Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Small Victory for 2 Cats

I had to post one more time before I left for Switzerland. I received an e-mail this morning from someone I know - I thought I'd share the thread of e-mails with you:

Dear Beth, I don't know if you remember me, but my name is *** and I used to work for ***** Animal Hospital until about a year ago.A lot has happened in the year since I've been home. I've had a second baby and all is going well, except that I just don't have time anymore for my two cats. I never thought that I would be in this situation and I've tried everything to convince myself that I can take care of everyone, but I can't. They are lovely, healthy, 7-year-old brother and sister European short hair and are serously neglected. I went to cut their nails recently and noticed that on the female cat her nails were so long that they had almost curled into the pads of her feet. That was the final straw for me. I couldn't believe that I could let that happen, but I guess that I'm just so busy with everything else, it just kept getting pushed back. They are always the ones that end up getting left for the 'I'll get to it tomorrow' list.My husband recently got hired for a new job up north and we will be moving within the next couple of months and although the cats travel well and adjust very quickly to new environments, I just can't cope with the stress. My husband keeps telling me to get rid of them and I've been holding on, but it really isn't fair to them.They are very friendly, not shy with new people and adapt very quickly to new surroundings. They tolerate other animals, but generally don't get cozy with them. They would be lost without each other and I just don't know anyone who can take them. I absolutely hate having to do this, but I think it's best for them and for me.

Hi ***, Of course, I remember you. Congratulations on the birth of your new baby. I'm so disheartened to receive your e-mail. As you can imagine, I receive e-mails like yours every day but I never thought I'd receive one from someone as educated about cats as you are. If you remember, we rescue primarily from Animal Control. This time of year over 30-40 cats arrive in the shelter - EACH DAY. They're euthanizing SO MANY each week at the one shelter. The reason I'm telling you this is because if I take your cats, it means 2 others die a horrible death alone in the shelter. I moved to Canada 4 years ago from Southern California with my 3 children, 4 cats and 2 dogs. You can move a few hours with your 2 children and 2 cats. It's not really that big of a deal. Yes, having two children and moving are stressful. But cats don't require much. I can't imagine that the cats are what's stressing you. Getting rid of them won't solve your problem. I honestly think you need to reexamine what it is that's creating the stress and deal with that. If you feel the need to abandoned your cats with someone else, please consider lovingly holding them and having them put to sleep at the vets. It's cruel that you want to dump 7 year old cats. I've seen the look of sheer terror and abandonment in the eyes of middle-aged cats as they change homes over and over again. If you give them away for free, the chances are very great that they will end up as scientific research. Step up to the plate, be responsible and own up to your commitment to your pets. You're not the first parent that's been too busy to remember to trim their cat's nails. Your cats don't need a new home. They need their family.

Hi Beth,

You are absolutely right.
I am probably just stressed and sleep deprived in combination with everyone around me telling me that I don't need the added work. It makes it difficult to think straight. Your email just confirmed what I've been saying to myself all along. I guess I needed to hear it from someone who is as passionate about animals as I am.
Thank you so much for responding so quickly and giving me the kick in the pants that I needed to stop doubting myself.
I wish you all the best with the great work you do with abandoned cats and I will be keeping your email as a solid reminder to myself to always do what I know is right.
My cats and I thank you.

I'm completely blown away! I had opened that e-mail with great trepidation. Surely she was going to tell me to "F**k off". But she didn't. Could it be that my experience with motherhood, pets and moving really helped somebody CHOOSE to keep their cats?
It's a small victory for 2 little cats that didn't know how close they came to losing their home.

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