Saturday, April 18, 2009

My heart just keeps breaking....

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~~

6 comments:

LuLu said...

Oh Carrie ... Your post made me cry ... I completely understand how you feel ... A few years ago, one of my dogs disappeard and for weeks, I looked for her. Her name was Chili. I did all I could to find her, visited every shelter possible, even in Vermont, thinking that she might have crossed the nearby border ... I had to armor my heart, the sight of so many abandonned animals, cats and dogs, literally made me sick. During one of these visits, I connected with a one-eye dog, it was love at first sight ! I returned home and driving back I decided that I would get the proper papers and adopt her. I thought about her all night long ... So the day after, I was in a rush to go back and do the necessary to bring her back with me. I did not call before ... When I got there, the dog was no longer in the shelter ... Someone had claimed her back. I felt sad and at the same time happy that she was back home. Time went by... A few weeks later, I visited the shelter again, just because I was driving by. I asked about one-eye ... The owner got her back but a couple of days later, she got poisonned by a neighbor that hated dogs ... I strongly believe that what human do to inferior (are they really) living creatures will bring the end of humanity. Nurtur and protect is what we should be doing ... I am sending you big hugs ... Every single cat you help puts a star on your heart! Cheer up and keep up with your great work! LuLu

Talking Horses Arts said...

Dear Carrie..I am so sorry to read this. Please remember...you are doing all you can! It is the hard truth that you cannot save them all.
Believe me I know! Saved a kitten not to long ago, very malnourished, had it for three months. Took it to the vet when strong enough to get neutered, it died on the table, the heart stopped. Please, try to focus on the ones that you did help....I hate to see you go thru all this. My heart goes out to you...I do not know what else to say..wishing all the strength you need and some...We all love you for what you are doing and everyone knows you are doing ALL you can!!!
Andrea.

Susan Faye said...

Hang in there Carrie...you are spreading seeds of awareness, kindness, and respect for life. What could be better than that? Just by speaking up, you have planted a seed with the folks who want to do away with the cats...their awareness has been raised whether they know it or not, and with a little luck, kindness and respect for life will begin to germinate some sunny day!

Jake and Micah said...

Carrie, I'm thinking of you. What you're doing for homeless cats is the right thing even though you're sure to find setbacks (usually caused by people) along the way. Micah passed away suddenly from Cardiomyopothy too. It's heartbreaking but you did everything you could do for her and for the other kitties you are trying to rescue to better lives.

Jenny said...

Oh I am so sorry. I have been there in sorts. It never is easy no matter if it is a stray or your own cat. I know.

I do have some wonderful news on my end, may cheer you up a wee bit!!! come see what I found today!!

big hugs to you

suziart said...

I am sooogald I found your blog! You are amazing doing what you do, I have a cousin in CA that does this same thing with the cats. They even have a store, like a Goodwill store, and all the money goes to the cats. I myself have 5 cats I have either rescued or taken in that were starving. I have the most horrible time going to a shelter, those babieshaunt me forever in my thoughts. I am a big hearted animal lover, too. Bless you inall youe work and efforts, it takes someone so very special. And bless all the animals,especialy the ones that do not get helped. Xo, Suzi