“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
– Charles Dickens
Katz 4 Keeps is more than just a place. It’s a state of mind. For those of you who don’t know what Katz 4 Keeps is, Katz 4 Keeps is a place where people can come in to adopt kittens or cats that were strays before they were found on the street and brought there. Almost every Friday, I volunteer there with a few other eighth graders. They need volunteers there to socialize the cats so that later on, they can interact with humans and be adopted. I love playing with all of the kittens and cats there. Katz 4 Keeps helps me observe a very important mitzvah called Tza’ar Ba’alei Hayim.
In the very first chapters of the Torah, animals are created on the fifth day of creation and establish an important connection with humans. Even when Noah is told to build an ark so God can destroy the world, God takes kindness on animals and lets Noah take a few animals from each species on the ark with him so they can repopulate the earth. Throughout the Torah, animals have a special connection with humans. The mitzvah Tza’ar Ba’alei Hayim tells people to not treat animals cruelly. I think that cats on the street without a home are suffering, maybe even starving. That is why I love going to Katz 4 Keeps every week and find it meaningful. It is because I want to see every cat and kitten there find a home and be loved by someone. As you can see in the picture below, my mom and I are holding a kitten. There is a story behind that picture.
My mom drove us to Katz 4 Keeps one day and started socializing the cats. I somehow convinced her to get a kitten. So a few weeks later, on a Sunday, just my mom and I drove back to Katz 4 Keeps and started looking for a kitten to adopt. She said the choice was mine. It took me hours to decide on a kitten, but I finally decided on a cute tuxedo kitten that was very friendly. We took a picture with the kitten before we left to always remember that moment. Now, I have an even deeper connection with Katz 4 Keeps and will keep going there because I love what I do there. That is why Katz 4 Keeps is more than just a place.