All Creatures Great and Small
Opinion by Rev. Jean Taloa
Living here on Molokai, we are all aware of the over-population of the feral cats. We see them everywhere we go in town, along the highways and in the woods. My heart goes out to each one of them knowing that they are hungry and suffering. Have you ever gone to sleep hungry, not knowing if you will find food tomorrow or the next day? Most people say, “Oh, well let them catch mice.” It’s a scientific fact that one cat has to catch 22 mice a day just to survive. They only eat the heart and lungs, according the Animal Planet channel.
Molokai desperately needs a spay/neuter catch and release program to help keep the animal population down. A catch/spay/neuter/release program wouldn’t do much to help today’s feral cats, but over time their numbers would great decrease. If you are interested in helping, please call the Molokai Humane Society at 558-0000. They need help locating pockets of feral cats and dogs and there will be a training program for volunteers on Oahu in November.
It’s common practice to dump unwanted animals on the east end to fend for themselves. Would you take a two-year-old child you no longer want out to the ends and to fend for himself?
The life span of a hungry, abandoned, unloved animal is only a short time but it is a miserable and sad life. A dog or goat feels pain when he is kicked or beaten just as we would feel pain. There are also many tame house cats whose owner has moved off-island or died. These pets would make excellent companions for a kind-hearted animal lover.
Our animals are a gift from God. They are only on loan to us. We will be judged on how well we can care for and love this gift. Psalm 1:36-25: “He gives food to every living creature. His love continues. And so, we too must learn to be God-like and care for all the creatures, great and small.”
The following is part of a poem published in the Family Circle Magazine in 1934 by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, called “The Tramp Cat.”
Poor little beggar cat, hollow-eyed and gaunt
Creeping down the street and through the woods like a ghost of want.
Kecked and beat by thoughtless people bent on cruel play.
What a sorry life you lead, whether night or day…
Shrinking at the outstretched hand, knowing only blows.
Wretched little beggar cat, born to suffer woes.
Tortured, teased and chased by dogs through the lonely night…
Dying in the street at last, starved to death at that,
Picked up by the scavengers — poor tramp cat.