When I was small, I lived with my mother and my grandfather in an apartment building. The people there had come from many places on the globe, but we all called this brick building with its carpeted stairs and deep balconies home. Our neighbours downstairs were from Ukraine, as were our neighbours diagonally across the hall. Through the floorboards each evening, we would feel the vibrations as the dad would practice playing the organ. Sometimes the dog, "Choppa," would bark along. Each day, Choppa would meet us at the second floor landing, with a wagging tail and a gleeful bout of barking. He was a Pekingese, with lots and lots of flowy fur - until the dad took him in for a haircut. It was coming up on Summer, and Choppa was overheating. "We had enough for a second dog!" the dad said laughing. Choppa was displeased for about a week, until the freedom of movement and lack of overheating settled in.
Choppa had gotten to come with his family when they left Ukraine. There are currently animals in Ukrainian shelters who need help as much as the humans - as well as the humans who have been and continue to stay in Ukraine to help and care for them. There are shelters that have been bombed and the animals have scattered. There are also many people who are fleeing the country on foot, grasping their animals close as they travel. My own Catling has been very close at hand lately. Whether she is picking up on the global dis-ease or merely my own, she has been my constant companion. I'm grateful beyond words that we are safe, that I know (within the house/greenhouse confines) where she is. That she has clean water, plenty of food. A safe place to sleep, bathe, and yell at the birds through the glass. So many animals don't have these simple necessities that now most likely feel like far away luxuries. They don't understand why their humans aren't there, or if they are together, why they aren't going home. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have to leave Sage Catling somewhere, or for her to not be safe. (Seriously, folks: I become frantic when I think she's somehow managed to wander outside because I haven't tripped over her in a hot minute! She's usually snoozing, or watching me, wondering what kind of weirdo hooman game I'm playing this time, and whether there will be minnows after >^._.^< ). I got the idea to donate specifically to animal shelters and rescue from Dean over at 1bike1world on instagram. He had been planning on crossing Russia on his bike to get to Thailand, but instead is now heading to Romania to help with animal shelters on the border. Someone else was thinking of the animals - I'm not a crazy cat lady over here in the corner! I found shelter_ugolyok listed in the comments of one of his posts and started following them, as well. They are who we will be donating a portion of sales to this month. There are several organisations helping people. We donate to help cats in Kansas City, so it makes sense that we would contribute to animal charities to help Ukraine as well.