Wednesday, February 13, 2013

here we go again. (UPDATED)

My mother has been doing animal rescue for years. Back when she and I were living in the same town (2009), I set up a website and facebook page for her animals, hoping that we could get more animals adopted and maybe even get some donations. We got few of either. What we did get were TONS of people calling and emailing, asking us to take their cats (and occasionally their dogs). We were rapidly maxed out, both space-wise, and money-wise. For the past year, I've had a huge banner across the top of her website, which states "We are currently FULL and CANNOT accept any more animals at this time" in huge red letters. Nonetheless, people have continued to call and email my mom, asking her to take their animals.

And it's usually THEIR animals.

Or a stray animal that they took in months or years ago, and have now decided that they can't keep.

Or the new boyfriend is allergic.

Or the wife is pregnant.

Or it has fleas. (Really. One of her coworkers tried to convince her to take his cats because he couldn't get rid of their fleas.)

Or they're moving. (Oh please. I brought mine home with me from KOREA. Don't even give me that.)

Or it has some medical problem and they can't afford to take care of it.

Or.... or.... or.... We've heard so many excuses.

Most people - despite having ignored the message about how she wasn't taking any more animals - when hearing that my mom was in her upper sixties, working full-time, and caring for roughly 40 animals all by herself, generally stop hassling her. Or they dump them at her gate.

Or they beg, plead, hassle, harangue, and bother my mother until she agrees to take the animal in question.

That's what happened yesterday. The woman couldn't even keep all of her excuses straight: she just lost her job and only had $70 to her name. But she had to be at work by such-and-such time. The cat had an injured eye and she couldn't afford treatment, but the vet said that with some eye ointment it would clear up. So on and so forth. Eventually my mom agreed to take it. The woman assured her that it had been tested for FeLV/FIV (the woman's vet said it hadn't been, but perhaps this was done at a mobile clinic?), that it didn't need eye surgery (the vet says the eye must be surgically removed), and that she would arrange with our vet to pay for its neutering (she didn't). Oh, and this woman is in her twenties and drives a Mustang.

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Obviously, this cat will be far better off with my mom than with this woman. That being said, why can't people other than my mom take responsibility once in a while? In what world is it a good idea to unload your problem onto a 68 year old woman who teaches full time and who takes care of roughly forty animals all by herself so that you can continue driving your Mustang and talking on your smartphone?

UPDATE: So apparently when the woman told my mom that the cat had tested negative for FeLV, that was a lie. Not surprising. This was the email I got from my mom: "Had to have the poor boy euthanised.  He turned out to be FeLv+, and Wes (the vet) said it was a 'hot positive'.  Thought  surgery would be problematic, and I couldn't even put him in with Flame -- it would put her at risk.  It was so sad -- he purred right up to the last second." Good thing we didn't just take the woman at her word and let him loose in our house, as he was highly contagious with an often fatal disease. Arrrrgh. 

UPDATE 2: OMFG. The former owner of this cat (the woman who refused to take no for an answer when my mom tried to explain that she couldn't take him) called to say that she would pay to have him neutered. Mom informed the woman of everything I mentioned in my previous update. The woman said that she'd had the cat tested and that it was negative, and that she didn't understand how this could have happened. Then she called back today to bitch my mom out for killing her cat, swearing that she'd had the cat tested and it was negative, and why didn't my mom call her, yadda, yadda, yadda. Obviously, my mom didn't call her because the woman had refused to take responsibility for this animal, and totally relinquished all responsibility for the cat when she pressured my mom into taking it. So here's my mom, spending over a hundred dollars on this cat (for the exam, FeLV/FIV test, and eventual euthanasia), being the one making the tough decisions about what is best for this cat, and being the one holding it in her arms, comforting it as it died... and this woman who refused to take responsibility for her own pet is now blaming my mom? And chewing her out? People suck.

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