I don’t have a name. People call me “just a stray.”
I didn’t choose this life of hardship — no animal would. I’ve never had a loving home. No door has opened wide. No friendly voice has called out to me to come inside. I’ve never played with a toy or had a windowsill to lie on and enjoy the sun.
Day after day I just try to survive. With a heavy heart and weary paws, I walk the streets all alone. I walk in pouring rain, scorching heat and freezing cold. My paws long for soft grass. I dream of a warm, cozy bed but wake every day to cold, unforgiving concrete.
I am shunned and ignored. Some people avoid my eyes so they don’t have to see my pain. Others look and walk away or cross the street to avoid me. Don’t they hear my sorrowful cries? No one stops to gently pat me. I feel like an object, a piece of trash.
I am slowly starving. When I wake up in the morning, I never know if I’ll find anything to eat that day. There isn’t enough to hunt. A garbage can is my dinner plate. It’s hard to find clean water and I’m so thirsty.
I ache with pain. Mean people chase me away from their trash cans with brooms or hit me with stones. I dodge kicks that come my way. They think I’m a nuisance and nothing but a scruffy stray. I have no one to comfort me when I’m hurt or sick.
I live every day in fear. There are so many dangers here — crowds, passing cars and disease. I’ve learned to hide behind bushes and in empty doorways. I have nobody to calm me when I’m scared. I will likely die here and I’m afraid.
I am ashamed. My fur is dirty and matted. I feel ugly. I long for someone to tell me that no matter what I look like, they think I’m beautiful and important.
I need your help, not your pity. I am one of God’s creatures, just like you. I am someone, not something. I am homeless but I’m not worthless. I deserve a chance to live a happy life.
I have feelings, thoughts and dreams but no one cares. I hope that God sends me a kind person with gentle hands who cares enough to rescue me — a person who will look into my eyes and glimpse my soul behind them, and who will see the special boy I’d like to be. I need a person who will tell me, “Don’t worry. You will be safe now, dry and warm and have enough to eat.”
I dream that one day my spirit will be restored so I can purr again. I dream that I will have a place to call home and a loving family to call my own. And I dream that one day I will have a name. My name will be used in joy and I will love the sound of it.
Mother Teresa said that “Being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” Would you ignore a child wandering the streets alone with no food and no hope? A stray animal is just as vulnerable as any child.
If you see a stray cat, call the Nova Scotia SPCA immediately (toll-free: 1-844-835-4798) so they can help. There are so many poor animals out there that need us. Every life is just as precious as the next. Please don’t pass by an animal in need. Sometimes the difference between life and death is you.