In one of yesterday’s posts, I mentioned the popularity of Albert Schweitzer’s quote about music and felines (“There are two refuges from life’s miseries: music and cats”).

Albert Schweitzer: Thoughts for Our Times, edited by Erica Anderson (and with a preface by Dr. Lachlan Forrow, ASF’s president), contains an anecdote that puts the flesh on that quote:

“Even in the midst of putting up a building [at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene], Schweitzer’s keen ears caught the faint sound of a kitten in distress. Insisting on locating it, he had the workmen rip apart the newly nailed boards, between which the kitten had been trapped. Sizi, liberated from entombment, lived gratefully for 23 years on Schweitzer’s desk.”

Schweitzer’s compassion towards Sizi was far from anomalous — his philosophy of reverence for all life made him a forerunner to the modern animal welfare movement. (In fact, the Animal Welfare Institute awards a medal in his honor, presented for outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare.)

But sadly, Sizi’s chance for a long life was potentially anomalous — and global warming isn’t helping. As today’s Boston Metro reports, global warming has lengthened feline mating season (which starts with the year’s first thaw and ends with the year’s first frost) — and “an explosion in the population of newborn shelters is putting a massive strain on animal shelters,” resulting in increased euthanizations.

Read the article here.