Written and copyrighted by Christine Price
I’m a volunteer at my local Santa Cruz SPCA in their Cat TLC Program. Every year in the spring “Kitten Season” arrives, and staff and volunteers rally forces and valiantly prepare to greet the hundreds of unwanted kittens who will arrive at the Shelter’s door.
It can be an achingly disheartening time. We watch the adoption rate for our adult cats take a plunge because most people want kittens. And we watch many precious kittens, just beginning their lives, get passed over, again and again, because they happen to be older, sick, shy or “homely.”
The hard truth is that there are simply not enough homes to go around and space at the Shelter is finite.
One day during the height of this difficult season I noticed a small, solitary kitten looking very glum inside her kennel.
She needed some attention and, perhaps, a toy to play with.
I went to our usually full toy basket and found it empty–or empty, at least of those wonderful little balls with bells inside, the toy loved by kittens worldwide! To remedy this I headed over to a pet supply store and purchased every single package of balls with bells that they had in stock.
Returning to the Shelter I set about distributing a brand new toy to each kennel housing a kitten, through the four rooms of our cat building. It took me about twenty minutes to complete my task, and it was only upon pausing that I heard it.
Throughout the kennel, from each room and every direction, came the musical sound of a myriad of tiny bells. punctuated here and there by percussive bangs. The toys were being played with, and the cumulative effect was a concert to rival the Boston Pops! The adult cats also heard the music and perked up to listen.
I stood very still for several minutes, my eyes closed, simply enjoying the concert of bells. And I was reminded anew of how contagious joy can be and of how a small, simple act can have such impact.