I appreciate your comments and was expecting someone to say pretty much what you said. I do appreciate that you were pretty nice about the things you said--I know my pet threshold is higher than most. But mostly, through all this hard stuff, they have been my reason for not giving up. I give a lot to them, but they give me so much, too--while I would like to live as a "normal" person, maybe that's just not meant to be right now.
You may want to do some reviewing of my blog. My dog has been to the vet and has been diagnosed with diabetes insipidus, which is a non-life-threatening disease (unrelated to the kinds of diabetes that require insulin). It causes her body to not be able to conserve water, so she has a lot of accidents. The medication for this illness, according to my vet, would run about $600/month (no way to afford that) and it only works in about 50% of dogs. The vet told me that people with dogs like this either put the dog to sleep, make the dog an "outside only" dog (not very realistic considering her age of 15 years old and our location in MN) or make do. So we ripped up the carpet and have been "making do".
But now, instead of one accident a day, it's more like 5 or 6. Hence the blog post.
As to the 15 cats, it's not something I set out to accomplish, but I live in a very rural area where there is no animal shelter and most cats (and dogs) that have no home or get dumped off "out in the country" end up on the bad end of a gun. And I don't really fault my neighbors for solving the "problem" in this way, there's really no other alternative. If you live in an area where this concept is unfathomable, please do a search on "cat overpopulation" and see that I am not making this stuff up. I can't needlessly send an animal to its death, obviously (LOL--you could see that from my blog post!), hence the 15 cats. They range in age from about 3 years old to 13 years old, and all are spayed or neutered. My personal policy has been and still is "if the cat will die without my intervention, then I will try to help." Otherwise, if someone is just "getting rid of" their cat or kittens, it's their conscience as to what happens, not mine. Each of my cats has a story, and all except three would almost certainly be dead if I hadn't intervened. The dogs, too, but I'm just defending the cat population right now! They are as well cared for as they can be. They all get their shots (I do them myself, as do many people in my "neck of the woods".). They all get Frontline (for fleas and ticks), and they eat Iams cat food. They go to the vet when they are sick, and I love them all. However if, via attrition, I ended up with two or three cats, well, that would be ideal.
You are correct that they probably don't get the attention that they should get. There are only so many hours in a day, after all. However, they do get attention, and love. Believe me, if someone came along who could offer any of them more than I can, I'd happily part with most of them. (in fact, I offer them to every trustworthy person I know, but many people I know already have a cat or two from me!) I only want them to be as happy as they can be. While I am not an "animal activist" per se, I believe that living in my house is probably, even on its worst day, more fun than starving or getting abused or killed.
And as far as the odor from 15 cats....it's NOTHING compared to the dog pee smell. The litter boxes get scooped every day. You might be surprised to learn that the cat "accidents" in my house are extremely minimal and usually signal a medical issue, which can be taken care of rather quickly. The point of me mentioning the cats at all in that post was to point out that the cats, as many as there are, don't smell up the house like this one dog (and it's very easy to tell the difference, too, as to who is creating the odor)--whom I love, too. We have a stack of rags that we use just for the dog "accidents". They get washed every day, twice. But it's getting hard to keep up. I'm frustrated because I don't want to live like this, but other than this problem, she's pretty healthy. That was the point of my blog post. It's not a normal thing or a natural thing for me to put my wants/needs ahead of the life of a living thing, who happens to be a family member.
Anonymous, I love all of my animals. And I certainly am not shocked by your sentiment. I think that the reason so few people commented is that most people feel the same way as you and didn't want to seem judgmental. I do understand, though, too, because you're right--15 cats is really too much for anyone. But either I have too many cats in my house, or a bunch of animals end up dying just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope that someday, things will change so that I won't have to post things like this any more. But until then.....
I'm not going to defend my animals beyond this post. Those readers who have been reading for quite some time seem to have an understanding that this is who I am and that's how it is. I'm probably not going to change my core beliefs, and, if you have a huge disagreement with how I live, well, you're probably not going to change yours, either. The point of my post was only to point out that I am troubled by the possibility of having to put a relatively healthy dog to sleep just because I can't live with it. That's all.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Posted by Carol at 12:10 AM