So, today hasn't really been a good day. To start it off, Jason and I went over to SIUC to pay his tuition for this semester, in which we discovered that the fees had spiked so enormously that his fees alone were close to double his actual tuition costs. This is maddening. Luckily, our tax return came in last week, so we had the good fortune to have that much money in the bank.
That money is gone now.
There was a happy little middle part of the day where Jason made some amazing food with our Lick Creek beef, cooked in burgers with onions and there was spinach and corn relish and frankly, a lot of delicious things going on. We took a nap, it was a nice afternoon.
We went for a walk, which is where things kind of change.
The first part of the walk was fine; I got some really good pictures, which normally I would put up here or something, but. But.
I had a picture up, a few days ago, that showed the view of the little wooded area that houses our neighborhood from the nearby field. The place where the country road meets the trees is, we are finding more and more, a popular place to dump your animals when you don't want them anymore.
For the lucky ones, there are some people down the street from us who feed strays, pay to neuter them (you can get cheap vouchers), and take care of them (the cats become less their strays and more free-range pets). The unlucky ones, however, don't make it that far down the road.
There's a little white dog we've been watching, for about a week. He stays in the same grassy spot by the road, but does not go into the road. He will growl, raise his hackles, bark, and eventually run away if anyone tries to go near him. But he always lays in the same spot, watching the same part of the road. I am guessing he's waiting for his people to come back and get him.
I don't think his people are coming back.
I've been able to inch closer and closer to him every time I see him. I'm working on it. If I can get him over to me, we can get him to a shelter. Even if they put him down, that is better than starving to death, alone, waiting for people to come for him who threw him out. Or being caught by the coyotes that sometimes roam back that way. I'm worried, but nothing I have tried thus far will get him to come over.
Although that dog is not the subject of what's bothering me today.
Today, on our way back, we saw a kitten on a log nearby. He was a beautiful ginger tabby with these absolutely gorgeous amber eyes. He was a few months old, but definitely not grown. He cried at us (you know that 'look at me' cry cats have) and scrambled off the log and ran right to us, rubbing on our ankles and purring hard.
Jason and I went to pet him and noticed there was something wrong with his back legs; he wasn't walking exactly right. And he was bony; light as air, barely weighed a thing to pick up.
The skin on his back legs was scraped off, infected. There was a nasty infection in his private parts, too. But he wouldn't leave us, and we don't leave living things who need help. So I took him off to a little pull-around just off the farmer's field and Jason went to get the car.
While we waited, the kitten and I got to know each other a bit. He 'talked' to me the same way our cat does: chirping, enthusiastic, willing to answer me every time I spoke. He rubbed on me nonstop, purred up a storm. I kept petting him as cars drove past; the people would slow down to gawk but no one stopped.
Jason came back with a little cup of food (which our newfound friend attacked with some serious desperation) and the cat carrier. We loaded him in and drove him to the Humane Society. Yes, they euthanize, but none of the no-kill shelters around here are taking cats ever as far as I've been able to tell.
They were pretty nice there: I was teary and not exactly calm about it, but we filled out the form and watched them take him into the back. Then we came back, and I'm here trying to calm down now, petting my cat and thinking to myself that they will probably put him down, he was pretty badly infected. And wishing that someone would let me be alone in a room for half an hour with the people who dumped him out there. Half an hour's all I need.
What I don't understand, what I will never understand, is that we human beings are responsible, directly, for the state of these domesticated animals today. We are the reason so many breeds of dog cannot survive on their own. We are the reason that so many cats are declawed or don't know how to hunt. We did that to them, methodically, over centuries of purposeful training and breeding. These animals are our responsibility.
Why do we treat them like disposable toys?
I realize I usually put pictures up to break up the text. I'm sorry. Today there aren't any pictures, just me wishing I could have done more, than we could have afforded to keep him and get him treated, that we could have kept him. I spent the ride to the Humane Society trying to figure out if there was some way we could have managed it.
I am just so angry right now.