Infants born to women of damned fate or fetal destitution, as well as girls of a feline disposition, were once left before a secondary gate of the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus, whose nuns nursed and raised the survivors. The Gate of Hope lost its role about half a century ago, and its adjoining house of devotion later saved a little more than half its mortal shell and forfeited its soul in a deal that traded gothic charity for gaudy commerciality.
In the present day, children, being fragile commodities in short supply and hence of inestimatable value in the eyes of their parental units, are seldom, if ever, left for keeps, lest they fall and hurt their pride or worse, make a break for freedom from a life of books. The privileged enjoy the servitude service of helpers who relieve them of age-old duties, while the inadequate make do with the domestic aid of grandproxies who readily succumb to the power of pester and expend their retirement on treats they could neither afford or conceive of in their youth.
Already indisposed to giving up the future value of professional efforts for the present satisfaction of a hatchkey kid, some families further par their risks by ditching their best friends when a baby pops up. A few do so on the advice of ill-conceived physicians or at the insistence of relatives who know better, while others probably realise that it is time to give up playthings they have outgrown for cuter beings.
Abandoned creatures, being biodegradable or otherwise subject to simple removal from the neighbourhood should they outlive their welcome, endure little of the debate that plagues a different beast. The shopping cart, a conveyance of steel wire that has wheedled its way into the world’s centres of household procurement, is a child of contention, with some tracing its origin to an all-American entrepreneur, while others suggest it hatched in the mind of a French inventor. Whatever its paternity, the supermarket trolley is a filthy beast of burden whose utility begins at the aisle and ends by the road, where its overbagged contents are unloaded into boots and backseats, and the hollow cage brushed aside to find its own way home.
Some establishments of humane persuasion probably employ minions who scour the neighbourhood for wayward carts, which in their bewilderment are wont to inflict damage to innocent bystanders. In fair dinkum parts, a "helicopter backed by ground support units" has been used to track and retrieve missing trolleys. There are even recovery schemes that reward the good-hearted with a go at lady luck. But thousands and thousands of trolleys still in their prime are put to sleep in backyards, river bottoms and urban wastelands where they stand little chance of redeeming the coins that brought them into service and which lie embedded in a dead lock. Even advanced specimens, equipped with receptacles moulded to fit the cracks of toddling bums, suffer the fate of their more primitive kin, languishing by the street after having discharged their duties with due care and diligence. Such are the wages of those who toil for a song and wait for godot by a tree on a roll.