We have received so many calls and emails for help the past month but all of our foster homes are already at capacity and adoptions are slow so we can't take in any more at this time. In my heart I know I can't save them all, but I sit here crying because I wish I could. In a perfect world I could. In a perfect world it wouldn't be so heart wrenching because there wouldn't be a cat/dog overpopulation crisis. But there is no perfect world -- there is this world, this reality where people are irresponsible and don't spay and neuter their pets so they reproduce and those offspring reproduce and on and on. It is a vicious cycle.
So I take a break and read the Starfish Poem (below) about making a difference in just the life of one but it still doesn't make it hurt any less. I sometimes think I'm not cut out for this because I want to go curl up and cry anytime we have to tell someone we just can't take on any more cats at this time -- that I can't rescue them, that we can't save them. But then I realize if it impacts me so much, this is exactly what I need to be doing. And so I continue to cry because a piece of my heart breaks each time we have to say we're full, we can't take anymore; I cry because of this horrible reality of irresponsible pet owners and the fact that I live in a generation that seems to think pets can just be disposed of so easily.
The StarfishAn old man was walking down the beach just before dawn. In the distance he saw a young man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. As the old man approached the young man, he asked; "Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?" The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. "But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish, exclaimed the old man. "How can your efforts make any difference?" The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand and as he threw it to safety in the sea, he said "it makes a difference to this one."
In response to The Starfish Poem, this is how I feel: "I can’t save them all I know. But I can save this one. I’ll help him/her be what they can be. It matters to this one. And it matters to me.” And I sob because this I know - I can't save them all but I still haven't learned to accept that.