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One Less Cat.

It's been a few days. The emotions aren't percolating as badly, as they were on Friday. I'm calm enough to write.

Although the entire journey is going to be detailed in my Foster Cat Diary, the event, itself, sparked a question—an old question; one I never seem to understand any answer other than this:

The Lucky One

The answer is NO.

The question is: If an owner comes to his Veterinarian's office with their cat or dog and says they want the animal euthanized, is it right to put the animal down if it's: 1) Healthy, 2 ) Sick, but with a treatable condition, 3) Not geriatric, 4) Has no known behavioral problems? 5) If that owner says they can't "deal" with Fluffy or Spot peeing on the floor, on occasion, or ripping up a chair?

At what point, if there ever is one, is it OK to put an animal down? What circumstances? What sort of person, would consider euthanizing a 9 MONTH, not YEAR, but MONTH old cat? What sort of person, looked at HIS options, and came to the conclusion the answer was to end this cat's life, before it even had a chance to begin?

Now my blood begins to boil. Who am I to judge? I'm wasn't in this guy's shoes. So what! Tough. I'm going to judge! Someone has to-so this DOESN'T happen again, every day, all over our country. Animals aren't throw-away goods, to be dumped once they're not cute kittens or puppies or once it gets tough to live with them! Sure, there've been times when I've been broken down—my home was getting destroyed by cat behavior problems. I was doing everything I could to solve the problem and it almost ended my relationship with my boyfriend, it was that bad.

It didn't just go on for a week, it went on for YEARS. I never gave up.

Today, things are greatly improved and almost no problems with the 7 cats I share my home with. I could have turned my back on them, put a few of them down because I didn't want my precious rug or my collectible thing get ruined by cat piss. I lost a lot of my possessions, but it's just stuff. It's not a living, breathing creature who was trying to tell me something. I needed to learn its' language, to understand how to help the situation come to a close. Once I made the effort to learn, the situation softened and finally there is peace in my home. I took the time to find out what was wrong. I didn't just shrug my shoulders and act helpless.

I took responsibility for the problem, instead of dumping my problem, and my cat, onto someone else.

It really chaps my ass that people can think they can unload onto rescue groups, to be frank. We're not here to take your problems off your hands. We're here to help the ferals who never even knew life in a comfortable home, or the friendly stray that's injured or starving. Not some pet, who with some effort, would either regain their health and well being or who would stop soiling or biting or whatever. Half of the problems are because the owners don't have a clue at to what they're getting into when they adopt and they don't bother to learn more, when there's trouble.

On Friday, my dear Vet, Dr. Larry, and his Tech, Debbie, contacted me about a 9 MONTH old Maine Coon. The owner wanted him put down because he said the cat had chronic diarrhea and he couldn't "deal" with it any more. Once pressed, he admitted he was going through a divorce, had a 1 1/2 year old son at home who had asthma and Mom was saying the cat was making the kid sick. They had TWO cats. For some reason, this ONE cat was causing all the disease in the home. The f-ker...said he was in a custody battle and this was the real reason the cat had to go.

Don't bother to make a phone call to a shelter to place the animal. No. Don't bother to make ANY effort at all, on the behalf of this kindly, sweet, beautiful creature. Just kill him, walk away, forget about it.

What a creep.

I did help this cat. Read my journal for more about him. He's one of the nicest cats I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He's affectionate and gentle and ready to love everyone he meets. Was his irresponsible, asshole of an owner, telling my Dr. the truth? Or was the truth that his wife loved the cat and to hurt her, he was going to tell her he had it killed. I believe that more than his BS story about the cat being ill. Why? Simply because this cat has known love and kindness, not the swift had of cruelty. He had to know life in a loving home to be so sweet to me. I'll never know for certain, but none of this adds up.

In the past 4 days, this "sick" cat has not had diarrhea once. Everything about him is normal. This is not a diseased, problematic, behaviorally-twisted, animal. This is the kind of cat people would do anything to keep—not to destroy.

And this story is not unique. Not at all. We need to take responsibility for the well being of our animals and understand there ARE resources (many listed on this web site) that will help us if we need it. Events like this need NEVER happen again.

I'm so glad, one less cat had to die today.

©2008 Robin AF Olson

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