Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Smalley In The Hedge

We are embarrassed that we missed showing this at the right time this year.  It should have been March 16th, but we missed it... We are correcting that.

We rewrote a sad story of Smalley in 2009 about a kitty in Singapore. It seems that Singapore does not want cats kept in public homes, nor do they want cats kept out of homes.  We are repeating it here and will try to remember to do this every year.  The story saddens us that much.

Doesn’t that mean no cats anywhere?

The last time Beins were so stupid to try to eliminate cats from their lives, they suffered the terrible Bubonic Plague. Stupid Beins killed most of the cats, there were no cats to kill the rats that carried the fleas that carried the Plague, and up to a third of all Beins in Europe died as a result.

So Singapore wants to kill all the cats. Those who don’t know history suffer the repetition of it…

So we want to restate the story of Smalley as a warning of how cat-hate starts, knowing that you now know the consequences of that hate…

Our version:

“A borned kitty named Smalley opens her eyes after a few days. She senses love as her mother licks her with a warm wet tongue and cuddles her from the cold and rain. She was the only one of the litter that survived. They live in a natural shelter of a tall wide hedge. It protects them from the hardest rain, but they are never completely dry in those rains.

But they have each other, and that is important. Smalley feels love from the Momma; Momma feels love from Smalley. They are content to survive in the hedge; two against the world.

An old Bein walks past the hedge one day and discovers the Momma and Kitty. He taps his cane as a signal that they come to recognize. He is allowed to scratch them from familiarity and because he gives them foods. The foods are valuable to Momma and Smalley because they have been depending on insects and such.

Momma goes out to hunt for food for Smalley, but one day she does not return. She has been captured as a “pest”. Smalley is starving. She can find no insects to eat in the hedge and she dare not wander out from there.

Two days later, Smalley hears the familiar tap of the Beins cane. She peers out through the hedge. A warm hand reaches in to comfort her, and picks her up. Small foods are offered and gratefully accepted.

Smalley is carried to a wondrous warm and sheltered place with a nice Bein to care for her. It is the best days of her short life and she is so happy, though of course still missin her momma. There is always food, always nice water and always a warm lap. There are even toys… Smalley sleeps deeply for the first time ever and fears not the thunderstorms and cold nights.

The bed is small, but there is room enough for the Bein and Smalley to sleep. It smells a bit, but it is comforting smells.  And there are no fears in Smalley’s young life, life is good…

Then one day, a strange Being comes to the door. He says that all cats are pests and must be removed. He says cats are “not allowed in public housing”. What harm has little Smalley done but sleep quietly and play with the 2 toys the Bein has made of string and paper? She has not made loud sounds or made any messes…

The Nice Being cries, but takes Smalley back outside to the hedge. The Authorities require it. He may not shelter a “pest”.

His tears fall down on Smalley like a shower and he says he will visit every day with food and attention scritches. Smalley cries loudly at bein left alone again in the cold cruel outside. The Nice Bein cries as he walks back to his suddenly empty "public housing".

Smalley spends a terrible few days in the hedge, hiding. She does not know how to catch food, how to shelter from the cold, how to hide from the rain. She is miserable and cries out to her Momma and the Nice Being. The Nice Being does come by every day, but cannot stay long. He leaves food, but it is not enough. The Nice Being doesn’t have much food that a cat can eat that he can leave out that won't attract predators. He feeds food by hand, but dare not leave any behind.

Then one day, the strange Bein finds Smalley in the hedge. He sets up a trap cage. It’s his job, but he also enjoys it. He doesn’t like “pests”.

Smalley senses that the cage is dangerous, but the fishy smell draws her inside. She needs food. Then, suddenly, a door closes behind her and she is trapped. All night she stays in the trap crying for someone to let her out. But the Nice Bein doesn’t come until mid day and the strange Bein arrives at dawn. Smalley is taken away with many other little kitties. They all cry for their Mommas, their Beins or even just other friendly kitties.

They have no hope.

The Nice Bein finds Smalley gone, and weeps.

All the kitties like Smalley were taken away and killed. The ones that found Beins in "public housing" in Singapore were forced back outside and then considered “pests” because they didn’t have homes. The ones that didn’t find homes to begin with were just “pests” too.

Smalley is assuredly dead by now… There is also assuredly a Nice Bein that weeps over the forced eviction of Smalley through no fault of either of them.

The original (better-written) story is HERE. I just wanted to put the story into different terms. Maybe a twice-told story has more impact than a once-told story. But mostly because I was so sad that I needed to tell the story a different way to get the pain out of my heart.

There are so many Smalleys in the world… And so many that shouldn't be Smalleys.

The Big Thing