so today i finished my last long run before the la marathon in three weeks. with 20 miles under my hydration belt i am confident in knowing i will not die. i can actually run 20 miles. and it doesn’t hurt that bad. not nearly as bad as the 7.22 hill run this week. side benefits are you can eat as much as you want and drink beer.
in case you didn’t know, i’m running the marathon to raise money for a charity called kitten rescue. they rescue kittens! and dogs! i don’t get it when someone says “i don’t like cats” in response to hearing i’m running for kitten rescue. so when they hit me up for money for homeless people or a disease i don’t have should i respond, “i’m not homeless and i don’t have leukemia. fuck off.” that flippant comment aside, i actually do donate to a variety of charities including kxlu, the la food bank, midnight mission, and any disease any of my friends raise money for. i do not donate to religious organizations or to Big Charity. Big Charity functions like big corporations – huge bureaucratic infrastructure, big salaries.
so as i was running today i was mulling over why exactly i’m running for an animal rescue charity. aside from the fact that i adopted my three cats from kitten rescue, including the charming genius cat molly, seen here waiting for me to come home from my run.
which brings me to the story of tinkerbell.
tinkerbell was originally my neighbor’s cat. then tinkerbell got knocked up and had kittens and a friend of my neighbor’s adopted both tinkerbell and one (i think) of her kittens. this person has something of a menagerie going and apparently tinkerbell did not adjust well to all the children and other animals. i seriously doubt this person — hey, why don’t we just call them IPO, for Irresponsible Pet Owner — did anything to make things any better. when tinkerbell started peeing outside the litterbox (a classic symptom of stress and not enough litter boxes), IPO simply decided to kick tinkerbell outside. because, as she put it, tinkerbell “didn’t appear to be comfortable in [her] house”.
let’s just stop right there. so let’s just assume there was a problem with one of IPO’s kids. they started acting out and misbehaving. i hope that IPO wouldn’t kick her kid out without trying to fix the problem. [but btw i unfortunately suspect that's exactly what she'd do]
so IPO kicked the cat out, to fend for itself. as you might imagine, that didn’t go so well. tinkerbell got sick. IPO did nothing to take care of the cat. didn’t take the cat to a vet. didn’t bring her inside. nada, zip. instead, when IPO finally got her hands on tinkerbell, she took her to the west valley shelter, where, being sick, she was promptly euthanized. problem solved for IPO! no more sick cat!
how fucking sick is that. seriously. my newsfeed is FULL of stories about people just like this, who dump their (sometimes sick) pets at shelters because they are too irresponsible to take care of them. the comments are the same, every single time. WHO THE HELL WOULD DO SUCH A THING? well, people, i’m here to tell you who would do such a thing. this person looks just like everyone else you’ll meet, normal life, kids, career blah blah. perfectly nice in person face to face. but when it all boils down to it, they don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves. vacation versus sick kitten? vacation! taking time to make sure animals are ok versus going to time share? time share! spend money on vet versus magic castle? magic castle! so basically, the animals can all drop dead from disease, dehydration and heat, she’s going on vacation and enjoying herself at magic castle.
as those of you who are my friends know, i am not one to mince words. i wrote an email to this woman. this is what i said:
[neighbor] sent me the email below, after a series of emails about Tinkerbell, and after contacting me a while back in the hopes that I might be able to take her in. I didn’t take Tinkerbell into my home because I knew I could not care for her. I have three cats, and bringing a new cat in takes a lot of time to make sure they get along and there aren’t behavioral incidents. I don’t have any, much less a lot, of time. I wish I could have taken Tinkerbell in, frankly, but it would have been unrealistic.
I cannot tell you how much this entire debacle has upset me. It has upset [neighbor] as well, as you probably know. I volunteer my time with an animal rescue organization (Kitten Rescue) and I’m training to run in the LA Marathon to raise money for abused, neglected and homeless animals. In other words, animals like Tinkerbell, who was abused and neglected by you.
Tinkerbell was sick, and in desperate need of veterinary care. Rather than making sure she got veterinary care, you allowed her illness to get to the point where she developed necrotic tissue and maggots. That doesn’t happen overnight, and Tinkerbell certainly was not “healthy”. I cannot imagine how much Tinkerbell was suffering, but you did not take her to the vet. Finally, you dumped the “inconvenient” cat at the West Valley shelter, where she was sure to be put down. Which, of course, is exactly what happened.
To say what happened was grossly irresponsible is an understatement. It’s flat out cruel. When you accept an animal into your home, it becomes your responsibility to care for it – that includes taking it to the vet, cleaning out litter boxes, walking, giving them decent housing conditions. If you can’t do that for some reason, whether it’s financial (there are low cost vets, btw), personal, a time issue, or whatever, then you should not have pets. PERIOD. If you cannot take care of your pets, give them to someone who will take care of them and not have them suffer.
The bottom line is that Tinkerbell died because you failed to take care of her, you failed to take her to a vet, and you didn’t bother to find a home or organization which could help or save her. Please reconsider whether it’s appropriate for you to have pets at all — I personally don’t think it is. The message you’re sending to your children is terrible on so many levels… starting with “pets are disposable. when one becomes inconvenient, just get rid of it.”
That is not what I believe, at all. In fact, it’s so completely repugnant to me that I would appreciate it if you would take me off your mailing lists. I will not do business with someone who treats animals in this way.
p.s. If you were to google “no kill animal shelter los angeles” you would get millions of hits – below are just a few. I strongly suggest you contact these organizations to give them your other pets, or at least before you drop them off at a city shelter to be killed like you did with Tinkerbell. If you’re going to do that, save yourself the drive and throw them out a car window – it’s no better.
i don’t know about you, but i thought that was pretty well written and made the point. this was her response:
Then it’s a crying shame that [neighbor] did not relocate her over the past year and a half! I told her on numerous occasions that TinkerBell did not appear comfortable in my house and was living as an outdoor cat. I told her she deserved to be inside. The cat has not been around in the past two weeks. When we saw her on Saturday we were going to take her to [neighbor]‘s but [neighbor] never responded. Don’t worry. I will not be contacting you again.
IPO’s name here
“Oh, by the way…I’m never too busy for your referrals!”
wait, whaaaattt? how did this whole thing turn into the blame game? this was my response:
wow. talk about missing the whole point.
tinkerbell was YOUR CAT. the responsibility was YOURS. you blew it. you failed. don’t try to shove it off on [neighbor], or anyone else. it’s absolutely appalling that somehow you’ve taken this and twisted it into something someone else should have done.
that really speaks volumes, [IPO]. you won’t take responsibility, and you blame others.
do everyone a favor and give all your pets up to no kill shelters before they all die of starvation, disease, or whatever else in your home because you can’t be bothered.
now, i doubt IPO will actually take her pets to no kill shelters to give them up. she’s stubborn and doesn’t want to be perceived as a “failure” or the kind of person who would give up. instead, she’s the kind of person who cruelly neglects her animals to the point where they are put down.
so. . . if you want to know why i’m running to raise money for kitten rescue, it’s in large part due to ass hats like IPO, who dump their sick and neglected animals off at shelters to be put down, because they are so grossly irresponsible that they neglect their animals to the point of sickness. unfortunately, there are many many people like IPO, and therefore many, many animals who are sick, neglected, mistreated, and finally dumped at shelters. these animals deserve better homes than IPO can provide. they deserve veterinary care and love, which obviously IPO is totally incapable of providing.
so look at it this way. i’m running for tinkerbell.
if you would like to donate, please go to my crowdrise website. ALL donations, even ONE DOLLAR are appreciated and meaningful.