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Another Problem I Didn't Need!


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Suddenly I've got another problem during my grief, just as I'm starting to come out of the numbness and start to try addressing the pain that's been buried...and I don't know WHAT to do with this!

One of the grey cats (who I'd wondered if Nissa had been sending around) has hung around so often that I'm now faced with trying to decipher if this cat is an abandoned or lost one. I've put a collar on him from our no-kill shelter, but so far (since last night) it's not been taken off nor has anyone called the shelter's ph.# on it to find out who put the collar on. I've fed this guy as 'needed'(?) and given him some shelter at times in our garage (he refuses to come in the house) and although he's fairly tubby, it still looks like he might be homeless.

I can't completely turn my back on him, but neither do either me or especially my H want another animal right now. Gawd....I've barely even begun to process the loss of Nissa yet and don't think I can, or want to, handle anything more, especially any medical problems!! (this cat has some scabs on his head area, may not even be fixed, has bad gas, may have worms, and goodness knows what else) I've been falling apart even MORE because of this and all those around me are mainly only thinking of their OWN needs and wants, not mine. The no-kill shelter won't take him, as my friend already has too many cats, who mainly never get adopted. So now I'm going to be saddled with making posters and flyers, calling vets and other rescue groups, etc., in the hope that someone has been looking for this guy...but it's not likely, as I know the stats are very poor for cats being reunited with their owners, who too often don't give a damn in the first place. But mainly, I don't have enough energy and certainly don't need to be adding to my emotional melt-down with this kind of new 'project'! Now my sleep is being even more adversely affected and I'm taking on more guilt that doesn't even properly belong with ME! This guy IS quite sweet, though a bit skittish, but I can't invest emotionally with him....can't afford to....not yet. And we've already booked to go away during Xmas holidays, so what am I to do with him if he keeps hanging around, seemingly so hungry and in need of help???? I'm SOOO angry at the Universe for dumping this new problem on me when I'm not even handling my own problems all that well. This whole scenario is helping me clarify in my head that I DON'T want another cat/cats anytime soon....and yet here's this guy, possibly in need of care.

It's already caused one fight with my H, who'd just as soon we ignore him, as he's convinced he DOES have a home, albeit obviously not a good one. And a couple of friends already gave me royal hell for even helping him out, saying THEY'D been waiting for the time when we'd be more available for socializing with them, so NOT to consider taking on another cat so soon. This just served to piss me right off, as they're only being selfish....ignoring MY needs and angst over this, ignoring MY grief (cuz I'm not big on socializing yet anyway, regardless) and definitely ignoring the possible needs of this cat's plight! :angry2: NO ONE has had the kindness to even acknowledge my characteristic soft and compassionate side in this, which I find simply insulting...as if that part of me isn't a GOOD thing. :angry2: So all told, this is creating a lot of anger in me, and again, isn't something I need right now. I'm also told basically, "Good LUCK!" in finding a home for this guy, if he is homeless, but I DON'T WANT TO KEEP HIM, EITHER! So now I've become part of the cruelty and indifference problem, too, but how do I ignore my own feelings, either???? I'm going nuts and want to just run away from the whole darn thing! (and naturally, he's GREY, too, which makes it all the worse for me :( .....dammit!)

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My dear Maylissa,

I know that you are struggling with this dilemma, and I’m not sure that any of us can come up with any profound words of wisdom that will help you to solve it. Clearly you are on the horns of a dilemma, you are ambivalent about your choices, and you know that either way you choose to go will not be without pain and sacrifice. I know your message has received no responses since you posted it last Monday and you may have feelings about that, but I think it stems from the fact that we all recognize that it really does not matter what we think you “should” or “should not” do in this situation, because regardless of what you decide to do, there will be consequences stemming from that decision, and we know that you alone are the one who must live with those consequences.

What I can do is share some observations and some things I’ve learned along the way that I hope may help you clarify your thinking in this situation.

First, there is no doubt that, (like me, if I may say so) you are an extremely compassionate person, particularly when it comes to caring for and loving animals. Compassion is a gift, and I dare say it makes people like us very good at what we do. There is no button we can push to “turn off” our compassion – this is part of who we are. But this same gift can be our downfall, Maylissa. Compassionate people may fall into the trap of thinking that if we don’t do it, it won’t get done. If we think that no one can “do it” better than we can, we may take on more and more responsibility, whether it belongs to us or not, until we buckle under the weight of it all. Instead of looking at what we’ve done already and giving ourselves credit for that, we tend to look at what we haven’t done yet. We are our own worst critics, because no one is harder on us than we are. We are only human beings, yet we judge, punish, re-judge and re-punish ourselves when something, anything, goes wrong. It does not seem to matter that, for every one thing we may have done wrong, we can find five things we did right.

