Things I ponder as I walk.

Are cats vengeful?  I used to have a lovely African violet sitting in my kitchen window.  It has thrived there for a couple of years.  Enter Lulu.  Lulu the Cat loves to sever the leaves.  Sometimes she chews them; sometimes she discards them.  I surrounded the plant with other items in order to leave no space for said cat.  For a time it worked.

This morning Lulu was playful.  I heard her bouncing all over the kitchen and den.  I eventually went in there to join in the fun.  I quickly started to feel more hostile than playful.  There on the floor were about eight or nine violet leaves as if they were trying to compete with the shedding tree outside the window.  All the bouncing had apparently been Lulu jumping up to steal a leaf, losing her balance and dropping back down, taking a leaf with her.  Grrrrrrrr.  Poor, poor, pitiful plant.  See all those sad leafless stems?

I have now done what I always did when I had small children: I put the plant where the cat can’t get to it.  Behind closed doors.  In my bedroom.  Lulu’s not allowed in there because of my allergies.

Is it time to move beyond awareness October is breast cancer awareness month.  I wrote about this last year, in a very positive way, I think.

I don’t take awareness lightly.  It’s the first step toward eradicating a problem.  And breast cancer is a major problem.  As are all cancers.

I have several friends who are breast cancer survivors.  And one dear friend who didn’t survive.  I recently asked my closest friend L, who is a survivor, “Are you sick of all this pink ribbon stuff?”  Her immediate and unequivocal response: “YES!”

I think it’s safe to say that the “pink ribbon” has become the universal symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness, and there’s the rub.  L’s concern, and mine, is that it is being misused to make money, to make a profit, by companies and/or individuals who have no intention of contributing to the cause.  I don’t know how prevalent this practice is, but I do know I’ve seen many tacky items with some cheap version of a pink ribbon, and I simply couldn’t believe they were legitimate.

Whenever I think of charities I always return to March of Dimes.  Is anyone else old enough to remember what that organization did to polio?  They funded research which resulted in the development of both the Salk and Sabin vaccines thus eradicating polio.  With that mission accomplished, they turned their focus to the prevention of birth defects.

When I was in elementary school we had “dime” drives with cards that held dimes.  We children collected dimes at a time when, for many, they were hard to come by.  Everyone was in on this fight.  Even parents (mine) who couldn’t afford to give to charity contributed a thin dime or two to the card of their child.  No child wanted to take in an unfilled card.

My family didn’t understand the full significance of the March of Dimes until my baby sister contracted polio at the age of two.  The doctor sent her to a hospital in another city.  Fortunately her case was mild.  She spent only a month there.  Imagine my parents’ surprise when the hospital administrator told them the bills would be paid by the March of Dimes.

I don’t really know whether it’s fair to compare these two charities.  Times are different.  There were most certainly some who “cheated” March of Dimes, but I was too young to know that.  I do know that many played fairly because we were committed to a very important cause.  And we delivered.

I’m idealistic enough believe that cancer research can be streamlined and standardized and we can beat it.  Franklin D. Roosevelt started the March of Dimes.  Maybe what we need is presidential prodding.  Cancer is nonpartisan.  When we seriously focus on a problem we can be nonpartisan, too, and we can accomplish anything.  Let’s do it!  Maybe one day we will have a cancer vaccine.  It could happen.

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9 thoughts on “Things I ponder as I walk.

  1. Walking is a cure for almost everything that ails me. I don’t do as well on days I don’t walk. I have never done “the walk” for the cancer cure. I should do that. I would like to, actually.

    I’m glad I posted about Lulu’s misdeeds. Compared to the other kitty cats mentioned here, I think I can consider myself lucky. I hope Lulu doesn’t discover wires. That’s dangerous.

    Thanks for reading, Esmee.

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  2. Walking can be so meditative… I remember the little dine cards too, had forgotten them. There are so many different ways to help find a breast cancer cure. I’m doing a ‘walk’ soon and I volunteer for the ACS. Made some wonderful friends there.
    Lulu, on the other hand, is she related to my kitty Louis? He likes little electrical wires and has nibbled his way through a pricey pair Bose headset wires. Bad, purry kitty.

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  3. I am a cat lover and have the scars to prove it, so do half the chairs and tables i have owned. They gradually destroyed the house while I sat calmly reading a book on “animal discipline in the house”. As to Cancer, it is a cruel and unforgiving disease. Anyone who has been on this earth for long enough has lost friends to it. awareness and eradication both have my support

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    • I’m chuckling, Ducks. I don’t have any scars yet as I do exactly what Lulu wants. I even watched a show on TV called “My Cat from Hell.” I also googled some litter box problems. We’ve established a great deal of trust in a short time. I figured out that when she comes at me as if she will bite me, she won’t really bite me. She just holds my finger between her teeth for a moment or two.

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  4. Sorry about your beautiful plant. If it is any consolation one of my cats eats bananas – you just can’t leave them out. She doesn’t even have the decency to peal them first and pop the skins in the bin.

    As for the pink ribbon I guess I agree and disagree. Like you I’ve had a few pals and family members who have shouldered up to breast cancer. All in their own ways and some have faired better than others. I think though that for me the pink ribbon is important – because of what it means, not because you wear one.

    I’m not really the sort of person who sticks something in her lapel because I feel it’s important or because I believe it’s going to raise money. I do however raise money for cancer by doing charity runs where I know how and where the money is being spent and when they give me something to pin on my back to say why I’m running I always write in big bold letters “I’m running for friends that I admire and friends that I miss”.

    Awareness raising is such an important thing. I just don’t think that doing it the corporate way is always the best way to do it.

    Oh as an aside. Why don’t you get Lulu a cat grass plant and put it on the windowsill. They love it and it might just be enough to turn her head. 😉

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    • Bananas?! I’m happy to say that so far Lulu hasn’t shown any interest in human food. I leave bananas and other fruit on the counter all the time. I have to be careful not to leave cups or glasses or the like up there though. She has a habit of pushing them away to make space for herself at night when I’m sleeping. Thanks for the tip. I’ll try the grass plant.

      I’m not sure I was able to express very well what I was feeling about charities. I really struggled with this post. I agree with what you said about understanding how the money is being spent. I do usually research before I contribute. Ididn’intend to

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