November 2, 2013
My earliest memory of animals runs down to that night when my dad told me a bedtime story about this cow; she was grazing in the fields, all by herself, one fine sunny morning when she was attacked by a tiger. She pleaded to the tiger to let her go home and bid one last good bye to her calf; she promised that she would return for him to eat her. The tiger obliged and the cow lived up to her promise; and I? Well, I cried that entire night till my pillow could soak no more tears; I must have been around five or six years old.
I have loved animals ever since I can remember; and having a heart with a melting point like that of chocolate just adds to it! That said, I’ve never really been around animals much except when I went back home, to Mangalore – we’ve got dogs and cats. Other than that it was just the strays on my way to school or on my way back from church, perhaps. Just last year though it all changed; I started working with a publication house that supports animals in a big way and not just that, there are two cats that live in our office villa; Thomas and Princess have been around for a longer time than most of my colleagues . We even have fish, turtles and rabbits! My friends think I work at the zoo but I totally love it. It just makes the ambience so light and takes my mind off things; when I need a break from work I just play with the cats or watch the fish swim around in their tank; it’s soothing.
What I also love about this whole animal-friendly office set-up is that it has made me more sensitive to animals. It’s like they are my pets and believe me, loving animals is one thing but having your own pets is a totally different ball game; it’s beautiful how you learn so much about them - their likes and dislikes, their body language when they’re sad or happy, their behavior when they’re hungry; you gradually get used to their rhythms as they get used to yours. I believe everyone must have pets at least once in their life. I know it’s difficult especially when you live in flats and closed apartments but I believe there is a solution to this. We all see strays around our buildings, rummaging through garbage cans. Why not take responsibility for at least one stray; it doesn’t cost much. Sometimes we even waste food at home; maybe we could put that to better use.
I live in Bahrain and it’s amazing how so many people here strive to make the world a better place for animals in this small and beautiful island. We have Bahrain Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals and Tony The Dogfather who actually take care of strays and try and find homes for them. I interviewed a Bahraini lady, earlier this year; she feeds stray dogs in different areas of Bahrain and even offers them medical assistance if needed. Most five star hotels in Bahrain offer leftover food to Tony The Dogfather who uses it for the many animals under his care. Last but not the least, the publisher and editor of the magazine that I write for; she is an animal lover and that is an understatement. It’s like stray cats simply find their way to her. These are just few of the many people; I’m sure there are many more unsung heros out there.
True that we cannot love, unless we learn how to love the least of creation. Animals are living beings like you and me; all they need is some love and care. So, are you going to feed a stray today?
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