In our house, “charity begins at home” does indeed begin at home, but ironically is meant purely to help out others.
We have been in sewing and gathering mode for a few days, putting together a package for the local humane society. Our Girl found out at the age of 6 that she is allergic to a number of things, including cats, and has missed them terribly since then. Not only did we have to give up our own pets, but the mere sight of any cat or kitten is enough to send her into squealing convulsions. She has decided that she will wait until she’s older to see if her allergy subsides. Until then, the only cat satisfaction that she can find is in helping cats at the local shelter.
Our Girl’s original desire was to help out hands-on at one of our shelters, offering hugs and care to cats who needed them. But the shelters say that they’re not insured to have volunteers deal with possibly dangerous animals. So our Girl has decided to do the next best thing, besides donate money (which she has done in the past): She wants to donate desperately-needed supplies, and she wants to hand-make them if possible.
We’ve gathered paper towels, bleach, notebooks and various other small items, and with a little help, she has sewn a soft cat bed, to give to cats sleeping on hard cage floors. If all goes well, she wants to donate more of these beds on a regular basis.
And her first cat bed, she will deliver on her birthday. Instead of receiving a party with cake and too many presents, she has decided that she wants to give. When I look at that cat bed now, I realise what a great girl I have, and what a wonderful way to celebrate her existence in the world.