Unfortunately, in life we don’t get to own something without the possibility of disowning it in future because shit happens. Sometimes this is a good thing. For example, if we grow up with a prejudice, openly acknowledge and accept that we are prejudiced, we might later in life learn differently and disown that very same idea. That’s a good thing. The opposite problem of taking on something that is positive, particularly the kinds of things that require a lot of responsibility and long term commitment, and then having to later let it go….well, that just plain sucks.
I’m speaking here of my cats. I adopted two sweet and beautiful but sickly kittens from the Humane Society in Central Phoenix back in 2010 when they were only about 3 to 4 months old: Cry Baby and Snow Shooze (pics below, same order).
We nursed them through the worst of it and they’ve grown into beautiful healthy and loving cats. Unfortunately for them, my life has been through a lot of changes since we adopted them….a divorce, a couple of moves, financial hardship and illness. Over the last few months my daughter’s and my own allergies to them have worsened to the point where I had to bar them from bedrooms of our small 2 bedroom apartment. So they’ve been stuck in a now tiny area of the living room and kitchen, which quite frankly is making them a little stir crazy. Moreover, I can’t love on them without getting pretty sick and my daughter can’t without having an asthma attack. I also haven’t been able to get them to the Vet because if I have to choose between getting my 2 year old his shots or my cat….well my son wins out on that choice. Lord knows, they’re exposed to a lot less than he is. They don’t get sent to daycare Monday thru Friday where there’s a bunch of snotty nosed sick kittens running around all the time.
Now to add to all of that, my lease on the apartment ends next month and the apartment complex wants about $300 extra per month to continue month-to-month which is what would be required for me to get through until September when the court will do a review of the custody change for my daughter. I was going to just do a month-to-month lease to avoid the stress of moving and wait until the court thing was done because the judge put moving restrictions on where I could move during that time period–am restricted to a 5 mi radius of her school. But the cost of doing month-to-month is absurd for such a tiny apartment that quite frankly is too damn noisy. And it’s not just noisy….I can smell my neighbors’ cigar and cigarette smoke, which sends me and my daughter into more allergic paroxysms. I can’t stand it, to be honest. The one PTSD thing I have left in my life is a VERY negative emotional reaction to cigarette smoke. So beyond just sneezing constantly, swollen eyes and unable to breath, I get enraged every time I am exposed to it in a place where I am supposed to feel “safe”. My home is my refuge and the one place where I shouldn’t have someone else’s cancer sticks invading that space. (ok rant done)
Furthermore, for the extra money I’d be spending on month to month I could actually find a larger, quieter, smoke free place. I’ve decided to go ahead and move–to find a house within the 5 mile area. So I now have a deadline by which I have to find them a new home, May 30th–that’s my move day. It boils down to this, I HAVE to find the cats a new home. I’ve tried an online community (www.balloon-juice.com rocks, BTW) and while they were able to help me out with vet bills to get them ready for a new home, no one came forward to adopt them. I’m contacting local rescue agencies but I know that they don’t really take cats from individuals and instead rescue them from the street or rescue them from shelters just before they are to be euthanized. But maybe somebody, somewhere will take them or give me some advice on what I can do. My absolute last resort will be to take them back to the Humane Society. I actually thought about making them outdoors cats but that’s not really possible here in AZ. Summer is coming up and leaving any domesticated animal out in weather over 100 degrees is cruel. Not mention the constant dangers of coyotes (yes, they’re all over here and they treat cats like hors d’oeuvres), feral cats and their diseases (of which there are many), and a million other outside threats that these cats aren’t used to just seems like the wrong thing to do. After all, they were rescued from the streets in the first place. I owe it to them not to put them out there again.
To own is to owe. I owe them a comfortable and safe place to be for the rest of their lives. And I own that responsibility to the point that thinking about giving them up to who knows what fate makes me feel physically ill. But I also own the responsibility to my kids to provide an environment that doesn’t make them constantly sick. I have so many conflicting responsibilities. Sometimes you just can’t do them all. That kind of Spock logic may be true but it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.
Suffice it to say, I am owning up to the fact I just can’t have animals right now and maybe never again. So unless I end up alone in my later years with no conflicting responsibilities and am desperately in need companionship I am never going to adopt another pet. Giving them away hurts really bad but I know it’s the right thing to do. I own that and I owe it to them as well.
PS: If you know anyone that is interested in adopting my cats, please contact me.