She is a black and white, semi-long hair cat who has been a member of my family for almost 14 years. Yes, I mean member of the family.
I am an animal lover. I can’t think of any animal I would consider as a lower life form. I just don’t think of them in that way. And as of March 2015, the government of New Zealand agreed with me, as it legally recognized animals as sentient beings and requires that any animal be treated with care for its physical, mental, and emotional well being, according to an article in Independent news. The article quotes Dr. Virginia Williams, Chair of the National Animals Ethics Advisory Committee.
“To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress,” Williams said.
The government promises to reassess uses of animals for testing purposes and find testing procedures that utilize nonliving subject or methods.
I say Hear, Hear! Our world is changing. In the past, animals were “used” by society for services, such as scaring away predators or carrying things. Over time, society has brought the dog in from the cold, so to speak, and given a place in the human heart. Not everyone, of course, feels as strongly as I do about treatment of animals. I cringe when I see a dog chained in the backyard, alone, and seldom attended to. I have a shirt that declares, “I’m sorry. I can’t. I have plans with my cat.” For me, there are no crazy cat ladies or bird nuts or silly animal people. So yes, I pay attention to my cat’s needs, not only feeding her and taking her to the vet for checkups, but spending quality time where we’re together playing with her favorite toy or she’s simply sitting on my lap and I’m enjoying the delightful sound of her purring.
Unlike many human relationships in which one party plays the subject and the other the object, our is a two-way relationship in which we both have value. Willow is not an object I can take or leave as I have the time.
I could tie in here my opinions about animals with my Fierce Hearts series about a colony of were-lynxes, but I don’t need to. This post is a simple celebration of all forms of life and an expression of gratitude to Willow for being a part of mine. But I will share a pic a friend pointed me to of a mother lynx and her kits because they’re so beautiful.
Share your thoughts?? Do you have a special animal friend? Leave a comment to enter a giveaway for a T-shirt or mug from my Fierce Hearts Cafe Press products. Feel free to share a pic of your animal family member or friend on my Facebook author page Facebook