God save the pets

I have, at turns, felt guilty about worrying so much about the dogs and cats affected by Katrina. But I can’t help it– it affects me really deeply to hear of people who had to leave their pets, to see footage of animals trapped by rising water. I think, for me, it is as if there is one well in my heart for the pain of people–and though it is full in these terrible times, there is another well of tears for animals. That sounds silly, I know, but it’s the only way I can describe it.

This post, from a very eloquent gay guy in New Orleans, totally made me cry–tears of joy this time. I have been known to observe that “the only good cat is a dead cat” but that’s mostly my allergies talking. I am really happy for this guy and the unsinkable Miss Kitty Lola of Nola:

[ sturtle.com ]
I look around and see that there’s not much damage. Some more small trees and shrubs are down in my neighbor’s yard. A handful of my potted plants have died. I walk back to the kitchen to get my duffel bag and start packing.

Then I see her: a long, low lump stretched across a side table. I take a step toward her and call out “Lola?”, but she doesn’t respond.

The pieces quickly fall into place: during the storm, the door to the study slammed shut, trapping her in the back of the house for nearly three weeks, a few crucial feet away from bowls of food and a tap that’s still dripping. Lola’s eyes are slits, green and lifeless. I call her name again, stroke her back, but nothing.

Without thinking, I say, “I’m sorry.” I keep repeating it: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Stand in those shoes for a second, then read the whole post… it turns out, amazingly, OK.