30 December 2011

A Cat Named Scruffy

I was going to write about this story last week -- but I was so angry that I had to wait until I could write about it calmly and rationally.

You have probably all heard the story about the ex-drug addict in Phoenix who found sobriety with the help of a little kitten. Earlier this month, the now-adult cat was injured and taken to the Arizona Humane Society by her caretaker who was desperate to find help. The caretaker did not have money to pay for the treatment at that moment, and the humane society convinced him the cat would be treated if he surrendered the cat to them. A few hours later, the cat was euthanized.

So much has been written about how wrong this situation was. The poor man. The poor cat.

Matt and I have been big supporters of the Arizona Humane Society for many, many years; donating to them thousands of dollars and lots of supplies. (Our cat, Eero, was adopted from them in 2005.) I was incensed by this story and ready to call them and tell them to return the money I had just sent them the day before.

But I waited. I wanted to hear the whole story, to calm down and review it objectively.

Today I called the humane society and spoke with a very nice woman (Monica) and told her how upset I was by their actions, how I was ready to demand a return of my money; but that, in the end, I decided the best thing to do was to ask that they take the money I just donated and put it in their new "9-1-1 account" created in response to this event. Money in this emergency account will be used to help financially-strapped owners pay for treatment and give them time to repay it later. I told Monica that this was a better solution for me than to demand a return of my money: rather than complain about what happened, I wanted to be part of the solution to prevent such needless tragedy ever befalling an animal lover again.

Of course, my donation will not bring back Scruffy, and her owner will never have time with his cat again; but maybe we can all learn from this horrible cascade of mistakes.

I urge you to please make a donation -- in Scruffy's name -- to your local humane society and suggest that they create a similar emergency fund (if they don't have one already).

You can read more about Scruffy here.

29 December 2011

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

Before you get lost in your reverie thinking about our warm winter weather here in Phoenix, please keep in mind that the source of that warmth (persistent high pressure system sitting over us) also causes the crappy, dirty air that obscures the gorgeous mountains of our Valley. Thanks to breathing and rebreathing the exhaust that pours from thousands of cars, my throat is scratchy and my eyes itchy making it necessary to pop decongestant and antihistamine on a regular basis. This is not pleasant.

So, in summary:

warmth in winter = nice; air pollution that comes with it = not nice.

21 December 2011

Something to Think About

Okeh, so today marks the beginning of the end of the world according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar -- and today also brings word of a two-headed baby born in Brazil. Should I be worried?

19 December 2011

Smart or Stupid?

Just quit my safe and secure corporate day-job so I could spend more time in the unsafe and totally insecure world of freelance writing. Smart or stupid? You decide.

03 December 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Film

I don't want to get into reviewing film on this blog, but we just watched "Crazy, Stupid, Love" sucked in by the critical buzz it received when in the cinema earlier this year. Let me just say this is a film made for people who are not Matt and me.