Friday, September 21, 2012
As responsible adults, we make all sorts of “arrangements” throughout our lives. We make arrangements for our children, our elderly parents, our finances and our assets. Some people obtain life insurance and designate godparents for their children, to ensure their family is taken care of should the unthinkable happen. Even so, many people do not make arrangements for their pets. Until last year, I was one of them. It wasn’t because I didn’t love my cats. On the contrary – they are “like children” to me in many ways. It also wasn’t because I didn’t take their health and welfare seriously. So why didn’t I ever discuss with anyone what I’d want for my babies if something happened to me?
Good question. I think I was somewhat in denial. It’s not that I believed I would live forever or that nothing could ever happen to me. I understand that life is unpredictable, and you just never know. Still, sometimes I think people – myself included – sweep these thoughts away because we want to believe that all will be well. Usually it is. But what would happen “if.” We don’t really like to think of that, yet we must.
This was brought home to me during a conversation with a friend about how I’d feel if something happened to my heart cat, Annabelle. My friend asked me which situation would be worse – me losing Belle or she losing me. I’d never really thought about it before, but there’s no question that Belle would be deeply affected. She and I have as close a bond as any human/pet possibly can. “Devastated” or “heartbroken” are likely not words cats comprehend, but Belle would certainly be sad.
Straight away, I made arrangements for my three cats, with people I loved and trusted. As a single person, it was imperative that I arrange for my cat’s care should there come a time when I wouldn’t be able to. I could never leave it up to chance. I could never just live my life “hoping” that my cats would be taken in by family and if that wasn't possible, that they would make sure my cats had wonderful, loving homes with people who cherished them.
I’m confident I’ve done all I can for my cats in the present and the future. However, I felt it was important to write this after seeing a post on Facebook which reminded me that not everyone thinks pro-actively about such things. A friend posted an urgent plea for help in finding homes for 30 cats after their guardian – an 87-year old woman – had passed away. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about those cats since.
It saddens me that someone with 30 cats, and especially an elderly person, didn’t take steps to ensure the care and safety of her feline companions. Will these cats be scared, lonely, sad…unwanted? What will happen to the cats if homes can’t quickly be found? Will they end up in shelters? Would those shelters be no kill facilities? So many unanswered questions could have been avoided if only the woman had pro-actively made arrangements for her cats.
The Facebook post said the woman had rescued cats all of her life. Her cats were all indoor cats, very sweet, well cared for, spayed or neutered, and up to date on their shots and vet visits. It’s obvious the woman deeply loved her feline companions and yet…here they were, in a precarious situation relying on a Facebook post to help them find new homes. I’ve seen social media work miracles, so I hope for the best for them.
Still, it weighs heavy on my heart. When we adopt our pets, we pledge to take good care of them. We feed them quality pet food like CANIDAE and FELIDAE. We promise to love and protect them forever, and we do everything we can to keep them healthy, happy and safe …because that’s what responsible pet owners do. I just hope and pray those 30 cats found good homes. I also hope every pet owner who reads this will understand the importance of making arrangements for our four-legged best friends.
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