You say that the attention you’ve been paying to this stray cat has “already caused one fight with my H,” adding that “a couple of friends already gave me royal hell for even helping him out.” As you already know from your experiences with Sabin and Nissa, maintaining a marriage and relationships with friends can be very difficult when you’re engaged in long-term caregiving. For the last two years of Nissa’s life, it may have seemed as if you and your husband were two ships passing in the night. No matter how understanding your friends may have been during that long period of caregiving, they probably wished you’d had more time with them, but you couldn’t seem to find that time. And now, just as it seemed that you would be more available to your husband and your friends, along comes this stray cat who's taking your attention away from them again. Feeling so deprived of you for so long, is it realistic to think that they wouldn’t be disappointed and resentful? You’re probably right in your assessment that your husband and friends are placing their own needs and wants ahead of your own need (to take care of this stray cat), and ahead of this cat’s needs (to be fed and sheltered) as well. But your husband and your friends are only human – and sometimes it’s even healthy that humans would be selfish enough to put their own needs and wants ahead of someone else’s!

The problem with being a very compassionate person is that, in the world of caring for others who need us (whether human or animal), there is never any end to the need, Maylissa. There is always more to do. Unless we set realistic limits for ourselves, we are at risk for developing compassion fatigue, and then we are of no use to anyone. At some point we have to ask ourselves, How do we not let this gift for compassion wear us out? How can we set limits and establish boundaries for ourselves? Where do our primary responsibilities lie, and what are our priorities? How can we step out of the caregiving role long enough to live our lives, nurture and restore and re-create ourselves, pay sufficient attention to our loved ones, and maintain our relationships with friends and neighbors so that resentments don’t develop? How do we give what we can give to the sick, the dying and the bereaved, and let it be enough? What can we do to take care of and give to ourselves first, so we’ll have something left to give to others?

I cannot answer these questions for you, Maylissa, and I cannot tell you what to do in this situation – I can only alert you to the dangers, and continue to urge you to take as good care of yourself as you are willing to take care of others. As I once heard a wise man say, “To feel too much is dangerous. To feel too little is tragic.”

With love (and compassion),


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Maylissa, I'm sorry for what you're going through. I also can never turn away from a stray or any animal in need. It's great that you are feeding the cat and letting him in when he wants. And I would say just leave food and water out for when you are away, but it's cold there huh? Do you have a way he could get into your garage while you're away for Christmas, so that he could get out of the cold? I can understand your husband and friends being worried about you, they don't want to see you hurt again. All I can say is how I think I would feel if it were me. You are who you are... and if an animal needs you, you will give it that help. Some people can turn away and forget about a hurt or lost animal, I can't and I know you can't. Just do what you feel in your heart. Love, Laurie

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Marty and Laurie,

Thank you both muchly for replying to my dilemma. It's been so all-consuming this last week and I've been so exhausted by the worry, guilt and feelings of being torn in two opposite directions.

There's been a resolution of sorts though...if nothing happens to ruin it, that is! My H called my no-kill friend (at my request...since she clearly wasn't listening to me), after me having fallen right apart when this cat started sneezing one evening. I was immediately transported back into the world I've inhabited for so many years, of worry, anxiety, caregiving, etc. whenever a health issue raised its ugly head. In one fell swoop, it became crystal-clear that I was in NO shape, emotionally and mentally, to take on the role of caregiver with all its attendant and full responsibilities this soon after Nissa's parting. I was shaking and crying, feeling like this was a nightmare that I couldn't escape from. Hence, my plea for my H's help.

I'd already tried calling all no-kill shelters and all I talked to were full. A couple of them never even called me back. We were even willing to drive hours away in order to get this little guy placed somewhere safe and half-decent, but I haven't heard back from that one. I spent the bulk of the week canvassing a good portion of the surrounding areas, putting up a few "Found Cat" posters and asking (so far) a few people to ask around regarding adopting this poor guy, as well as researching how to write effective ads for same, placing an ad in our local paper and stuff like that. We were willing all along to pay for his neutering beforehand. But no one was coming forward, on any count. So, once I fell apart over thinking about having to deal once again, so soon, with the health issues of a lifetime, I started feeling really resentful about the whole situation...not a good attitude to start out a relationship with in the first place!

