Sadly, this isn’t really going to be one of those warm and fuzzy tales.
Recently my neighbor and I went out to dinner and as we approached the restaurant, we saw a few people hanging out outside and heard the sounds of a screaming cat inside a cardboard box. The box was taped shut and there was the tiniest slit (almost unnoticeable) that I suppose the prior owners made so that air could get in. On the top of the box was a piece of paper taped to it that said: Soy gato abandonado. (I am an abandoned cat)
Oh dios mio. My friend and I were in a bit of shock but we hopped into action, first step being to get more air into the box by making the slit larger. He then decided that it might be thirsty (it was a hot night and we had no idea how long the cat had been there) and so we opened the box and gave the cat a cup of water from the restaurant.
Two of the people standing next to the box were a dad and his young son. The dad told us that they could care for the cat and would take it home. They also had a little dog that would like the cat. The young boy picked up the box with a big smile on his face.
Another recent incident was with a neighbor’s dog who is kept on a very short leash outside of the house. It had knocked over its water bowl and it was high noon (and probably 90 degrees) when I saw him sitting in the partial shade. I caught the attention of my neighbor and asked him to please turn the bowl back over and give his dog some water. It’s bad enough he’s forced to live on a 1 meter leash but to leave him in the heat with no water…so frustrating. When I came back from the store, the water bowl had been turned over and the dog was happily drinking from the bowl. He paused for a moment so I could take this picture.
Costa Rica isn’t really well known for its positive treatment of animals so this incident isn’t surprising. But let’s be honest, this kind of atrocious behavior happens everywhere. In the US, dogs and cats get dropped off at animal shelters or just kicked out into the streets because they bark too much, got too big or they just decided the pet was too much work.
What’s truly frustrating is there’s like 4-5 vets in the tiny little downtown area of Quepos. AND there’s even a rescue shelter. How could these people just leave the cat, in a taped up cardboard box outside of a random restaurant? Could they not have taken the little bit of extra energy to walk 2 blocks east and leave it at the vet’s office, preferably in the shade and first thing in the morning so it would be seen quickly?
I just finished reading Beg by Rory Freeman and it truly is horrible how animals are treated around the world. My little Harmony, and his sister, were pound kitties and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will NEVER buy an animal…how can you buy a living being, especially when there are so many strays and unwanted animals who will be killed?
It’s been a year and a few days since Harmony passed and I still miss him so very much. If you want to read his adoption story and why adopting from a shelter is so very important, please click here and hop on over to my Wellness Notes blog. And if you want to see a photo of me from almost 20 years ago (with bangs!)…go there to check it out!