Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Needing an Ugly Cry

I think I've started this post more than a dozen times today. I'm trying really hard to stay positive and have appreciated the wonderful support.

I woke up to an email from a friend in rescue whose foster kitten died in her arms last night. She was up all night with the poor little angel. This isn't the first kind of email I've received like this from a foster parent. It's never easy - in fact, it's horrible, but death is part of rescuing sometimes. Certainly during kitten season - it seems more common. I really hurt for her. She had "Tinka" for more than 4 weeks when she died.

When I went to the shelter this morning for a small rescue, I left the house with a heavy heart. I tried to avoid sad songs on the radio and sang out loud to the rock station. I was probably too fragile to be at the shelter the day before they euthanize the cats. I should've known that. But when I arrived, I was greeted with, "Beth, you don't want to go back in the cat rooms. The cages are already marked (for euthanasia) and it's not a pretty sight."

Well, shit. I had cats to rescue. I had to go back there.

I was devastated. It wasn't just the feral cats that would die tomorrow. There were cats rubbing on their cage bars, purring as they saw me. Mom cats snuggled with their babies. Paws coming out of the cages. I had never seen so many marked for euthanasia.

I found myself taking some of the condemned cats out of their cages. I held them for a moment. Kissed them. Stroked their face and rubbed under their chin. Many of them had never been loved. Sadly, I put each one back in their marked cage and I grieved for each one. I silently apologized to them and cursed the world.

I left with two kittens: (Only "Diego" had a picture)

Yeah, I don't feel positive today. I woke up to a woman devastated because she so desperately tried to save a kitten's life, and ended the day with dozens and dozens of adorable cats and kittens who will die tomorrow for the reason that nobody wants them and there are not enough homes.

To Diane: This post is for you. I spoke with you last night and you told me you didn't see why it was wrong for your cat to have 2...3...litters of kittens because you found them all "good homes". You were so unhappy with me for what I had to say. Do you get it NOW?

I need a good cry - a really good ugly cry. Then I'll get up tomorrow and do it all again.


Allison at Novice Life said...

I hope Diane reads this post and GETS IT NOW!

How does she know that one of those cats you saw today wasn't one she gave to a 'really good home'..........

Kea said...

Beth, no words I type will make one iota of difference. I don't know how you do it, I'd be sick to my stomach every day and probably back on meds. Whatever strength I have to give you, via healing Light and cyber hugs, is yours.

Wishing with all my heart that you find a bit of peace this evening.

Anonymous said...

After reading this post, I join you in shedding a few ugly frustrated tears. Such a hard job you do, especially when the pleas for change continues to fall upon ignorant ears. I boggles my mind that people continue to insist that allowing their cat to have even one litter is without consequences. The shelters and humane societies are stretched to their capacities, animals are dying needlessly daily and STILL people just don't get it!
SPAY/NEUTER, ADOPT from you local shelter - what part doesn't make sense???

Anonymous said...

After reading this post, I join you in shedding a few ugly frustrated tears. Such a hard job you do, especially when the pleas for change continues to fall upon ignorant ears. I boggles my mind that people continue to insist that allowing their cat to have even one litter is without consequences. The shelters and humane societies are stretched to their capacities, animals are dying needlessly daily and STILL people just don't get it!
SPAY/NEUTER, ADOPT from you local shelter - what part doesn't make sense???

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

I'll shed some tears along with you as I think of what you saw this morning -

People are just so freakin' stupid -

I'd write more but I know I'm preaching to the choir here -

I'm always in awe of what you do -

I never stop telling my transport passengers how lucky they are - and I try not to think of those that didn't make it out -

HomeToMany said...

***Warning, there is some swearing in this post****

There is no point trying to spin this into a positive comment, we all know that you do an amazing job even getting up and going there everyday, let alone looking into the eyes that will die. But sometimes, you just need to say "I f**king hate people, every last one of the idiots that created this problem and don't have to ever see it.., f**k them and wish bad karma on all of them."

Like you Beth, I want a good cry today too. We have decided after all that our semi feral cat Luke has been through, that we are going to have her euthanized on Thursday. She is again not eating and the pain in her mouth is back. Since she came back after having her teeth removed she was so happy enjoying her life, in the past few weeks her quality of life began to fall dramatically, she hasn't eaten in more than a week and seems extremely depressed, pawing at her mouth and appears to be in a lot of pain. I have never been able to pet her for more than a second, today she let me for a few minutes, she is so weak. I am f**king pissed too, because some asshole didn't spay/neuter, then another asshole left her outside on a balcony for months in the winter and even in death I will have to watch her die alone because I am not even sure that she will let me hold her and that f**king sucks too! So lets hate on all the jerks tonight, because tomorrow is a new day and we have to remember what we are here to do.

