Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
July 10, 2020
(Part 1 of this series can be found here)
(Part 2 of this series can be found here)
(Part 3 of this series can be found here)
I know a little something about activists. Click on the above links for more about that. I also know a little something about cat ladies. My Mom was the cat lady on every single block she ever lived on. Our apartment was always teeming with felines. (To this day, I feed stray cats -- as does my sister.)
Breaking news: My Mom knew more about direct action than just about any activist I’ve ever met. Please allow me to explain…
Cat ladies don’t waste time, energy or resources
No marches, signs, chants, or interminable meetings. No all-day social media flame wars. No need for selfies or other forms of virtue signaling. No purity litmus tests. Why not? Because none of these -- nor any other typical “activist” tactic -- serve the mission. It’s not about the cat lady. It’s about the cats. They need food, water, shelter, and sometimes medical care. The local cat lady methodically provides them with all of that and more on a regular basis. Any questions?
Cat ladies are dedicated, committed, and reliable
I have witnessed cat ladies attending to their feline flock in all kinds of weather. They keep a meticulous schedule and if they have to be out of town, they’ll find someone else to reliably do the work until they return. Stray cats come and go. Some get adopted, some die terrible deaths. Some neighbors complain about the noise and smell. Other neighbors threaten to poison the cats and report the cat lady to the Department of Health. None of this deters a cat lady from her chosen mission. Why would it? She’s accepted her responsibility and lives up to, 24/7.
Cat ladies deeply love and respect the beings they seek to help
Let that one sink in for a while.
Cat ladies don’t distract themselves with purity or theory
Imagine encountering a cat lady as she lugs food and water to a regular feeding spot. Seemingly from out of nowhere, grateful cats and kittens arrive for their sustenance. Now imagine telling that cat lover how some of the ingredients in the cat food are not the healthiest. Then add in a question about how she is or isn’t recycling the cans afterward. Finally, go for the rhetorical kill by explaining why her efforts are wasted because she’s not addressing the big picture issues that create an overpopulation of stray animals and a general disdain for non-humans. Keep talking, but please take note: the cat lady ain’t listening. She’s already moved on to her next feeding spot.
Cat ladies get results
A cat lady understands urgency when she encounters it. She also accepts her limitations and works around them. From there, she basically behaves like a triage nurse. As a result, she gets results. Day after day, felines within her reach are fed and have safe havens in which to hide. If they fall ill or are injured, they will be promptly cared for with dignity. When others in the general area see a hungry, sick, injured, or threatened cat, they know who to contact: the local cat lady. No delusions of grandeur about shifting global conditions or “changing the conversation.” No social media fame. Just results.
In the meantime…
There is no “in the meantime” for this fourth and final installation of “Reinventing Activism.” Everything detailed above -- everything an activist can learn from a cat lady -- is already happening in the here and now.
Remember, regardless of what your long-term, big-picture vision may be, the urgent question remains: What are you doing right now to fundamentally change the lives of those in need? So, assuming you’ve read all four parts of this series, what’s your next move?
Mickey Z. can be found here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
Reinventing Activism, Part 4: Learn From the Cat Lady by Mickey Z. is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0