Sunday, December 30, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Howdy, y'all! I am back from XMas vacation in Colorado. It was a supreme delight visiting with relatives. I'm still spinning a bit from excess sugar consumption and the yummy goodness of decent Mexican food.

I also had to cram in some kiddo visits at work on Friday and setting up everything for a new set of kiddos on my caseload. It was also fun to chew the fat with my coworkers about their break and discuss Holiday cheer. I received multiple stockings filled with various cavity-inducing, high-caloric units (i.e. candy). They stood ready and waiting on my desk Friday morning.

I received some info from my boss regarding the kitty of the previous post and how to proceed. She said she believed the kitty probably belonged to someone and was a barn cat that had taken to me. Since the cat didn't look like it was hungry, and it had a collar with a bell on it, it probably belonged to someone. However, I will still be on the lookout for kitty this winter. If it looks longingly at me to provide some shelter, I received some helpful info from an anonymous commenter on a no-kill shelter in the area.

The commenter's comments were--well--colorful, the information was appreciated. (But not enough to actually publish them. Thank you, Blogger for comment moderation.) This leads me to a second point. It's rather interesting, I've been blogging for almost a year, and I sometimes write about work. I have yet to receive a comment about someone out there being outraged about human children being abused, neglected, you name it, on a daily basis. Granted, I don't write specifically about my kiddos. (I am not going to write anecdotes from work to spice up my blog. Other than violating the confidentiality taboo, I don't want to use my kiddos' life stories as ways to make the online community boo-hoo and whatnot.) But I sometimes discuss my frustrations with helping kids in the system. Do you know how many irate comments I've received about what kind of bitch I am for pulling kiddos out of foster homes and making teens take drug tests? Not one.

I write a post discussing an encounter with a cat, and I am the devil. I had to moderate a few comments off my blog, mentioning I should be very ashamed of myself for not subjecting Hun to allergic shock for bringing a cuddly car-riding cat home and an outright hostile "Merry Christmas, Bitch" when I didn't bring the cat to a no-kill shelter at 8:00 at night. (Well, I didn't mention that in my last post, I guess.)

This was a bit eye-opening to me as our value for humanity as a society. It kind of reminds me of Michael Moore receiving a lot of flack about including footage of an impoverished woman killing and skinning a rabbit for meat in Roger & Me. Moore mentioned he never received any comments about the footage of a kid getting shot while playing in the street in the next scene. Both scenes are acts of violence. Granted, I was horrified when I saw the rabbit got skinned. But other animals get slaughtered for our tables every day. Why was it that no one was concerned about the kid getting shot?

I'm sorry, kitty lovers, but I'm a bigger fan of people.

The story did tug at the heart strings a bit. The encounter definitely provided a great deal of internal conflict for me. I love animals. But one thing doesn't keep me awake at night: the kids on my caseload go to bed at night with a full stomach in a nurturing home. There is more money donated to PETA and other humane societies then there are to children's charities. You could argue that people can communicate for help and animals can't. Well, I would also argue that most kids can't either--they don't know how, or they don't know of other ways of living other than the chaotic environment they may face day in and day out.

So, kitty lovers out there, call me a bitch. That's what keeps my kiddos safe in a system that give more of a shit about paperwork than people. As far as the car-riding kitty, I'm still keeping an eye out there for him. And thanks for the heads up for the no-kill shelter Anonymous, even though you thought I did the wrong thing.

Everyone out there, have an awesome new year. I plan on working on being a bit more kinder to my neighbors, and to myself. Hugs and kisses to you all. As much as I rant, I am super lucky to have great family, loyal friends, strong women, and most of all Hun in my life.


Onknees (not_onknees at the moment) said...

Happy holidays and pre-Happy new Year to you and also your Hun. Apparently i found some probably disjointed commonalities betwixt us!!
#1 My son (25 and a native of Palm Beach) just returned from Aspen where it is reportedly too cold for him and anyone else from Florida to subsist. Not being a native of Florida, but rather a New Yorker, I had to look at him in amazement.
#2 I am a teacher of special ed students, most of whom are aging out of the foster care system in Palm beach county and so i focus in independent living skills they will need when big brudda says "so long, nice being in control of your life up til now"!!
How do you deal with this problem up there? Do you have transitional programs for teens?

Cowgirl Betty said...

Hey, Onkees, right back at ya! Ya, It's snowing in New York, and it snowed about a foot over night. I called into work today. My boss teased me about thinking Coloradoans are made of tougher stuff and should be used to snow. What can I say? In Colorado, it snows, looks pretty, then melts away the next day--rather than May. I'm getting more used to it, but . . . well . . . I'm a Colorado wuss, I guess.

As far as teens aging out of the system, teens can choose to remain in care until they are 22 in New York. The agency I work for also has an awesome IL program, setting up kids in their own apartments, enrolling them in college, helping them find a job, teaching them budgeting, etc. However, a lot of teens who hit their majority are so fed up with the system they sign themselves out of care--even though remaining in the system will finally work to their advantage. After they sign themselves out, they can't change their minds. Quite a few of them wind up in shelters or worse--jail.

One thing is great though about New York, at least they give youth a chance to transition out of the system. In Colorado, if you turn 18 and don't enroll in college, well, lets just hope the door doesn't hit them in the ass on their way out.

onknees said...

Hey there-happy new Year to you as well....and thanks for the compliment

I got very teary eyed watching the ball drop in Times Square...but i wouldn't repeat it either. Once it took me 3 days to get home :)

fracas said...

Hi CGBetty!

I couldn't have said any of this better had I wrote it myself! I so agree about people being outraged about animal abuse and then not seeming to care about kids.

I so know what you mean about all of this! I'm very private about family things, but let me just say that the world needs more Betties, who make teens take drug tests, pull kiddos out of foster homes
and puts the importance of people and especially kids, over animals.
Perhaps we'll be able to talk more!

I'm so glad you stopped by my blog. I've added you to my fuelroll.