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Smelly, Needy, and Perfect.


"Minnie: smelly, needy, and perfect"
We live in a world in which the notion of ‘perfect’, has been consistently sold to us for almost a century; leaving no generation alive untouched by its seduction. This perfection pitch works by suggesting how owning anything less than everything, renders us a lesser human being - in comparison to our ‘betters’; lowering self-worth - our third strongest driving force, behind survival and replication. 

These ideas flow through the entire planet; firm before flabby, chalet instead of a shack, dollars over dignity, and nowadays - continuing the theme of style blanketing substance, designer dogs above all others. This is all well and good, if your aim in life is to impress people who truthfully couldn't give a shit about you impressing them anyway. But for a loving, feeling, and lonely animal, it could mean the literal difference between life and death...

The only person I know who loves animals as much as my girlfriend; whose habit of buying dog food for every vagrant with a pet she passes, fills my heart every time, is my upcoming sister-in-law, Amanda. She is – like all animal lovers, a compassionate type who - if she could, would likely adopt every sick or stray animal she made eye-contact with, and probably those she didn’t too. 

In the summer of 2010, and already living in a house containing three cats, two rabbits, my brother, and a newborn baby, a new family member was added to their forever home fray in North Hertfordshire, England; her name was Minnie. Minnie was a 16-year-old Russian Blue rescue cat, suffering from malnourishment, a strong sense of insecurity, and a severe thyroid problem requiring daily medication; causing weight-loss and a consistently pungent bottom odour. Her history was the worrying kind of uncertain, life expectancy estimated between six months to a year, and caring for her would require all kinds of costs; both physical and financial. But it didn’t matter. To Amanda, Minnie wasn’t an ageing Russian Blue with a smelly backside; who never stopped meowing and annoyed the other moggies. She was simply an innocent loving cat she wanted to give a good home, and save from euthanasia  – which is exactly what she did; the illusion of 'perfect' never even crossed her - or my brother's minds.

Minnie was as expected; smelly, needy, and a minor bully to the other moggies. But for the next eighteen months; until her passing in January 2012, she belonged in a family. While others may have written her off, and justified euthanasia from her age and health, her new family never saw illness of a body, they saw the desire of a heart which - whether a newly born prized Pomeranian, or a skinny Russian Blue, are always, perfect. Like all true animal lovers and all round good souls, they made their decision based on whose need for compassion was the strongest; knowing full well the pain of losing her would consistently linger, yet having the selfless strength to accept it. If everybody carried this mentality; and most of you reading this do, imagine how awesome this world would be to live in.

As far as commercial perfection is concerned; the one which reminds us to forget the Minnies of our world? The entire concept is an illusion. An insidious notion devised by advertisers to sell hollow products and empty ideals, as emotional validation tools that never actually work to improve or enrich our lives. Real perfection has no price tag, raising of social status, or conditions set upon it; existing in the heart, not in the mind. Buying dog food for homeless canines, embracing a 16-year-old moggy with terrible wind, and helping the sick with little consideration of the pain it may put you through in doing so? That is perfect. And for anybody with genuine perfection inside the soul, botox and banknotes are meaningless.

Adopt an unadoptable, because in reality, there is nothing unadoptable about them...

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2 comments:

Cheryl Blackley said...

spoken like a true humanitarian of people who are of the same ideals... thank you

Kit Jensen said...

We have a houseful of 'unadoptable' geriatric and handicapped ones...and every single one has rescued me and taught me the meaning of perfection, love and life. Thank you for sharing this!