Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The $18,000 Dead Cat: Please do not tell anyone in Pakistan
In Pakistan some 20 million people have been affected by flooding; thousands have already died, and thousands more will die. People are so desperate to escape the rising waters they are climbing trees, only to be bitten by poisonous snakes. Refugees are forced to live in squalid makeshift camps, with filthy water, mosquitoes, and little or no medical attention. The suffering is unimaginable, and it is likely to go on for a very long time. Aid organizations are complaining that the response from the public around the world to this disaster has been weak at best; donations trickle in.
Of course, this is a big international news story.
At the local level in the meantime, this story: Harley the cat, who was found soaked in paint thinner in a Vancouver suburb last month, had to be put down last Friday. The thousands of dollars raised for the cat's care as a result of public outrage over the incident was apparently not enough to save his life. According to the news story, "Before Harley's condition deteriorated, the hospital capped the bill for his care on compassionate grounds, but it still came to $18,000." The cat's owner says the cat was that important to her and her young son.
An administrator at the animal hospital has said that she will likely have to bring in a counselor to counsel some of the nursing staff who are distraught over Harley's death.
This is a true story.
God help us see the tragic and absurd errors of our ways.