Feeding the Homeless

Rupert the homeless cat

Isaiah 58:6-7a “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;

In Jerusalem, there are so very many cats that do not have homes, they live their lives around trash bins in the hopes that someone will throw away some unused food that they can survive on. They are a wild lot and usually very dirty animals. I have a daughter who loves cats and generally carries a bag of cat food in her pocket or purse most of the time. Whenever she sees a stray, she takes out a handful and lays it down where they quickly devour it without coming into contact with her. In the neighborhood, we have several such cats, one of which is constantly pregnant but a very pretty calico cat. Another cat pictured here seems to take care of himself a bit better than the others. Both of these cats are regularly given a handful of food whenever my daughter comes home or goes out. The strange part is that both of these cats love to be stroked and rubbed. In fact, they want to be rubbed and stroked more than they want the food. Thus, it is very hard to resist them when they come around. The one pictured above, we have named Rupert and the calico we have named Cocoa. Well, we also have a cat that was rescued nearly two years ago when he was about 4 weeks old and had been abandoned by his mother or she was run over or something, but he was helpless and in need of care. Now he is our house cat which we call Chaim which is a Hebrew word for Life. He goes out with the use of a ramp we built on the back of our apartment so that he can have a bit of freedom. There is also a kind of cat flap for Chaim so that he can come in and go out without our needing to open a door for him. Well, Rupert has taken advantage of the ramp which comes up to our back balcony and has spent many hours day and night sleeping on one of the available chairs with a cushion on the balcony. This has been going on now for probably two or three months. Well, recently while the family was in England and I was at home alone, I would come out of my office and find Rupert in the kitchen eating Chaim’s food. Now that the family is back, in the evening, Rupert would announce his entrance into our apartment with some meowing. He would just stand at the inside of the door waiting to be invited in. He makes me think so much of a homeless person who just comes in to the shelter to be fed then goes back out to sleep outdoors where he is more comfortable. This comfort really is that that is all he has ever known and to sleep in the presence of people would be dangerous. The beauty of this cat is that he always announces his entrance so that he does not catch us unaware of his presence. He is ever so gradually becoming a welcome presence in our home.

©2016 Sherwood A. Burton … all rights reserved

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