|Fresno Bee Photograph|
But just once, I wish the reporters would investigate the deeper why. What is an animal to someone who isn't instinctively drawn to them? What is an animal to someone who is indifferent to them? How can they be less than living, be forgotten like an unwanted object? How does one disregard that they are there? These seem like silly, naive questions because the answers seem reflexively obvious, but the real answers aren't obvious to me at all.
I have a long commute to work. In the evening, driving back, I pass through a huge freeway interchange before exiting home. This mild winter I've seen two cats hunting on the high shoulder near my exit, inside the chain-link fence meant to keep them out. They're hardscrabble cats who seem wise to the traffic. I look for them with every drive. Sometimes I see them, sometimes not. When I don't see them, I look for them dead in the lanes. They're junk cats, abandoned strays or maybe urban ferals who've never known human contact. Still, I think about ways to catch them, can't help it. They're never not living to me. I have to take note of their welfare.
I want to understand what it's like to look at animals in need and feel nothing, not hate, not indifference, just nothing. I wonder what it is to see them from that perspective. What do such people know about themselves? How do they experience their sense of self? It's not the shocked How could they that I want to hear, it's the deeper Why do they. I want a reporter to explore that so I can check my judgment, because it is harsh and unforgiving.