Monday, June 12, 2006

Positive or Realistic

The phone has been ringing non-stop this morning.

I just spoke to a woman who found an injured cat the other day and asked for help. Rebecca lives near her and went down and took the cat to the vet. The cat is 10 years old, has broken legs and cannot urinate at the moment due to the pain. It looks like an abandoned Persian cat.

The woman could not afford to pay very much for treatment, but we sent the cat down anyway. The vet said this cat cannot go back on the streets after this as chances of survival will be very low.

She also said the cat is elderly and has a rather aggressive personality so it does not have a good chance at adoption.

The woman who found it wants to save the cat. At the moment, we have no foster but I told her assuming the cat is able to heal for the 6 weeks it needs, what should be done with the cat? The woman wants to adopt it out. I explained to her chances are very low and that as she mentioned to me, this cat was being beaten up by other cats in the area. With a lame leg, it's chances of outrunning the other cats is even more remote.

This woman heard of another woman who says she can take it in. The woman she mentioned was someone I know - one of the women who is already in a lot of financial trouble from having far too many cats in the house. The woman mentioned that this other person could take the cat in and foster it. I asked what happened after that - she said perhaps the woman could keep the cat. I told her that the second woman was already in a lot of financial problems, she already had too many cats and now she wanted to give another cat to her? I asked her how this was fair to the woman. I asked whom was going to pay for the medical treatment, and she said the Society should do it.

I asked if she could take the cat in herself. She has two pets of her own and she says she has her hands full. I told her that if that was the case, could she imagine this woman she was trying to send the cat off to? She had her problem times fifty.

She told me that she likes to look on the 'positive' side of things. I told her that positive is good, but realistic is important. I told her that while 6 weeks may seem like a long time, it's going to be here in a flash, and it's necessary to think long term about what is going to happen to the cat. Putting it here, and trying to source for donations as she is planning to do is fine for now - but what about the rest of this cat's life? The woman she can put it with can leave it in a cage but with the cat's personality,it cannot go out with the other cats in the house as well. I told her she needs to think not about today or tomorrow, but about 6 weeks or even 6 months down the road. Spending $2000 to save a cat which is going to be tossed back on the street where its chances of survival are not very good just isn't very sensible - that same amount could maybe save another 20 cats.


Anonymous imp said...

i firmly believe charity has limits. and many many times, decide with the head is the best way to move forward where charity is concerned.

12/6/06 4:17 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Hi Dawn, what would you advise for this case?

12/6/06 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be the devil's advocate here, but let me ask: Does being realistic mean taking a pro-euthanasia stance?

13/6/06 4:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous, not necessarily. What it DOES mean is that you have to think long term. It's no good to imagine that it'll all work out - concrete plans are needed. For example, is the cat suffering, where will the cat stay, will it be recovering fully, can it be released back onto the street, what will its standard of life be? If it cannot, who is going to take it in? How long it going to take to recover, and of course, can you afford to pay for it?

At the end of the day, if you have no idea then you're not thinking it through or being realistic.

I know a woman who spent thousands upon thousands (literally) on a cat that had a chronic problem. The vet got so fed up that he told her that he wasn't going to operate any more- it was causing the cat too much pain. In the meantime, she had several other cats that weren't so badly off and could have done with the treatment, but she had no money left to treat them. She ended up spending all the money on this cat which the vet said was suffering because she said she did not believe in euthanasia.

13/6/06 5:48 PM  
Anonymous mr giggles said...

I totally agree, Dawn. At the end of the day, we must ask ourselves who's actually benefitting from the desperate measures to keep the animal alive? Are we doing it truly for the cat's benefit? Or is it simply for our own conscience? If it is the latter, it really is very selfish, in cases where the cat is suffering from the numerous needle jabs and drips, and forced medication... while deteriorating slowly and in pain.

14/6/06 3:27 PM  

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