Friday, September 30, 2005

Occasional Rant Dept.: Pets Are Not Toys

I keep this journal mainly as my own little corner of quiet, a tiny haven for myself and anyone else who may be interested in sharing the small details of my life in Jerusalem. (The large details come under the category of Things I Do Not Blog About, and as for news and current events, there are already plenty of people throughout the blogosphere who cover them wonderfully well. Also, since I translate news for a living, I need a refuge from it once in a while.) I write about my opinions on various topics when I feel like it, but in general this journal is supposed to be a calm place, my own little virtual sanctuary from the madness of the world.

Nevertheless, sometimes I come across an item that pushes my buttons and I feel I have to write about it—such as this post from Right Thoughts about a ten-year-old Siamese cat in New Haven, Connecticut, who needs a home urgently (via Laurence Simon):

Here’s her story: She’s a ten year-old very healthy, VERY friendly Siamese, she’s mostly dark chocolate with darker points and pale blue eyes ... she’s fat and happy. Her previous owner brought her to my vet to be euthanized. Why? Because the new poodles the woman got don’t like her. She’s had the cat for ten years. TEN YEARS. And she wanted this perfectly healthy animal put down because she didn’t want to be bothered having to keep them separate all the time.
My vet said no way. They’re keeping her and looking for a home. If I didn’t already have five cats, she’d be with me now. She’s so sweet I can’t stand it. Just a big fluffy sweetheart of a cat. And she’s beautiful in person, my crappy phone pic did not do her justice. She’s had all her bloodwork done, shots, she’s fixed ... she’s as ready to go as any cat could be.
If you are within driving distance of New Haven, CT and you’d like to meet her ... let me know via email, stark23x at gmail dot com and I’ll get you the contact info. If you have a blog ... help me out by linking to this post.

[Rant ON]

What on earth was this woman thinking of? To have a pet of ten years put down because it doesn’t get along with the new pets in the house?! There are so many ways to solve this problem, including finding the cat a new home. And all the effort this woman was willing to make for her companion of ten years was to take her to the vet to be killed?!

For Heaven’s sake, people, pets are not toys! They are not some kind of live robot, to be kept as long as they amuse their owners and discarded the moment they become inconvenient. (Can you tell that attitude really gets on my nerves?) They are living creatures who can feel love, loss and abandonment just as we do. My mother used to compare having our dog to raising a child, and even though I’m not a parent myself at this time, I think she made an excellent point. When we take animals into our homes we make them dependent on us for food, medical care, companionship and love. That is a huge responsibility and in most cases a long-term commitment. Of course, unexpected problems can crop up from time to time, but if you’re not willing to take it on to the end, don’t do it!

By way of contrast: my friend, Her Ladyship’s human companion, just took in a new kitten, a rescue from her workplace. Her Ladyship, whom my friend originally got as a companion for her older cat, is now nine years old and my friend, with the help and advice of her veterinarian, is doing her best to make sure that both cats will get to know each other at the proper time and in the healthiest possible way. From what I can see it’s not all that big a deal. Why couldn’t this woman do the same?

I hope that the sweet Siamese cat finds a home soon. A warm, loving, intelligent, responsible, committed home.

[Rant OFF]

(Deep breath ...)

People may wonder why an Israeli blogger is linking to a post about a cat in New Haven. Well, it’s not because of any sentimental attachment to the television in my childhood room in upstate New York, which was able to get faint reception from Channel 8, WTNH, for years. It’s because of my belief that there is no distance in the blogosphere. For all I know, this post may reach someone near New Haven who can help, or who knows someone else who can.

Now I think I’ll go visit Her Ladyship to balance the kitty karma ... and bring down my blood pressure.

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