A light reflection amid incursions: What about cats and dogs?
Amid all the destruction taking place in Gaza in the last two weeks. The killing of children, killings, and demolitions, constant bombarding. Have anyone thought of what happened to animals such as cats and dogs?
It seems out of the blue to think of the future of a pet when the future of children and adult human beings have been destroyed and in many cases erased from existence.
In a country where pets such as dogs especially are likely to be in the streets and best cases in courtyards of houses. What could have happened to all those poor creatures? Cats in Palestine breed like cats. Every two-three months.
It is not that I am a great supporter of animal rights; after all, I am a Palestinian. We barely struggle to have some human rights.
But I happened to be among those lucky mothers of four children and two dogs.
My relationship with dogs wasn’t a quite friendly one. Growing up in a culture that says dogs are impure. You tend to run away from a dog’s touch each time. But I grew up enjoying to breed cats until our last cat Nietzsche attracted all the male cats of the neighborhood and cat-fights took place in my bedroom in the middle of nights.
At this instance I am revealing a secret that my kids will kill me upon knowing, discovering that Nietzsche didn’t just run away but was taken into custody with an acquaintance who raised up cats in the old city of Jerusalem.
Sometimes I feel that animals want to feel like animals. Not just to stay home with boring humans cuddling them and feed them.
Some years ago, my son received a dog as a birthday present. He was a sweet dog. But of course, I refused. I remember yelling in disgust from one side to another avoiding that little creature’s eyes seeking my compassion. But Brownie was a dog that no one can hate. So sweet, quiet, kind, obedient. Quite annoying for someone likes me. But with good and bad, this dog brought so much love and warmth with him to our home.
It remains not comfortable to rise dogs in my culture. People outside are exactly like me when I couldn’t handle an animal. The word impure and run with disgust and fear is more of a cliché. But I realized year after year, which the curiosity of children in general about dogs could force a change into attitudes of the culture of the society around us.
Some years later, we decided to adopt another dog, since Brownie, was most of the time with my son at his father’s house. After some trips to the shelter, we decided to behave like a real healthy family and adopt a dog, and the choice was Zoe … ok… Zoë, a puppy, half chi Wawa half off what seems to be a man. He made our lives in a living chaos. Not that our house is an organized, nice place. But this dog turned our life upside down. Yes. Until this moment.
You must know about dogs that eat everything. Specialty on underwears. Socks? That is Zoë.
But confusingly, Zoe made the whole neighborhood know him by name. He must believe he is a wolf or a lion. He is the real man of this family.
There has been a whole journey with these dogs. abductionBeing lost, kidnapped, hit by a car, kidnapping after the abduction …
I firmly believe in dog’s senses, of the surrounding and the humans around them.
What was so noticeable is the remarkable quietness both the brownie and Zoë stayed in during the week of the incursion of Shufat.
Brownie spent all the time hiding under the couch. Each time he heard the helicopters hovering or police and Special Forces gathering in the street, bullets and gas firing. Zoe suddenly became silent. He stopped the capacity to bark .his barking usually gets to the end of the neighborhood each time he hears a movement under the house. This time he entered a total state of silence.
Both spent the whom leek just sticking to my leg with every move I made. I would come back home from work to find them both cuddled on the couch.
I was thinking of how much would they have to say if they were given the opportunity to say what they feel. But one thing was so obvious: Fear.
I couldn’t but think of what came out of dogs and cats in Gaza.
IT would seem senseless to discuss this now while one cannot even think of how to save human beings.
But I am sure that among the many losses of Gaza, are losses of cats and dogs, that were taken care or fed by people, who some must have missed and grieved, and some must have tried to rescue.
Maybe it is only in a place like Gaza, the fight for human and animal rights are on the same level. If you thrive to achieve one, you achieve a lot.