Below is the text of a message I found in my inbox when I checked my email this morning.
“We reluctantly need to find a new home for our female cat. She is about 2 years old. She showed up on our doorstep a couple winters ago, and we gave her a home. She is spayed. She is mostly white with a bit of black and orange.
We are having a baby and can lo longer keep her.
Please respond, with interest, questions or I can send pics if requested.
It came to me through a Yahoo freecycle group I belong to. You know, an email based group who share offers of unwanted items with other members of the group to attempt to keep items that are still in usable condition out of landfill sites. You may belong to a similar group in your area.
Now I have a serious problems with the above email, and since you have read it you probably do too! But I will illustrate my problem with it for those of you who have just landed here randomly
“WE ARE HAVING A BABY AND CAN NO LONGER KEEP HER” You’re kidding me, right?
What IS it with these people who think that they should give up their pets because they are having children? Is the decision to bring children into the world not supposed to be a sign of maturity and ability to accept responsibility for someone other than yourself?
To the writer of the above email and those who think like them, I have this to say; If you are planning on having a child don’t you think you should be capable of finding time to feed a cat and change it’s litter box? Do you not think that you can work less than ten minutes of actual physical time in a day to clean a litter box, and fill water and food dishes into your schedule? If you are about to have a baby don’t you think you should be capable of such basic time management?
Oh, and here’s something else for you to think about, if that cat were an older sibling, would you be rehoming it because there was a baby on the way? Of course you wouldn’t! So tell me, why would you think that it is okay to dispose of a cat you have been caring for for two years, just because there’s a baby on the way? Was THAT the commitment you made when you took the cat into your home and made it your pet?
If we as a society ever hope to stem the tide of pet overpopulation we must take more responsibility for our choices. We must look at the decision to bring a pet into our home far more seriously. We must understand that these are living breathing creatures that depend on us for their needs to be met. We can not treat the animals we bring into our homes the same way we treat our personal possessions. We must treat them with loving kindness and take full responsibility for their care.
I have told you all this before, but is my message getting through? Are you aware that we need to make some serious changes to the way society views companion animals? They are not objects to be owned, but lives to be nurtured and loved. There are people such as the insipid Barbara Kay of the National Post that would try to make you believe that animals have no feelings. These people will go so far as to tell you that companion animals are a “consumer item” and nothing more, but when you have looked into the eyes of a dog on death row and seen the fear and sadness that lies beneath the surface you know different.
So, before you make that decision to add an animal to your family, make sure that you are willing to go the distance. If there is any doubt in your mid about whether or not you can spend the next fifteen to twenty years caring for and loving that animal don’t bring it into your home. It really is that simple!
Until Next Time Remember,