Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Murder in the first degree...

I don't know what possessed me to inquire about four little black kittens today. But I found myself calling Mrs. Cutcheon who had called a couple of weeks ago claiming that she had found four kittens by her house and they all needed homes. I told her back then to bring them in so the doctor can exam them, deworm and vaccinate them. She had money concerns and decided to just nurse them to a healthy age and ship them off to their new homes.
Well, another client called a few days ago asking if we had any female kittens looking for a home and I told her no but if I hear of one I will let her know. And just today it dawned on me that maybe one of the black kittens was female. So I called Mrs. Cutcheon to see if she had any females. She informs me that she brought three of them to Domestic Animal Services because she couldn't keep them any longer. So I call D.A.S. to see if I can locate them. Apparently I didn't have enough information to track them down so I relate this to Mrs. Cutcheon and she says she will call instead.
She then calls me five minutes later shouting into the phone, "THOSE MURDERERS!! HOW CAN THEY DO THAT! They were healthy baby kittens. They didn't even give them a week to be adopted out!! I AM SO ANGRY!! I told off the lady on the phone. How could they do that? How can they be so evil? THEY KILLED THEM!!

Ahh, yes, but evil resides, in all spaces and corners. Most of the times it's form is so subtle but it's there.

Where was she when they told her that they would be given five days and they then become the property of D.A.S.? What did that mean to her? Did any of that sink in or did she just hear no evil at the time because it was an inconvenience solved for her.

Where was the person who euthanized the kittens? Where did she go in her mind to not see the horror of what she was doing? All to feed her kids and her family. Or worse yet, to pay for her vacation in the islands.

Why is it legal to euthanize healthy robust animals? Why is it legal to butcher animals? Why is it legal to hunt animals for sportsmanship?

We have a long way to go to come out of this darkness...

5 Gold teeth

"So when are you going to pay up?" said the Veterinarian to the couple sitting in the examining room. "You said you'd settle the bill by now. We had an agreement." He posed these questions as the vet tech is trying to feed the five puppies huddled in the basket and squirming for milk. The couple look rather uncomfortable and the one of them says, "Well, I don't know. We're really tight on money right now." The woman chimes in, "I just started my job this week. And we made a payment just this week."
" Well, I don't know," says the vet and then turns to me, "Make sure they make a payment. You can check to see if she has any gold teeth. One for each puppy that's left...And as for him, aah you can let him go." He then walks out of the room without even a glimpse towards the puppies.
I continue to instruct them on how to finish rearing the puppies and to let them know I am available if they need any more help. I also fing myself offering to help them take care of the puppies if they cannot. I could have kicked myself but I just couldn't bear the thought of the owners neglecting to feed them or ignoring one of their cries in the middle of the night. They definitely don't deserve that kind of treatment.

Another beautiful day in the south....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trading Places

Something happened to me this morning which changed me forever. I came face to face with death while sitting on my bathroom floor. Staring down into a basket which held 6 tiny 5 day old puppies, the realization of our limits as a biological species dawned on me. It wasn't just the fact that one of the puppies did not survive the night but rather all the events culminating to her death. From the couple who did not realize the disastrous effects of a nine year old dog giving birth a little too late, to the Vet who responded to my 2am emergency call with no instructions or questions regarding their nursing, to the vet tech who assured me that they will be fine with me despite my lack of training in nursing newborns, to even myself who took on way more than what I was ready to handle. Maybe in this chain-link of events, if one small link disconnected the outcome would have been different. Then again, who's to know if she would have mauled a human child years from now if she had lived?

The feeling is indescribable when you visually and actually experience the passing away of a defenseless creature depending on you for survival. Their cries of pain resonate through your being - striking your heart with a mallet with each cry and of course rendering you with a feeling of helplessness. I went through a palette of emotions as the night progressed. First, panic when I heard the cry, to sadness, to anger, back to sadness, to depression, and finally back to sadness. And although your mind rationalizes that you did the best for her by making her comfortable and keeping her warm, a part of you feels guilty. You then wonder if perhaps she died because you made a mistake somewhere. Actually, I did. I took them home to nurse them.

Boy, I wish I could have traded places with someone this morning.