House of the Discarded said...

Home To Many: Oh no!! Not Luke! After all this time?? I can't tell you how VERY VERY sorry I am. Please stay with her until they sedate her. You can hold her then. I've heard from others who have had feral cats PTS, it's the most beautiful time they'll have and it's very meaningful.

I'll be thinking about you on Thursday. Thank you for loving her.

Thank you for saying it - the way I want to say it.

Kristen said...

One little life at a time, Beth. Chin up, snuggle your cats. You are much stronger than I !

Christine Gittings said...

I'm so saddened by your post Beth and my heart goes out to you. I have to admit I'm rather angered too. I was at the Toronto Humane Society for a volunteer meeting on Sunday. It was my first time there since the closed their doors in the fall and the place is like a ghost town. Currently they can only accept surrenders and Not strays for some friggin ridiculous reason. Meanwhile they have rooms of empty cages(all the new large size) set up with blankets and the rooms are fully stocked with supplies. Meanwhile all these poor critters at the shelter you go to and elsewhere are being euthanized.

Whoever is responsible for changing the ruling at the THS needs to be brought in to witness the mass euthanization of all these poor critters.

I know I can't blame the vet but I don't have any idea how anyone who has been trained to care for animals could carry out such a horrific task.

After all that I'm at a loss for words and at a loss as to what can be done to fix this disaster.

Anonymous said...

It's frustrating how people won't -not can't - grasp that there are a finite number of spaces in homes. And if you let your cat have 5 kittens, if you get them homes, that's 5 kittens in a shelter who die. You are KILLING other cats by letting yours have kittens. How selfish.

And for Luke... All our pets ask for is a dignified end. Giving Luke that is your last, most important gift. Thank you.

Laura HP said...

There are so many people like Diane and it is so damn frustrating!

A hoarder dumped over 50 small animals on our shelter and we're struggling to find them all places - we found a foster home for a pregnant rat and it was such an amazing success, and then she died suddenly (stress-induced complications, we assume) a week later. She shouldn't have been pregnant in the first place! You spend so much time trying to fix things and then you hear someone make a careless comment about their pets and you just want to shake them!
I don't know how you do it, Beth, but I'm so glad you do. Diego is alive thanks to you. It doesn't fix the problem but it's one whole life that's saved.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

I'm with HomeToMany, there are days at the shelter that I would just like to track down the idiot who allowed one more litter to come into the world and choke the life out of them with my bare hands. The best thing I ever did was take my neighbor, the lady with the outdoor, un-spayed, litter after litter having cat to the local AC for a viewing of the euth process up close and personal. Gee, her cat suddenly was spayed and indoors! I'm a strong person, I don't cry at the drop of a hat, some who are only acquaintances believe me to be cold and unemotional (tho far from the reality) I recently broke down, not just crying but almost choking in anger and hatred for the dumbass who brought his cat in to a clinic at the shelter. He said that he hadn't noticed how much weight she'd lost because he was busy with work and what not. The cat was pregnant, starved and so covered in fleas she had little of her own blood left. There was nothing we could do she was so far gone. As I carried her to the back for the final shot she popped out a dead kitten...then died, right there in my arms. I needed to be restrained or I would have killed the bastard that brought her in! He was about to leave when the cops should up to arrest him for animal abuse. Yes, he was charged, our police take this stuff seriously thank God. I'm sorry for the long rant, I just needed to get it out there and since I try to keep my blog and family talks up-beat I dumped it here. Sorry again.
Donna-mom to three and spoiler of lots of fosters.

Ellstar said...

@ Christine From what I understand, the currently ruling is temporary? I guess they don't want to jump in head first again, into the same problem as before? Maybe I'm wrong, but it'll take more than the THS opening its doors to get people to stop breeding/dumping cats as replaceable fodder. A shift in pet ownership and how people view animals is needed more :(

havetailwillwag said...

i hate the idiots who want to breed their pets. they are too dense to understand that every litter they breed means more dead animals.. you are doing excellent work. don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
sometimes when you feel like crap, when you feel like you can't or don't do enough, don't forget to think about the ones that you have saved and helped. don't just think about the ones that you couldn't save.

House of the Discarded said...

Looks like I'm not the only rescuer that needed an ugly cry last night.


Caroline said...

The best thing the SPCA can do to help pets is to open more low cost spay and neuter clinics. I feel with the money they have every one of their locations should have one, no excuses! Animal controls should also be offering this.