Discover more from Nathan Winograd
Dear friends and colleagues,
My apologies, but there will not be an episode of This Week in Animal Protection. It will return next week and cover both periods. As many of you now know, my mother died.
My tribute to her is below. Thank you for understanding.
The sun did not rise for my mama this morning. She has died.
My mom was the original cat lady in my life, who was feeding (and later sterilizing) neighborhood cats over half a century ago before acronyms like “TNR” and studies in peer-reviewed journals supported her compassion (even before TNR was considered worthy of study in peer-reviewed journals).
She fed them all: cats, birds, skunks, opossums, and those she called “mapaches” — the bandits: raccoons. There were two things you could be sure of in this world, and they were truer than death and taxes. 1. If an animal crossed her path, she would feed him. 2. There was always food to do so in her pocket or purse.
My mom was very sweet and without pretense: she was nice to everyone and treated everyone with immense dignity. But she also had a fearsome temper, and it usually came out in defense of principle, such as the right of feral cats to wander without regard for property lines. My mom did not suffer fools who complained about homeless cats living on the streets and reliant on people through no fault of their own.
We took many of them in and found others’ homes, but animal control was never an option. Once, when she found a matted stray dog, she dutifully called animal control to see if his family was looking for him, but when they told her “No” but that she should bring him in, she declined, telling them that she was not going to deliver a dog to his killers. Woe to him that finds himself on the other end of her righteous anger.
Clearly, a baby Nate was listening, learning, and in so many ways, mimicking. My mama may be gone, but her fire burns in me still. I am my mother’s son.
We plan to scatter her ashes in my sister’s backyard, a backyard filled with burials of Winograd cats, decades old and as recent as last week. Upon those ashes, we will plant a tree that grows food for birds. Hanging out with cats and feeding the birds — the perfect way for my mother to spend eternity.
Be seeing you, mama. I promise to keep your flame alive.