Incredulous as it may seem, those are the very words that came from the lips of the factory worker whose plea for help just saved the lives of four tiny kittens and their abandoned mother.
With his realisation that moving the metal carry all in which the hapless kittens had sought refuge would surely kill them, he also realised that he had a choice.
And so he embarked on a race against time to find someone who could not only safely remove the kittens, but ensure a happy outcome for them as well. With calls to all the likely suspects providing little joy, it was an Internet search that somehow tossed up our number.
Whilst outside of our normal charter we knew were the kitten’s last hope, so it was to the catmobile, sorry our kindness van, to which we raced and prayed our aid would not come too late.
If the words, “You know I don’t even like cats,” stopped us in our gobsmacked tracks, what came next was music to our (by then dusty and cobweb- filled) ears, “but I just couldn’t have lived with myself if I had caused them harm.”
This telling statement goes to the heart of just why the lives of farmed animals are clouded by acts we would never deem acceptable for the animals who share our hearts and homes, and their deaths are as untimely as they are unnatural.
The tyranny of distance, disconnect and busy lives means so few in our society stand, as the worker did, at the sidelines and see the lives and deaths our choices dictate for hapless and sentient creatures. For these animals, there is rarely a kindly worker whose circumstance allows them to be struck down by conscience and say, “I am not going to be a part of this needless harm.”
The events of this rescue stand as a testament to the goodness of the human heart and are proof positive that we humans are programed to care. The worker’s motivation that was not the result of any fondness toward kittens but rather not wishing to cause harm to another living creature, reassures me that when one realises they do have a choice, kindness can trump killing and indifference.
Animals truly are dots in the landscape of our conscience, and when we connect them, a more compassionate world for all can evolve. And as the ‘non-cat liking’ factory worker showed us, all it takes is a chance encounter with an animal in peril to crowbar hearts into action and see kindness flourish in the most unlikely of places.