Friday, December 31, 2010

The Last Few

As I was uploading pictures of the past few... the last few... days of our 2010, I was struck by the large role that animals have come to play in our lives.  I know, perhaps, I shouldn't be surprised by this; our pet bills for years attest to this already.  But I guess I am still surprised.  I didn't set out to have 5 pets, but that is, indeed what we have.

And, of course, if you count the Sea Monkeys... well, then, I guess we'll (hopefully - she is pretty excited for those eggs to hatch!) have even more...

The animals in our lives are now even beyond our four walls and the critters we feed and enjoy watching in the back yard. We have volunteered now for the last 7 months at a no-kill animal sanctuary.  We are surprised and often saddened at how thoughtless - and even cold - some people can be.

But our hearts are really made glad when they arrive at the sanctuary.  We know all the animals will be well-loved, whether or not they get adopted.  For some, the sanctuary becomes a long-time, sometimes forever, home.  For others, it is a brief stay where the animals will know they are safe.

I have been surprised at the number of pets that are returned a second, third or even more times.  Jewel, the kitty above, that my daughter is giving some furious-rubbing love to is back at our shelter for the third time.  I'm thankful for our return policy and realize that some situations for keeping a pet are too difficult to overcome, but I do wish that people would really think about the time and cost commitment of keeping a pet.

Take Luna, at the top of this post, for example.  After a year and a half of feeding her outside our back step, I finally dove in and had her tested and immunized so that she could come in and be with our family for more socialization.  Perhaps we'll find another home for her or perhaps she'll stay with us.  We have some events coming up in our lives that may make it difficult to add another to our home, but with below-freezings temps the past few days, I feel better having her inside. 

She was someone's pet at some time.  She was already spayed.  Abandoned, she is another victim of the recession I'm sure.  Because she was not completely feral, she allows us to pet her and seems to be adjusting better than if she were truly wild.  She does still seem a bit forlorn at not being able to run outside whenever she wants.  But I'm hoping she will come to enjoy the privledges of indoor living.  I am too concerned about her being hit by a car or other difficulty.  Plus, she was darn expensive!

Can I just say that not only are shelters a better way to find an animal compainion because of  - oh, you know all the reasons: overpopulation, euthanization, abandoned, frightened or abused animals, etc.?  But consider the excellent bargain you will get from adopting.  My "free" stray kitty cost me $263 for her good-health check-up and immunizations. (Thank you, Mom, for the Christmas money!) This same, sweet kitty would have cost me $35 if somehow Nate's Place had found her before I did.  And she would have received the same great medical care too.  I know, because I took her to the same vet the shelter uses.

C'est la vie.

In the meantime, calendars have been updated...

...and today is the day to begin putting our Christmas trimmings away for another year.

We'll chart a mellow path into our new year this evening playing games, exploring our Wii Fit that we've saved until today!  Have a very safe and Happy New Year.  Cheers to 2011!


Marianna said...

My son volunteers at our city animal shelter and it breaks my heart to see all the animals that come through. Thankfully, they have a nearly 90% placement rate (the other 10% are primarily feral cats) which makes it easier to go there each week. Although my heart breaks for all those little feral kitties...

In fact, he was there yesterday and there was a woman and her daughter looking at the cats. The woman is allergic to cats, but because her kids were begging she was going to go ahead and get one. I actually found myself talking her out of it because I know the placement would never work out.

The worst though are the 20+ cats and three dogs they currently have on hold pending a cruelty case. It is actually more a case of hoarding than true cruelty, but the end result was that the animals weren't being properly cared for. They finally go to trial next week and I'm hoping for a good outcome for the animals.

Your Luna is a pretty kitty! And one lucky girl I might add.

Sara said...

Happy New Year!

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