For any of you out there that have gone on and on about how animals are “just pets” and shun those of us that treat our fur-babies as though they are equal members of the family, this post is not for you.
Pets are FAMILY
I’m not sitting here saying my dog or cat is the same as, say, Olivia or Curtis, but we are all part of a family together. We each have distinct roles of our own, some more authoritative than others. We are different and unique, yet united by a familial bond. Our dynamic is what it is because of what each member contributes; I wouldn’t change it or what we have for the world.
I want to adamantly emphasize that owning a pet is not just some fad. They are not gifts for a season nor are they decorative pieces.
If you aren’t willing to commit yourself to caring for a pet for the entire remainder of its life, DON’T GET ONE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Now, I’m aware that scenarios arise where a pet must be given up. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we simply can’t provide the life the animal deserves and we then surrender them to a more appropriate environment. These situations, although difficult for the animal and owner alike, are the exceptions to the rule.
But if you’re one of those folks that decides to get your kid a puppy for Christmas and then 3 months in, you give it up because it pees on the floor occasionally, you need a reality check.
Believe it or not, animals have feelings, too. I want you to imagine what it would be like to devote yourself to someone. Now imagine they brush you aside and drop you like you’re hot, just like that. What if you were made to feel disposable? Replaceable? Like you don’t matter?
It’s cruel, unnecessary, and harmful to the mental well-being of any living creature, human or otherwise.
You may be wondering what sparked such an outburst of this nature. Let me tell you a little about Trudy.
It all started with an escape artist…
Weeks ago, while we were away in Nashville, one of our kitties (June) escaped. She’s been on the loose since, although spotted a few times eating the food we leave out for her and chasing the bunnies. June has escaped before, as she longs to be an outdoor cat. We would have no problem with it in general, but we live on the second floor and had no way to allow her easy access in and out. Since then, Curtis has rigged some staggered steps up to our bedroom window on the backside of the building. However, we need to catch her, put her collar on her, and let her out that way so she knows it’s there and how to use it.
Anyhow, I’ve posted some photos of June online on the local shelters’ Facebook pages in hopes that someone would see her and recognize her. The other day, someone called me. She said she found a tortoiseshell cat asleep on her steps that looked hungry and tired, so she scooped her up and brought her inside. She wanted me to come by to see if it was our girl.
Alas, it was not June. Instead, I was face to face with a sweet, elderly torti that I dubbed “Trudy.”
I then posted pictures of Trudy on the same pages in hopes that she would also be recognized so I could get her back to her rightful owner and her home. In no time at all, her previous owner commented on them. Apparently, this cat is named Monster (really?!). This woman says it was her ex’s cat that ended up with her, but she could no longer have her in her home. She claimed she was sad to see her go but that she had no other choice, so she turned to her “cat-lover” friend. This friend took “Monster” in and had her for a little over a week before labeling her unworthy.
The next step was to surrender poor “Monster” to the shelter. As the story goes, the friend called and tried to arrange it, but the shelter would not be able to accept her until October 3rd and she must be up-to-date with her shots. Apparently that answer wasn’t good enough and the old girl was kicked out of the home. Almost a week later, she was found on the steps and then ended up with me.
This behavior is UNACCEPTABLE.
If the story is true, Trudy is 17 years old. This biddy deserves to be in a loving home, sunbathing and eating tuna to her heart’s desire. She deserves to be petted and to sleep in a comfy bed. She deserves love. All pets deserve at least that.
I found every part of this scenario to be infuriating. Although I’m told I should show sympathy because the original owner did not want to part with her, I don’t have any. She did part with sweet Trudy, and to an unfit person to boot. This woman she considered worthy did not hesitate to toss an elderly cat to the streets. Not to mention the owner’s unwillingness to take her back once she was in my care. I’m a freaking stranger. For all she knows, I’m using this cat as bait for something horrific.
So NO, I don’t have sympathy for her.
I ended up surrendering Trudy to the North Attleboro Animal Shelter. It was heart-breaking. It’s crazy how big of an impact a cat that we’ve only known for about a day can make.
I know finding her a home where she can be the star and showered with affection is the main goal, so I’m hoping that my decision was the right one. I plan to check in on her often and in about a month, if she’s not adopted already, she may just end up back in our home after all. We could give her the love she has earned, even if it’s only for a short period of time.
Do Unto Others
No living creature deserves to be treated as if he or she doesn’t matter. My animals are my babies whether you understand that or not. My suggestion is this: if you can’t (or won’t) comprehend that mentality, maybe you just aren’t a pet person after all – and that’s ok! Don’t allow an innocent animal to become attached to you if you aren’t willing to provide a lifetime of love and happiness.
This is a hot-button topic for me. I have such a soft spot for animals in general, so when I find out some are mistreated, I simply have ZERO tolerance for it.
Every pet is worthy of being loved. I ask that those of you that aren’t willing to do that simply avoid the situations altogether.
Know where you stand, act accordingly, snuggle your fur-babies, and always compassionately Decide Bliss.
For any of you interested in rescuing an animal and giving it a loving forever home, please visit your local shelters and local rescue organizations. There are so many looking for a family to be a part of! Save one and watch how they actually end up saving you.
Not interested in making the commitment but still want to help? Donations to any local shelters are always appreciated as well!
Below are a few local shelters in the North Attleboro area. If you would like me to add any others, feel free to leave them either in the comments below or in the feedback section of the site. Thanks!
North Attleboro Animal Shelter – (508) 699-0128 – www.nattleboro.com
PAWS New England – www.pawsnewengland.com
Friends of the Attleboro Animal Shelter – (774) 203-1862 – www.faaspets.org
Nine Lives of Norton – (508) 285-5159 – www.ninelivesofnorton.org