So the 'good' news is that my friend called my H back the next day and said she WOULD take this cat...this upcoming Monday. I talked to my therapist about all this as well, yesterday, and although I'd also been willing to take him myself for neutering, IDing, etc. and allow him to recuperate first at our house, she suggested I not offer this, as my friend seems to not respect my position and feelings and may just take a mile if I give her this inch. So, I'll simply hand him over, along with another big cheque (we are the only regular donators to her shelter) and some supplies, and the offer to do my own advertising (as well as hers, if she wishes) to get him placed somewhere loving and responsible. I've now reasoned that, even if my H and I could carry on with our future plans w/o cat guardianship adversely affecting such plans....emotionally, I STILL need a heck of a break from all that, for an undetermined amount of time. I had told my friend, "Call me weak, if you want...I don't really care how I'm labelled, but this is how it is right now and that is who I am. I can't care LESS than I classically do for someone I bond with, and when I bond, I bond deeply!...it's just not who I am." She'd commented previously to my remarks that she thought I "SHOULDN'T" have considered myself Sabin and Nissa's Mom, thereby setting myself up for a bigger heartbreak with illness and death. WE couldn't believe she didn't know who and what I was like after all these years!! I told her that I thought people like her (in the shelter 'bus.') would really appreciate my kind of attitude! But it seems that her views change depending on what SHE wants at the time, and she isn't willing to truly accept any that differ from hers. I'm sure she'd rather I be just like her...so that I could DO the same thing as her and open up another shelter. But while I want to help animals, her kind of set-up and how she manages it, just isn't the kind of thing I could handle, as I'm not 'hardened' enough for that...nor would I run it the same way she does, even if I wanted that.

Once in the midst of this unexpected limitation on my life, I also realized that in small ways, I was actually looking somewhat forward to the new-found freedom of being able to do whatever I wanted, at whatever time, for as long or as short a time as I desired...like a kid in a candy shop, even with the concurrent pain of WHY I could now make such choices for myself. I'd also wanted this Christmas to be all abour honouring Nissa and our relationship, NOT having to look after anyone else's welfare. And thinking ahead to the summer, to the first time in nearly 20 years where me and my H could actually take a REAL vacation, for as long as 4 wks. if we wished, w/o having to worry about someone left at home...it was too much to willingly give up, again, despite the pain I will be carrying with me on any such travels. It's taken me awhile to even think of myself as deserving of such 'luxuries', and will take much getting used to I'm sure(!), so to give all that up before I've even been given the chance to experience it....that's asking too much.

The worst part is that we've already bonded in some ways, especially he to me. He's the most grateful and loving cat and trusted me so incredibly quickly (I can touch him anywhere whenever I want!), it's amazing. Even 'worse', he surprised me totally by acting so much like my own 2 kidlets always did, asking for some of the same games, doing some of the same things around our house, looking so much like Nissa sitting in the yard, wanting me to come out and join him...it's gonna be really hard to see him go into a 'colony', when I know he's so wary of certain things (like being indoors). I'm even wondering if he isn't unfixed, as he never seems to fight with any other cats who come around. Sigh.....he truly is a wonderful cat, but I'm just not ready for this. I want to be concentrating on properly and fully grieving over my girl, and not stuffing that sorrow back down again, reliving that part of the process that was also so uncomfortable. Ironic, that I'd just started coming out of that numbness, just to have circumstance make me put the feelings on hold again. This guy has already taught me that I have limits, to try and respect those limits, that my heart can indeed open up again (though not fully, as yet) and that for the first time in my life, I really want to focus on ME and MY life and get that more established before I can caretake anyone else again. And for the value of these lessons he's taught, too, it's gonna be so hard to give him up. But I'd feel SOOO much better if I knew he'd be going to someone as loving as me (in my normal mode) who would take really good care of him. So that's what I'm left to work on ~ trying to get him the best conditions possible to live out his life. I'm pretty sure I'll have yet another loss to grieve from all this...great.

