One year ago my fiancé, our local cop, went to a home where a woman was feared to be dead. The neighbors hadn’t heard from her in three weeks. My love went to the home and, unfortunately, she had passed.
When he entered her home, a small kitten ran to him and wouldn’t stop rubbing on him. The kitten was crying and noticeably scared. Luckily, another police officer was with my love and able to focus on the woman while my officer scooped up the little orange boy.
What was he going to do with a small kitten that needed food and love? The only thing he could do. He called me. I immediately dropped what I was doing and drove to get him. My officer was waiting outside of his cruiser, in the cold, holding the kitten. He tried to keep him in the warm cruiser but the little one kept turning on the lights and siren. We should have known then that he was going to be a handful.
The few weeks before he was rescued must have been so hard on him. He was recently adopted by his deceased mom and sadly spend weeks alone with her body. He was a smart boy, though. He drank water from the toilet and ate food from the bag he knocked over on the kitchen table. Because of that, he kept himself alive until he was found. He reeked of cigarettes and dirty litter but no worse for wear. We, of course, took him to the vet to make sure he was alright. The vet gave him a clean bill of health.
We spent the next year loving him and watching him grow. He was 4 months old when we adopted him and he’s bloomed into a… as we call him… psycho cat or gingersnap.
He plays with his indoor brother as often as he can. It doesn’t matter if his brother wants to play too. He loves his boxes and will carry toys around in his mouth. He wakes us early in the morning talking to anyone that will listen. And let’s not forget that sweet trait that so many cats have, knocking everything off of tables.
After he drives us up the wall and makes us pull our hair out, he walks up to me and lies on my chest as if to say “I love you and I trust you to help me recharge”. I must do just that because after he lays on me for a short time, he runs off my chest using my boob as a springboard and plays with his brother all over again.
I’d like to think that his other mom would be happy to know he’s with us. That she would be smiling at his antics and what he’s turned into. She will, after all, forever be with us. We gave our gingersnap her last name. We love you Hasty.
I am the one you come to see. You sit in the stands with your family and await my arrival. When I perform, you are amazed. Your kids laugh and clap at the tricks I do.
I’m sure, to you, I look happy standing next to my smiling handlers. But I’m not. In fact, my life is full of abuse, isolation and terror to make sure you have a good time at the circus.
I am not meant to be under a big top. I am meant to be in my natural habitat with my own kind.
I can not perform the tricks you see without being beaten until my spirit is broken. Only then will I obey any command from a human. Only then will I cower in front of the person that holds the whip.
Hooks, whips and chains are only a few of the many tools they use to make me “understand” what the audience wants to see.
My scars aren’t visible because the humans know where to hurt me. The hooks are forced into the sensitive flesh behind my ears so you never see the wounds they inflict. This is how the humans get me to move into place.
I didn’t ask to be ripped from my mother and sold to the highest bidder. I don’t want to travel around the country in hot trailers with no air conditioning barely hanging on until the next town.
I know my fellow animal performers die too often from living in appalling conditions because, to the humans, we are expendable and giving us a better life will cut into their profits.
My pain is recorded. The training sessions where I’m subjected to agony have been recorded. Please search online and uncover this horrible secret guarded by the circus industry.
I feel just like you and I hurt just like you. I know you don’t understand that you are laughing at my pain. You don’t realize that you are applauding for a trick that almost paralyzed me to learn. But you are. You are buying tickets to my misery.