This post is a bit of a rambler...bear with me!
I've been thinking a lot about age lately. About the stages of life that we go through.
Kitten, cat, senior; Maiden, Matron, Crone.
I started bringing home unwanted kittens around the age of four or so.
While volunteering at the local animal shelter in college, the older women would ask me why I wasn't spending my time and money on underwear, nails, and partying. (I never understood why they bemoaned the lack of help and awareness in from "the youth" but kept up a steady stream of encouragement for me to be more shallow and self centered.)
I have dedicated the last 17 years of my life to bettering the lives of feral and unwanted cats; those who slip through the cracks unnoticed and unloved. That's an entire life stage!
The vast majority of the women who do what I do (and the few men that I've met) are all over 60. They are officially crone aged, fitting into the crazy cat folk box quite neatly.
Often people are surprised when they meet me, that I am rather young to have done as much as I have. They expect the silver hair to reflect the decades of dedication.
My maiden stage is behind me, though the wind still tangles my hair.
I have played mother to so many over the years, and have embraced the matron part of my life with open arms!
My daughter is my world, and luckily, she adores cats as well.
But this year, I have realized why we expect crones to do the cat rescue parts of life.
I drive hundreds of miles a week to dispense food to those that need it, to trap cats and improve their quality of life. I do home visits, and behavioral consults. I drive down lonely stretches of highway, looking for that cat you saw out of the corner of your eye. And now, I do all that with a toddler. The only reason I can write this blog right now, is because she's asleep! Beating the laptop with a stick is something that kittens can't do.
Feral kittens take lots of love and time, to learn to trust in people.
Toddlers take time, cover it in peanut butter, crumple it up, put it in their mouths, and then ask you to eat it too.
Crones can have grandbabies, and neighbor's children, but they don't have the constant companionship of their own wee one. They can teach and embrace the younger generations, but at the end of the day, (or the hour) their time is exclusively theirs again.
Such is not the case with motherhood. This has been a bit of a rescue learning curve year!
I've learned that I need more maidens, matrons, and crones to be part of the BCR family and foster, adopt, and spread the good word. Cat rescue has never been something I've done alone, and now more than ever, I need to find those wonderful members of our community who want to help! Matrons are there to nurture their communities, whether there be blood ties or not.
And I love my community! The people I interact with are all striving to make the world a little bit better, in a variety of ways.
Whether you are a student looking to volunteer at adoption events, a mother of three who wants to help fundraise with a bake sale, or an amazing retired opera singer who wants to foster a litter of grody barn kittens until they can find their forever homes, the BCR crew needs you!
The Captain of Browncoat Cat is a self proclaimed crazy cat lady. Of course, we're all mad here...