I never thought I'd be saddled with such a challenge, as if the natural grief over Nissa wasn't hard enough...and I still wish I was the type who could just take him in forever, regardless. But I've had to face the fact that I've been through too much sorrow for now and I just can't be THAT strong, for anybody right now. What strength I have left has to be reinvested in myself. I just hope I don't live to regret this decision. Would that he could have come along a couple of years from now instead... :(

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Maylissa, That's great news. You found him a safe place to stay, and you could go visit sometimes. I'm sure he'll be happy with having other cat friends! Most important, he'll be safe, warm and cared for... thanks to you!!!, you should be very proud of yourself. You are a very caring and thoughtful person. Love, Laurie

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That's a great solution.

I'll add your poor foundling to my prayer list that he find a great home, if he has that good a personality, then someone will fall utterly in love.

I'm so sorry about you kitties. I hope things go well for you, i don't knwo you, but reading about your sittuation with your pervious cats lets me know you must be a very good person.


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I'm so glad that you were able to find a satisfactory solution to this lastest dilemma. It is so difficult and time consuming to be a caretaker. You loss yourself in the caring of another. I am glad that you are finally realizing that it is time to focus on yourself. I know it is difficult to find out what really know what it is that you want or need, but perhaps you will be able to find out during this time of exploration in your life and to even reconnect with your H and your friends. And in time, you may want to take in another animal, but if not, that is fine too. I sure understand about the worry. As I explained before, I am also a huge worrier. But ever since Tawny's death, I watch Tanner and Sweet Pea even more closely and any little thing that seems out of the ordinary has me scared and panicky. It is not a good way to live.

Tomorrow we leave for the beach-Thanksgiving here is this Thursday. It will be the first time we have gone there since Tawny died, so I have mixed feelings about going. Also my MIL was going to join us for T-day dinner. So it will be a tough day in certain ways, but also nice to get away. And it will be Sweet Pea's first trip there, so that will be fun to watch. I'll talk to you when I return on Sunday.

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Thanks to everyone for being here for me as I go through this problem, which, unhappily, is not only not over yet, but has exacerbated other things...unexpectedly. I just haven't had the time to write about them, but got up a bit earlier this morning strictly in order to have some time to vent, before I implode!

I've been having great troubles with my shelter friend over this situation, so much so that I fear our 13-yr. friendship has been damaged irreversibly ...something I NEVER thought could ever happen. This started with her initial refusal to take in this cat (the very first animal I've ever brought to her in 13 years!), along with her push to 'make' me keep him for myself, and more recently to her commenting that I never should have considered myself my kidlets' Mom! She won't let it go, saying being a good friend to cats should be "enough". I believe she's just trying to make me into herself, so that her own agenda will be served...in other words, I'll be more emotionally capable of taking in many strays no matter what else I'm going through. I believe she's jealous of my choice and ability to live even a few years without that constant and demanding responsibility of taking care of animals. I'm sure she's reasoning that if I don't bond as deeply as I do, I'll be more able to be as compassionate as I usually am, but w/o feeling so overwhelmed by loss. She wouldn't let this point go, in any case, and now I just feel unaccepted for who I am (and always was!) and as if she'd never truly listened to me before, over all these years.

I'm also feeling guilty, just as I sense she wanted me to feel, again, to further her own agenda. All the intellectual reasoning in the world isn't quelling these feelings of guilt in me...dangerous, because I KNOW I'm prone to taking on guilt as it is. So now I'm also furious with her for being so selfish and encouraging this awful feeling in me, especially when I'm already in a grief-stricken state...its uniqueness which she refuses to even try to accept.(remember, she doesn't relate to feeling like her animals are her 'babies', but just her "friends", and she's only their guardian, nothing more) It turns out that she'd also lost one of her own 18 year old cats, plus another younger one, all in one week, but as always, has to keep going because of all the other ones. While I can understand and empathize about that, it wasn't ME who made her choose many years ago to run a shelter and I'm angry that she expects me to be just like her.

Now I just feel judged, and judged harshly and negatively! This has always been bad enough when it came from my dysfunctional family/relatives, but its cutting edge is even worse when it's coming from a friend I consciously chose, and especially one whom I know is dedicated to saving animals' lives. I can't reconcile this inside.

