All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Tim. 3:16 – 17
The picture is of a stunted alpine tree in my and Dad’s camp site on our Goat Rocks Wilderness adventure. You can see our tent in the background. The tiny trees charmed us both. There’s something oddly surreal about walking through a forest no taller than your shoulder. Seeing that, and finding some ash left on my backpack from the trip, does make me feel… well, somewhat nostalgic, somewhat homesick. I almost wish I could just get a job maybe as a ranger, backpacking and checking trail conditions and such. It’s hard to compare that experience to our heavy-studying, indoor-work-intensive lifestyle that immediately resumed when we got back to Worcester.
Does anybody remember the “cat strangling” house sitting job Ian and I had near the end of the summer? I did a post on it on July 23rd—“Tales of Woe.” Ian and I consoled ourselves with the fact that we would get paid to keep their cat alive, that the hours of work we both put in would be compensated. Well—we got “paid,” and the owners’ idea of compensation runs right at $75. We got paid more for taking care of Jan’s apartment! Call me crazy, call me greedy even, but honestly: that was a full seven days, five of which twice a day one of us had to literally hold the cat down while the other adroitly squirted this disgusting pink medicine down the cat’s gullet. We walked their dog not only 15 minutes like they asked, but for an hour at a time. We brushed the dog. We watered their plants. We drove out of our way consistently, rearranging our schedule for their pets. Even just to do the job I went against Ian’s instinctual “No, it’s a bad idea” response so that we both endured unnecessary friction in our relationship because of that. For Pete’s sake, are they still thinking 1975 money here? We can’t pay our electricity bill with $75! How much would you want to be paid for a job like that?
Alright; the important thing to realize is that these are old family friends for whom we were essentially doing a favor. They didn’t just use us, either, but pulled in probably five other people in the care of their house/pets while they were gone. We got to go on long walks in a beautiful area, saw several stunning sunsets, and were welcomed every time by Lani, their exuberantly friendly German Shepherd mix. I felt bad for the cat, who didn’t eat more than two bites the whole time we took care of her. She’s certainly on her last leg—in fact, I’m amazed she’s even still alive now. There’s a certain point when it might be more merciful to put her down rather than let her desiccate from the inside out, which is what kidney failure does to a cat. Maybe they still think of us as children, who would be awed by $75 rather than think of that as a drop in the tuition bucket.
Is there ever a time when it’s more merciful to put a person down than let them keep suffering?
– KF –
PS – Note: never let Katie within five feet of paint, a paintbrush, or any other painting paraphernalia.