El. pošta

TILI

All over the world, cat lovers are taking care of the stray cats in towns and cities, they feed them, clean up after them, vaccinate them, get them spayed and neutered and all of this while trying to keep a low profile in order not to attract attention. Although their furry four legged protégés don’t harm anyone, they can be considered a nuisance for some unfriendly, standoffish neighbors and therefore are deliberately poisoned, intentionally run over by cars or sadistically tortured and killed out of sheer meanness.

The problem is there are always people who don’t just kill animals that cause harm, but they will kill any animal without any justification and it seems that stray cats are an easy target for their vicious spite far too often. Bad people aside, the outdoor world is full of hazards that kitties aren’t able to cope with, like heavy traffic, free roaming or off-leash dogs, toxins, pesticides, the list goes on and on. Even the most cautious and wariest of cats can be caught unprepared and no matter how dedicated and attentive their caretakers are, they simply can’t protect them from everything. Kitties run into traffic while being chased, get trapped somewhere where their desperate cries for help can’t be heard, there is danger at every step. If they are surrounded mostly by cat haters or otherwise intolerant people, then every day brings a new challenge, a new problem, a new struggle and the outcome is totally uncertain and usually bad.

Tili is one of the 17 kitties I took in three years ago, when their caretaker got backed up against the wall after years of fighting for her kitties and when the situation that had been going from bad to worse for such a long time finally reached the crisis point. She had been trying to help the kitties coexist with people living nearby, had been providing them with regular meals and vet care, they were neither hungry nor sick and not annoying in any way but all of her efforts turned out to be futile – a peaceful coexistence between humans and cats just couldn’t be reached no matter what.

All of the kitties were living in a joint backyard but they were sleeping in their caretaker’s garage where they would find temporary safety at least, but the kitty door was always open so they could come and go as they pleased. There was no point in closing it shut; all of the kitties were endangered at any time of day and night equally but they were seldom seen inside all together and preventing them from entering the garage whenever they wanted would have been extremely risky. In such a hostile neighborhood, it wasn’t unusual to see a cat fleeing from some terrible danger and arriving at her safe haven racing full bore, running breathlessly for her life and she mustn’t be let down by having to face a blocked passage where she thought she would find safety. Things weren’t exactly perfect but are they ever? At least these kitties had each other and a nice lady who was keeping an eye on their well-being and fought for them the best she could.

However, unpleasant encounters their caretaker had with intolerant neighbors simply couldn’t be avoided. Many cats had gotten killed or crippled over the years, verbal disputes were frequently getting physical and the worst was yet to come. On a nice day at the beginning of summer, two brutes were hired by some rude, ignorant scum to round up all of the kitties, put them into bags and haul them away like living garbage. The friendliest and most trusting kitties were the easiest to catch, but even those who were more guarded and suspicious would have probably ended up in bags if it wasn’t for one of the rare compassionate neighbors who raised the flag and notified their caretaker what was going on. She ran into the yard, screaming and swearing, she called the police and the intruders fled from the scene but could easily come back at any time. Had the kitties stayed in the yard, their fate would’ve been sealed. They had to be moved away as quickly as possible.

Luckily all of them arrived safely at the shelter, a little scared and quite confused but ready to move forward and get on with their lives. Some of the kitties quickly started to behave as if they were born here, for others it took some time to relax but they were surrounded with love and care and soon began to sparkle with confidence and emanate a warm glow of serenity.

Tili is one of the calmest and most well behaved kitties I have ever come across, not a bit intrusive but affectionate, loving and nice, as if she is somehow grateful for the chance she has been given and for the life she lives now. She must be seven or eight years old now; the only home she had known over the first five years of her life was that joint backyard where she must’ve always felt she was hated by many and loved by one. The hostility she was able to sense took its toll – she walked around with cautious steps, didn’t approach strangers and wasn’t particularly people friendly or trusting. Since she has realized that nothing bad will ever happen again and has learned she can choose the room she would sleep in while having a protected outdoor area to do whatever she wants, she's finally lowered her guard and become the mellow, loving kitty she has probably always been deep inside. She will never be annoying, or an attention seeker, but her flowing movements and the light in her eyes clearly show the inner peace she feels and who she really is.