Oh me, what a week. Where do i begin? Last Sunday night, Brian and I headed over to help TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) many cats at an elderly couple's house about a mile away from us. The man, Don, is completely blind and the woman, Jean, is confined to a wheelchair. They live on a very small fixed income and can barely feed themselves much less the cats that have multiplied in their yard. Someone abandoned 2 unneutered/unspayed cats in their yard a year ago and now there are AT LEAST a dozen. They are such kind hearted people and have wanted to do the right thing unlike the irresponsible folks who got them into this mess in the first place. All they want is to have them all spayed/neutered and vaccinated. A friend of mine took care of half of them and called on me to take care of the rest. Of course, in the meantime, other kittens are being born so it's like we are chasing our tails with this (no pun intended :)). Brian and I managed to trap 5 of them. The bad news is that they all have herpes (which they can live with and be ok for years) BUT one poor little guy was in such rough shape that he had to be euthanized. That breaks my heart, but i would hate for him to suffer a miserable existence. I went by Don and Jean's again yesterday to check on everyone and deliver some cat food and noticed that the neighbor had a trap set in his driveway. My heart dropped because i knew what this meant...he was tired of the cats and wanted them eradicated. I went over to calmly confront him to no avail. He and his wife had made up their minds. They were tired of the mess and the cats wandering into their yard. He was going to trap them one by one and take them to animal control to be euthanized. I tried to empathize with them but killing them??? How can you do that? I left in a pile of tears feeling so awful and frustrated and angry....why couldn't i change their minds? I felt like i had let down Don and Jean and those innocent kitties. I have never been confronted with this situation personally before, and it was more than i could bear. We are ALL trying to do the right thing. I pulled myself together because i had to head to an apartment complex and try to trap 5 homeless cats there. I have been helping their caretaker in various locations for the past 9 months. After a few hours, we trapped a calico female (probably pregnant) and a fuzzy little black and white one. As late night fell, the only creatures getting in the other traps were possums. I was disappointed not to get all of them, but relieved to have gotten the others. I delivered them to the spay/neuter clinic this morning. But sadly, I just received a call letting me know that the calico had died. After they sedated her, her heart stopped. This sometimes happens if they have undetected cardiomyopathy. They did everything they could to revive her. So again, here I am in a pile of tears. And i dread telling the caretaker the news. I honestly don't know how full time rescue group volunteers or shelter workers do it. They deal with a constant barrage of tragedy and sad incidents. I know there are many happy endings, but it seems like it is always an uphill battle....dealing with irresponsible pet owners and hateful people, trying to spay/neuter so this pet overpopulation crisis will end, illness and disease, etc. etc. I admire people who dedicate their lives to this cause more than i can express. I just don't have the emotional fortitude for it. I love animals too much. It's amazing how something that supplies your greatest joy can also cause your deepest pain. I am sorry to write such a downright depressing post, but i had to express my true feelings. I have always been an eternal optimist and try to focus on the good in every situation....but today, my heart is simply broken into little pieces.
In honor of our furry friends who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge~~