08 August 2010

I have another confession. 

Most of you notice that from time to time I disappear from posting on this blog or responding to your emails. The reason is I am sometimes involved in animal emergencies in Los Angeles, such as recently finding a large colony of 10 adult and 15 kittens starving at a location in Grenada Hills, about 5 miles from my house. The colony had been maintained by one or more feeders who seem to have disappeared. Now we have to get a group together to spay/neuter and feed these cats. This is a sudden emergency.

Then, Jimmy, the homeless man I had been helping feeding about 45 cats just moved away to Sacramento. I had been giving him about $100 worth of cat food and medicine a month. Jimmy had to move out of his tent in Northridge by August 17, or go to jail. He has been to court a dozen times during the past 14 months.

Now I am feeding four of Jimmy's colonies of cats as well as the three I had been feeding. I am trying to find local help to take over some of the responsibility.

In addition, the City is looking to increase the number of cats and dogs allowed in residential areas from 3 to 5, a small increase, but one that would allow many people to legally own an extra cat or dog or two. However, even this small improvement has opponents who dislike dogs or cats and who are bombarding City Council with protests to this increase.

You may not know this but I have an animal blog that follows animal issues in Los Angeles and nationwide: http://laanimalwatch.blogspot.com

I have used the blog to notify people of animal emergencies such as above, and also to lobby for or against legislation. There is a lot that is happening now, including a movement to re-label homeless cats as "wildlife." This will have a large impact in terms of their legal status and protection in the future.

All of these things I talk about and lobby for and against on this blog.

This blog is quite controversial because I have used it both to defend people who have been attacked by radical groups who want to harm the animals, or to "attack" certain people or factions whose legislation of actions might harm animals. 

Therefore, this animal blog has a very different combative tone at times, because this is the nature of animal issue communications in Los Angeles.

For example, recently a woman named Phyllis Daugherty, who spends most of her day schmoozing with city officials, and thus whose opinion is well regarded by those politicians, has attacked the proposed increase in animals that can be kept in the home. The more animals that can be kept, the higher the possible adoptions of homeless animals from the shelters, decreasing the kill rate. I take it upon myself to show how her arguments are both illogical but also fear mongering to get her ends.

For many months several years ago, because of my support for one animal official, I was bombarded with negative press from a reporter from an Internet newspaper, and also received a number of physical threats. In Los Angeles, the struggle to save the lives of animals has become a war, with groups like the Audubon Society and Urban Wildlands Group opposing the city's long efforts to implement trap/neuter/and re-release of homeless cats as opposed to trapping and killing them. These two entities sued the city and now prevents them from helping rescuers spay and neuter these homeless cats, and keep them alive in their colonies rather than killing them.

These groups do not play nice and use pseudo science to convince judges and Councilmembers that homeless cats are a huge danger and health risk, and should be eradicated.

So, if I disappear for a while, know it is because I am fighting for the animals, and sometimes that fighting can be loud.


  1. Edji, Thank you for letting know. I appreciate your care and commitment for cats. Just out of curiosity - why you love cats in particular. Wish you all success in this endeavor.

  2. Because there are so many that need help. Over a million homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. They are not well protected by law, and shelters kill a lot higher percentage of cats than dogs. There are not a million homeless dogs in LA, maybe a few thousand in some of the poorer areas of the city.

    If I were in India, it might be dogs or monkeys.

    If it were not for these cats, I probably would have had little to do with the world since Robert died. Only recently have I found advanced souls who are "companions" that make it worth while also.

    There is something too about the love manifest by both dogs and cats. Cats have a very gentle love towards humans, and playful. When a cat loves you, they watch you all day long. They sit and watch and sometimes come over to watch from your lap or chest.

    The love between an animal and a man or women is much more pure than what most people call love between two people.

    With an animal you just want to protect and serve them. It is a training ground for universal love between all sentient beings.

  3. Dear Dr. Muzika,

    I am totally with you. I have 3 cats of my own and love them dearly. When I moved from Toronto, Canada to Los Angeles I drove across the States and took them with me. I had friends recommend to leave them behind, but how could I? They are persons just like anyone else.
    Yesterday, I went to a big fair here in Indianapolis and to my disbelief they were showing different animals, like pigs, cows, lambs, lamas, etc. When I asked what they do with the animals after the show they told me that they slaughter them. I felt faint and started crying. We left and I found myself judging people and having thoughts of how could they, etc. Then I reflected and started self-enquiry. To whom the mind that disapproves of this appear? Who is the witness of this sadness and suffering? I thought this judgment toward these people is of the ego but then if I do not discriminate I remain unaware of the suffering of the animals so I was confused. I was disapproving of the killing of the animals, I was angry with people's detachment from they own feelings ... and yet another part of me knew I had to remain compassionate ... but that makes me feel like I am closing my eyes toward such ugliness ... Do you hear my conflict? How do you resolve it?

  4. This conflict of yours does not really matter, does it? Your judging or not judging really doesn't matter, does it? This is just one example of probably a thousand "conflicts" you create for yourself during a year.

    It is all mind stuff.

    Just focus on the I Am when you can and as often as you can.

    When freedom comes, with many, many people, there also comes an increased sense of justice, compassion and love. You recognize you are the shepherd that needs to protect and serve all living beings.

    Then you just act, and the actions does not come out of conflict, but strong compassion and energy.

  5. How wonderful, how wonderful, how true. Thank you for your wisdom.

  6. When you go free all the bad things people do to animals will dishearten you. But, also your energy and mind will be more focused and the actions you take more effective. You will find your compassion "niche" and will take on responsibilities you can handle.

  7. Thank you for the communication above. That answers my doubts too.

    Edji,you said, the actions comes not out of conflict for you. May I ask : While taking up these causes, do you expect any betterment or just do whatever spontaneously arise, without even expecting betterment of the conditions of cats.

    Why some of the Masters like Robertji doesn't involve while some other Masters involve in visible compassionate activities. Or Is this my perception in ignorance?

  8. There is no expectation, a hope maybe that good will come out of the involvement. The action just arises spontaneously as a similtaeous reaction to the situation.

    Of course, during parts of every day, there is no action or reaction, just the feeling of complete happiness, peace or nothing at all.

    Robert did not engage in any broad activities, such as animal advocacy in any strong way, but he was extremely compassionate as a situation arose where someoen or something needed help.

    But Robert didn't have much to do with the world. He did say that if it were not for his dog Dimitri, he probably would not be alive, They were inseparable, and Robert died shortly after Dimitri died. The story is on the itisnotreal website somewhere.

  9. "If it were not for these cats, I probably would have had little to do with the world since Robert died."

    You wouldn't be here at all. You wouldn't be able to keep your physical body without something to anchor you in this world. That's why Robert gave you a mission to take care of cats. I'm glad he did.

    I hope things will go better for Jimmy in Sacramento.

  10. Thank you Edji and thanks for others who commented. The last comment gives a perfect answer to my previous question.