Saturday, March 15, 2014

Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me

If you're looking for an uplifting post to feel good about rescue, you might want to skip today's blog post.  It's been a while since I felt like running away from rescue.  But once in a while the urge to flee the whole industry rears it's ugly head.  It starts with me feeling really sorry for myself...

You'd think I would've come back from Iceland feeling rested and refreshed.  I think people don't realize that I never really get away.  I would have to leave my phone and computer behind and go to some third world country where the internet is a luxury item.  I often wonder how long it would take me to unwind and not worry.  When my kids were little, it would take about 72 hours.  Even then - I could relax as I knew the kids were in great hands.  With rescue, there are SO MANY people counting on me for answers to questions, problems and concerns.  Our volunteers that handle things when I'm away are outstanding, so my insecurity is truly my own.

We had an adorable 8 week old  kitten pass away last night.  We don't know why and it was sudden.  Now we're on death watch for the remaining siblings.  One kitten had been adopted and now I'm worried sick.

An adopter abandoned an adopted cat at one of our partner vet clinics because she didn't want to pay the $1200.00 surgery for HER cat.  Who did she think was going to pay it?  Yes, the rescue is paying for it.  No way to have budgeted for that, right?

We rescued a really nice 3 year old neutered boy.  I figured since he was already neutered, that the vaccinations, and other general care would put us in the black for this particular cat.  No. Such. Luck.  Turns out he needed $600.00 in dental surgery, and he had a urinary blockage after surgery.  

One of our adopters needlessly verbally attacked one of our awesome partner veterinarians.  Like all of our vets, they reduce fees for services to help the cats.  The vet called me pretty upset...."I don't need to put up with this shit crap for a $60.00 neuter surgery."  (No, she doesn't.)

I feel like there's pressure on all sides and am spending hours and hours on the phone each day.  I received a particularly scathing email from somebody I really like this morning.  I was still in my robe with a cup of coffee and trying to read the paper in front of a fire with David.  Why did I check my email so early?    

I'm just a volunteer.  I work 7 days per week and 60+ hours per week for free.  I do the best I can to have a life outside of rescue.  I'm sure my husband would love to be doing more retirement stuff with me.  Instead, he's stuck waiting for me to finish phone calls - or worse - taking phone calls while we're out and about on  "marital bonding days".

I know there are a lot of people out there working hard for the animals like me.  But every once in a while I sit and think "WHY?"  Why put up with all the bullshit, the lack of money, lack of time and people feeling resentful when I need an afternoon to get my hair done?   If you think I'm talking about *you*, I'm probably not.  I'm just venting about all of it.  It's been a shitty week and I was due for one, I guess.


Random Felines said...

I will never understand the mentality of those that want the rescue to "do everything". I want to grab them and get them to walk in our shoes for a few days....though in some cases I don't think it would make any difference. I will be sending prayers for those kittens and hopes that Karma catches up with the mean people.

Leah said...

I give you a ton of credit for doing what you do Beth. There's so much involved when it comes to running a rescue that most people never really consider. It's unfortunate that you're dealing with all of this other crap on top of the daily stuff that you're also expected to handle. The additional stress is not helping. I know some days you may want to just pack it all in, but here's hoping that the good days outweigh the bad. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to help!

Heather said...

Beth - hang in there. And thank you so much. We are so inspired by the work you do.

Faith J. said...

WHY? Because you are making a difference in the world for the good. Because you have the heart and passion to do cat rescue. Because you are good at it. Because you run it excellently. Because you inspire others to care and teach them to stop the cycles of animal neglect and abuse. Because you are a responsible person in an age of irresponsibility.

Many of us who love cats do whatever we can. In small ways and large ways, we make a difference for animals who have little control over what happens to them. I know I have put my husband through all kinds of stress with my rescue and rehoming efforts. But the sleepless nights and inconveniences are worth it in the long run. I try to keep a bigger perspective when the day-to-day gets me down. Much love and respect for you!!

GoLightly said...

You have to grow a stronger callous around your heart, girl. I have reached my own "end of the line", in some ways.

You do what you can, and what you can't do, because it's taking it's toll on YOU and YOU need to feel well too, you don't do. Repeat, you DO NOT DO.

Stop worrying about every kitten, With the way we've screwed up their genetics and health, kitten mortality is amazingly low. And please, one less kitten isn't cause for kerfuffle.

You will seriously hurt your own health if you continue this way.

Trust me, I know where you're at.
Please, take care of yourself and your husband first. The your own animals, and then rescue. Prioritize your life.
Feel better about yourself!!
Why do you do it?
You have a large heart.
Don't break it.

Caroline said...

You do it for the cats and kittens who can't help themselves and don't have anyone else looking out for them and trust me they appreciate it!! You can't save everyone but to those that you do save you mean the world!And you blog something interesting for the rest of us to read and admire you for!