Maybe my blog is not sincere. I always try to write positive things, things that are a bit uplifting even for myself. Today I am very troubled by something that is happening in my neighborhood. You know I wrote that one of the alley cats was having kittens. Well, I will spare you the details but for the past few days it has not gone well. I tried to catch her today with the help of the young tenants but we couldn’t. Even in her distress she was able to run away and hide under bushes and crawl under fences to get into different yards. It distresses me and gets me down. How the world is full of pain and one is helpless in the face of it. What is surprising is how many of my neighbors I have spoken to today and it is all brought about by the little cat. I call her Billie because that is the word for cat in Urdu and I was taught that – the only word I know in that language – when she strolled into my yard last summer. I thought she might be a Billy but now I know different. So, the kids upstairs were called to help me corner her and put her into a box. Massive fail mainly because we were all three too squeamish to actually grab her – all three of us with rubber gloves on her hands – I ask you! She was pretty agile anyway in spite of her obvious problems. Next neighbor I spoke to was my charming French from France neighbor cutting down weedy saplings in the lane. Turns out she has been feeding the strays too and will keep an eye out. She had other problems with another neighbor who runs his pool heater starting in May and the noise bothers her a lot. We discussed this a bit too. Next was a ring at my door and there was my very sweet neighbor who lives in the apartment block that borders on my yard. She is a great cat lover and last summer we went on kitten hunts together. She, of course, had noticed the distress of little mother and I found to my surprise that she knew the whole genealogy of the tribe? pack?herd? of cats who inhabit our back lane. She even had names for them all and could tell me who had a good character and how they were all related. She has a very gentle and pretty face although she seems a bit worn down by life. She pushes a wheelchair for balance and I am sure someone must push her in it for long distances. Our neighborhood block is special in that the requirements for residence are that one must be over 55 years of age and I think they give preference to people with some sort of handicap. I like this gentle lady who tells me she has even been allowed to stroke Billie (she calls her Rouselle because she gets a bit rusty in color in the summer) I promised all sorts of schemes to catch her and to take her to a vet but the truth is that I think this little cat will die in the next day or so. How to talk about the sadness in the distress of an animal and its death. We are taught to put human beings first and I suppose that is right. But there is an innocence in the most savage of animals. They can’t reason, or console themselves or philosphize about it. They just have to suffer it. What did this day do then? It made me talk to my neighbors and it made me think about being a vegetarian. . . .again. I have done it in my day and I suppose I can do it again. What is that to the little creature hiding under the hedge?