Stony Point Center's tranquil grounds and proliferation of green edibles often draws deer and other four-legged visitors. Though these friends sometimes present challenges, we have adjusted our operations to co-exist with them.

Recently, however, another sort of visitor turned up in our midst: an abandoned kitten. Three of our community members found him cowering under one of the campus cars. He was clearly ill and barely holding onto life. They gathered him up and began a sad journey.

Tzedek"There is a high probability that he was dumped here," said Asher Menashe who spent the most time with the kitten, and named him Tzedek, which means justice in Hebrew. "Given his ill health, I doubt he could have crawled to where we found him from some distance - between the vultures, skunks, and other predators and his being so weak, he was definitely a candidate to be prey. If it was a litter and a mom, at least other kittens would have been found. But he was all alone."

Despite extensive efforts, they could not save the little animal's life. Tzedek passed away on May 20; he was between 4-6 weeks old. "We tried to help him transition with dignity and love," said Asher. Even though he's 'just a cat,' he deserves this."

"Its not abnormal for unwanted animals to be deposited anonymously at the doors of houses of worship," said co-director Kitty Ufford-Chase who also tried to save Tzedek. "But its also not right. It's wrong to abandon people when they are weak and vulnerable, and the same goes for animals."

"I am glad I gave him the name," said Asher. "I imagine him now as completely embodying the spiritual level of justice. I hope he knows we did the best we could for him, and that he can help us from 'the other side' to do better to help all vulnerable creatures."

The Community of Living Traditions would like to thank the Hi-Tor Animal Care Center for their generous assistance and ongoing work to protect the well-being of our four-legged friends.