“I sing a song for the bad man” (Ronnie Van Zant)
That’s how I feel about the orange cat intruder who keeps wanting to fight with our cats and take over our house and yard. I–unaccountably–have compassion for it, because it is a creature mostly acting on instinct and upbringing with no or very little power of counter-decision making. I certainly don’t want to hurt this cat, as someone did who shot a pellet into our cat, Fiona (the vet said it would be better to leave it there.) Now, if you touch her back in a certain place, she warns you to stop with a hiss or nip. This cat is no longer scared of the spray bottle filled with water or of me, for that matter though it will slink away if I run at it. Could this cat be dangerous? Maybe. Still, I sing a song for the bad cat!
It is hard for me to have compassion for a human with the capacity for decision making but who still makes decisions that result in others being harmed–like people in power on the extreme right, or hard drug dealers, or predators of various kinds on the street, or con men, or people who make an impulsively bad decision that hurts another but then do not try to either make amends, or if not possible, feel remorse and vow to behave differently in the future.
I can’t muster up compassion for these people, but I still don’t want to harm them; I just want to stop them from doing what they are doing.
I sing a song for that orange cat because perhaps under the surface, it is feeling abandoned in its “home” and has a deep need to connect somewhere else. (It is the next door neighbor’s cat.). We can’t afford to adopt it and I have no evidence that they are abusing it.
I wonder how others feel about this dilemma and situation?