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Comfort for Critters

~ Celebrating 10 Years & 50,000 Blankets ~

Helping Just One Pet?

June 12, 2015

I’m going to admit something right up front. I’m not proud of it, but I often size people up based on their reaction to Comfort for Critters. When I meet someone new, after they ask the mandatory “do you have kids?”, they usually ask “what do you do?” I’m often tempted to answer “not enough”, but they probably wouldn’t get it.

When I tell them about Comfort for Critters, the reactions do not travel down the middle-of-the-road. The reactions are usually “OMG that’s amazing” (ie. okay, you can be my friend) or “Really …  really?” (no comment). The people who immediately have my admiration usually ask about how they can help, comment on how their mother-in-law would love doing this, or ask for the website so they can spread the word.

People who I fear will never “get it” usually ask if the blankets get destroyed, why pets even need blankets, or probe to find the money-making angle of it (there isn’t one, I’ve looked J). Often they also comment about the futility of trying to comfort the 6+ million pets in shelters. I always smile inside, and dig for the starfish in my pocket (sorry, but that’s an inside joke). Of course I’m polite, I have to be after all. A roll of the eyes would not win anyone over to my side.

It also brings to mind a great message delivered by Andy Stanley of Northpoint Church. I try to never miss one of his messages, as they tend to both indict and liberate me, all in one fell swoop. He makes the point that often when we are trying to bring about change, there are enormous demands on our time. He is the pastor of the largest church in the US, so I’m guessing he gets more requests than I do. In any case, he has been counseled that if he does something for one parishioner, he “has” to do it for everyone. So for this reason he should abstain.

In typical Andy Stanley fashion, he stepped to the side of conventional wisdom and developed a lyrical quip to remind him of what to do…. “Do for one, what you can’t do for everyone.” When he feels “called,” he will baptize a personal friend, though he knows he can’t possibly baptize everyone who would like him to.

I’ve borrowed this idea, as my answer to the well-meaning people who think I’m a bit nuts, trying to comfort the world, one blanket at a time. To me, I’m doing for one kitty, what I can’t (yet) do for them all. I am certain that concept lies in the heart of every CFC volunteer. So while I am also plagued by the idea that I’m not nearly doing enough, the expanding shelter list and volunteer roster, gives me hope. I may not be nuts after all.

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I have the sneaking suspicion in my nasty mind that being counseled to not do for one what you cannot do for all may well be a self-directed piece of cop-out advice and a subconscious way of rationalizing personal inactivity. To put it succinctly.

And on the other side, all that said, while I can't do for all (not being all-knowing and all-powerful and, therefore, not called to do for all what I can do for one) I really should start somewhere. And some unknown pooch or poochess (sounds a little better than "bitch" these days, doncha think?) seems a pretty good start.



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