Monday, March 26, 2007

11 o'clock feeding

I've just finished the 11:00 pm feeding of the kittens (I know I seem to have a one track mind at the moment, but it helps take my mind of the panic of Pesach cleaning and the worry of when my wife will give birth - and how we will organise a Pesach brit if we need one).
All I can say is that G-d is amazing! I know everything is from evolution, and kittens are the way they are because more of their ancestors survived being this little, helpless and cute than those who were big, ugly and self sufficient. I know that Dawkins, Gould and Douglas Adams would say that the G-d myth is just to make us feel better about ourselves (although according to two of those G-d and religion were the worst inventions of humanity). BUT still, when G-d made, or allowed to evolve, or formed or breathed life into, or whatever it is that He did, He did it very well. So tiny, completely helpless, yet they somehow survive in nature and continue to reproduce. (Was that an argument against G-d's involvement? Surely He could have done it better I hear you asking. Well just leave me alone. It is 11:00pm and I still have tons of work to do and another feeding in 3 more hours!)

Another thing I don't understand is how anyone could be cruel to these animals. The consensus from most people we asked yesterday was that we should just put these kittens back outside and leave them to die. Nature is supposed to be cruel, they probably won't survive anyway, Jerusalem doesn't need any more cats. These claims are all true, but still, how is it possible to not feel for these creatures?
What astounds me more is why religious kids are terrified of animals, and how the system raises them without any kind of awareness of sensitivity to animals or the mitzvah of tza'ar ba'alei chaim. If nothing else (and there is a lot else) at least my Avi has learnt from these kittens that he can't have his cornflakes in the morning before he gets the bottle and feeds the kittens. That is a big and important message for an 11 year old. It is a Halacha that is probably foreign to most kids, since they don't grow up with animals or any sense of what it means to care for a pet. I know there are many explanations and reasons, financial, halachic, cultural etc. most of them very valid. But it is a pity that nothing is being done to rectify the situation. Why is nobody giving animal awareness classes? Why do adults not interfere when they see children chasing after terrified little cats or dogs (or doing worse to them)? Why do parents not take their children to see animals and interact with them in different settings?

Just thinking while listening to the squeaking of two very cute (and very mortal) 2 day old kittens. I would like to show you a video of them, but the quality didn't come out very well, so instead I'll leave you with something entirely different, from Aish Hatorah (which really made me laugh) about what I should really be doing now instead of dealing with kittens:

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