Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


February 14, 2007

Kathryn Ramirez

private citizen

Today's Date: February 10, 2007

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

I am passionate about animals. If I were unable to have two or three pets at any given time, I would be positively miserable.

I had a cat, Josie that I'd got as a stray when it was fairly young. I think her parents must have been pretty wild, because she never, in all the time I had her, ever warmed up to people the way other cats I'd had did. I had her for 18 years! During that time, I tried and tried to get her to want to sit on my lap or even next to me on the couch. I would have been happy if she'd rubbed up against my legs and purred. Now I've had enough cats to know that most of them are, by nature, somewhat aloof and independent. The cat I have now is super loving and friendly, but she's still a cat, if you know what I mean. But Josie was the epitome of aloof. I never felt an ounce of love from her.

Well, during Josie's last few months, she had a lot of health problems. We even ended up having to have one of her legs amputated. It cost us a small fortune, but the vet assured us that she could still have a quality life with just three legs. We were amazed at how well she adapted. Finally, though, she stopped eating and started losing a lot of weight. When we took her in to the vet that time, she said that Josie's condition was terminal. We made the hard decision to put her to sleep. We decided to stay with her when the vet gave her the injection, even though we didn't know whether it would give her any comfort at all to have us there. After all, she didn't seem to have found much comfort in having lived with us for 18 years.

Anyway, the vet let her lie down on a towel on the examining table and gave her the shot. She told us it would be painless and would just take a few minutes to end Josie's life. I stood next to her and petted her the whole time. I had expected that she would just close her eyes and eventually stop breathing. But what actually happened astonished me. She was in a position where she really couldn't see me; I was kind of behind her. A few seconds after the vet injected her, she suddenly craned her neck so that she would be able to see me. I don't know why she wanted to see me. She seemed to be completely at peace and not suffering at all. But then she did something she had not done in 18 years. She looked directly into my eyes (kind of the way a dog will often do). And when she did, I saw an understanding and a love that I had never seen in her eyes before. We just looked into each other's eyes and I felt so strongly that she was thinking, "Oh, now I see! You really loved me, didn't you? All those years... And now you're helping me to move on. Thank you. I love you, too, you know." People who have never seen that look will balk, but I know Josie's spirit was about to leave her body and I believe God allowed us a brief moment of connection we'd never had before. I will never forget it as long as I live.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Yes, I loved Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. I think it's one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Now? Bryce Canyon -- still.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

Oh, man, I just don't know. I seriously just love them all. Most of my own personal experience is with cats and dogs, though, so I guess that's what my answer would have to be.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Probably global warming, now and in the future.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

I think we recognize that God gave us dominion over the earth, He meant that He was entrusting it to our care. That means He expects us to take care of it and not destroy it. I realize that's pretty vague, and I'm sorry. It's the best I can do.

No comments:

Post a Comment