A homeless cats shelter in the Vojvodina region of Serbia
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Lonely Life of a Lonesome Girl
Dumping a pet cat on the street is irresponsible, unacceptable and despicably cruel; abandoning a pet in places where it’s known that someone is feeding cats doesn’t make that disgraceful and cold act any better. In contrast to feral cats, which were
born into that lifestyle and know how to forage and survive, dumped and abandoned pet kitties become confused, frightened and depressed; their chances of survival are usually pretty slim. Animal rescuers must be getting hoarse from repeating
the same story of responsible ownership over and over again, yet public awareness of animal welfare issues is not easy to elevate and consequently, progress is painfully slow.
The real problem arises when a lost or
abandoned cat is not spayed or neutered. In addition to losing their homes, safety and sources of food, these once loved animals are forced to fend for themselves and scramble to learn how to survive on their own. As their contact with humans dwindles, they
become shy, distrustful and fearful and are often almost impossible to catch. Unwanted mothers give birth to unwanted kittens that must learn to be cautious and to not trust people in order to survive. All of them end up trapped in a continuous, vicious
cycle of misery and suffering. Sadly, these youngsters’ chances of being socialized and adopted into good homes are literally zero.
Flekica was born not far from my building, in a shared neighborhood yard, about 15 years ago.
Her mother was a black stray that had a home once, but her owners used to let her outside to roam around freely and when she got pregnant, they simply dumped her. She gave birth to four kittens, Flekica amongst them, but just two short months later the
mother and three of her kittens were brutally killed by a pack of dogs. Flekica was the only survivor. What saved her, I guess, was her extreme distrustfulness, wariness and vigilance.
She couldn’t be
approached, not even at an early age. She was always on her own, shunning people, jumping at every sound, hiding and fleeing from danger in a flash. At one point, she became aware of my cats, she learned their feeding schedule in due course and would
come around to eat at the same time each day. Nonetheless, she still trusted no one, and used to flinch whenever I made a sudden move. Up to the present time, she hasn’t changed, although it’s been more than 15 years now…
Flekica has never expressed any desire to be stroked or touched, but surprisingly, she allows me to pick her up when necessary and even cuddles while in my arms. She sometimes follows me around and is usually very talkative when she wants something. She has a chronic eye problem, probably due to malformation of the tear duct; one of her eyes is constantly tearing but the discharge is clear and it’s been like this forever. With more than 15 years of living close to a human, conditionally speaking, we
haven’t succeeded in softening her distrustful attitude towards people; for the life of her, she won’t approach any strangers. But when there are no guests at the shelter, when everything is quiet as it should be, when tranquility embraces us all, she seems
content, calm and relaxed, living the lonely life she wants, always on her own…