. Another lesson learned. I was so happy to see the little kittens snuggle up to their new owners. I felt proud. I am very happy that I didn’t take the kittens to the pound. However, if this should ever happen again, I will take the steps to make sure the kittens don’t suffer.
Just because you don’t necessarily like a particular person, animal, group, etc; doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about them or try to see things from their point of view. Another good reminder taught to me by cats.
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