Our daughter, Deborah, follows an Internet link to a Canadian kitten rescue facility. The cameras are rolling 24/7. Deb sent us a post of a gnarled up feral tiger cat named Grandpa Mason, that hated humans but deeply loved kittens. He couldn’t be released because of kidney disease. The vet said he had about 3 months, but with daily care he has lived 3 years. The lady honored that he was feral. Cared for by the manager of the rescue house and the gnarly cat’s care for orphaned kittens. He set aside his love for aloneness to be parent for the kittens.
Deb says she appreciates the link and view because it teaches much about TNR—Trap, Neuter, Release. An extended neighborhood in New York practices TNR to release the cats as militant contractors to get rid of rats. With good success.
The ragged and rugged cat’s kidneys failed the other night. They gave him the next day to be with his latest bunch of motherless kittens before the vet made a house call.
Deb says she also appreciates that the streaming contact teaches the importance of managed feral communities. Managed Feral Community. That is an amusing concept and a huge challenge. Our Rachel had a feral kitten—Snowflake—who lived in her room for several years mostly under her bed. As Carole observed, it is difficult to hug a feral cat who doesn’t want to be touched.
“The Blue Zones” is a book and a movement with connections to The Seventh Day Adventist Church. Dan Buettner took a team to several Blue Zones around the world to research why the residents are the longest living people on the planet—living and thriving. The team found and continue to find “9 Lessons for Living Longer.” Two are common to all—in the Far East and your house and mine:
CONNECTION AND PURPOSE
I don’t know what day of the week Grandpa Mason went to church, but I know why he lived three more years than the vets bet on. He found a new normal where he was connected to people who recognized who he was and interacted with him. He found a purpose—litters of kittens who needed him. Blue Zones perpetually find those two assets in the maturing. Take away the infrastructure and the people die.
Neil Enloe is a singer, piano player, songwriter and member of The Couriers—a group out of Pennsylvania whose music is on YouTube. After retirement he posted this:
“Looking back on my 56 years of full time singing, my experience prompts some suggestions:”
You can find the entire list on Neil Enloe’s FaceBook time line. I refer to # 4:
“When you can’t keep up with your road schedule any longer (and it will happen sooner or later) or the phone stops ringing, and you sit at home wondering where your youth went, you will struggle with the word ‘purpose.’”
What is my purpose now? Once it was quite clear. Maybe Caleb (Joshua 14:10-14) will come by and talk to me and bring clarity how to conquer the mountain and which mountain. Tough!
Bob Buford was a wealthy broadcaster who decided to live the second half of his life with the gusto and devotion in the first half. He needed a new purpose. I have 3-4 of his books rich with suggestions how he refocused:
Finishing Well, (Integrity Publishers)
Stuck in Halftime (Zondervan—Harper & Collins)
Managed Feral Community.
Sounds like a great place to stop in for coffee, take naps, sit on the porch and invest in kittens or people.
©2019 D. Dean Benton– writer, wonderer, wonk in training
With help from Deborah Benton Johnston, Thanks to Neil Enloe
For more about Grandpa Mason: Grandpa Mason and his kittens–there are several sites.