My daughter, Sarah, called me last Tuesday evening in Canada on an urgent mission. It seemed someone she knows (who will go unnamed herein, but who lost any respect I may have had for them) had decided to have their nine year old cat euthanized because they were tired of her.
As soon as Sarah had rushed through the basic facts on the phone in her hurried, frantic way she asked me what I knew was coming from the beginning – could I foster the cat if she couldn’t find a home for it before it’s last day on death row – Thursday.
Uggh. This is what happens people when you teach your children to value and be kind to all creatures – they listen…over and over again. I can’t even count how many times I have been in this situation because the kids have felt it was their responsibility to protect an animal in harm’s way.
I blame my mother for this. She was the one who allowed me to save every creature as a child and I carried the imprint into my parenting. I became my mother.
So of course I said with a heavy sigh and only a momentary pause, “Okay.” Then I urged her to really try hard to find the kitty a forever new home before I got home on Friday. I gave her a whole list of suggestions on what to do (all while roaming on Canada’s telephone network -I am still thinking about how much that is going to cost me).
I never did meet this kitty. Sarah’s friend, Tiana, agreed to take her and she was in and out of my house before I ever even arrived home from Canada. Yet, even though the kitty is gone and all is well I am a bit miffed at the folks who were going to euthanize her. No, not a bit miffed – downright pissed off. This cat loved them unconditionally for years and they were ready to throw her life away.
Pets are not disposable. You don’t just get rid of them because you tire of them. Who does that crap? They are family members in my upbringing…they have intrinsic value just by virtue of being. I want to smack those people silly and I want them to realize that they are setting a really bad example for their kids. Just wait until they get older and and their grown-up kids hastily send them off to the nursing home as if they are disposable. It will be their own fault too – kids tend to do what they see their parents do.
I am like my mother. Sarah is like me. I won’t be sitting in the nursing home…oh no, I’ll be sitting in my own home at age 97 surrounded by all the animals the kids have asked me to help (heaven knows how many more are in my future). Sure, it sounds very crazy old lady-ish; but, somehow that fate seems a hundred times more appealing than turning my back on (or teaching my children to turn their backs on) living things that need our help and who are designed to love us unconditionally.
Day seven hundred and twenty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da