Additionally, it turns out I was mistaken about where this stray cat would be housed. I thought he'd be integrated into her 'colony', with protected access to the outdoors and much company (seeing as SHE doesn't spend any time playing, etc. with these guys). But she told me afterwards that that 'colony' is ONLY made up of those she now considers 'hers', as none have been adopted out in 5+ years, and she doesn't introduce any new ones into this group....which makes me wonder how this group ever grew in the first place!?!?! Then she told me this guy would be kept in a separate room with only one other cat, after his neutering surgery, and may or may not ever get along well enough with the few cats kept IN the house to allow him to integrate into that situation, either. (the stated #'s of cats already indoors also changed from just a few wks ago to this last week, so I don't know if she fibbed about that, too) THEN, last I talked to her, it turns out that this poor guy is being kept on an entirely different property (which she also owns) in one room with another cat, and no one there very often (she probably only comes once or twice a day to quickly feed them) to even monitor what's going on with either cat. Heavens! I don't even know if all the utilities are up and running in this other house! THEN she told me in the first couple of days since his surgery, he'd just been hiding!...not even warming up to the other stray with him.

I'm absolutely SICK about all of this! This is NOT what I told this poor guy to expect (I believe highly in visualizing ideas to cats, which they all seem to respond to and pick up on easily....and know it works wonders), so I feel like he must be thinking I betrayed him by lying. Now he's not even getting any rubs or attention, plus may be hating being with this other, particular cat. And NO getting to go outdoors, suddenly, for probably the first time in his entire life. He'd been afraid of the indoors, so likely had never even been allowed indoors. He also seemed to find it too warm for comfort.

I don't even know if she left the old cat-post that I'd given her with him, or if she's 'stolen' it for her other cats. I also know her attention to medical, emotional and other such details has always been less than adequate (yet she wonders why she has so many physical problems with these animals...but has never listened to any of my advise and knowledge) and she certainly won't be doing anything extra to support him after his surgery (then shots this upcoming week) and also relies on cheap, low-quality donated food for all the animals, so there'll be no quality diet there, either...so important, especially during stressful times. There's little point in us providing better food for at least him, as I'd never get any assurance that it would all go to him, and not to her other ones.

She's also been of absolutely no help to me in adoption ad-writing, nor much in pre-screening of possible adopters (have had to find good resources on the web) plus I've discovered why (from U.S. websites dealing with adoption issues) she has an almost zero rate of adoption for cats...she tries to 'guilt' people into adopting, rather than showing what wonderful qualities each animal has to offer someone who could be matched to their particular type. Therefore, I haven't even written one ad for him yet, and the 'found' ad I'd put in our local paper just came out this week...with no calls from any 'owner', as I'd pretty much expected. So this has all been hanging over my head ever since. She seems to take great pleasure in passing on her pessimism, skepticism and cynicism, telling me NO other shelter could possibly be having any more success than she is (which is virtually none, and with many 'returns' later on) and telling me not to even expect this guy will find a home....EVER! So all that's making me sick, too. It was, after all, ME who put this guy in this position, after he'd been abandoned. Now I feel like total crap...and still responsible for his very life, such as it now is.

On top of this, there's still been one other cat (at least) who's been hanging around our place who I fear so badly is also homeless....and yet I now know I can't take her in, even temporarily, either, as my 'friend' curtly said to me when she came to pick up this grey guy, "Just DON'T bring me any more CATS!" (then shut her car door in my face!)...so there'd be no place for this other cat to go other than a kill shelter, and she's not got a good personality, so she'd be one of the first to be deemed 'unadoptable' and would likely be one of the first to be killed. The weather has suddenly turned VERY unseasonably frigid as well, and all the rest of the no-kill shelters were already full last week, so will only remain that way now with colder weather and more drop-offs. So now I'm having to try and decide what to do should any more come around, freezing and crying....shall I be their executioner, or sacrifice all my plans and personal feelings again...just as my 'friend' had wanted me to do in the first place?

All I know is I DON'T WANT ANY MORE CATS RIGHT NOW! In fact, I don't want to deal with ANY of these extra problems right now!! I'm right back at the beginning, and having to stuff most of my feelings down in order to try and accomplish what little I said I'd do to try and help get this grey guy placed. I feel like I'm going to have a REAL breakdown, the pressure feels so great. And with Christmas rapidly approaching, and all that entails, feeling-wise, ALL I want to have to do is focus on the sorrow that's threatening to overtake me! We've already got a number of invitations to events, all of which my H wants to attend (to get our little breaks from the sorrow), and I do, too....yet I'm not getting any time to prepare for ANYTHING, what with all this stuff yet to do. I'm also, naturally, filled with all sorts of self-loathing now, because I feel the ONLY thing I can do is turn a blind eye to all strays now and this is something I NEVER thought I, of all people, would ever do! But I'd also always counted on my 'friend' to take in any of the few that I might find (she was the main one who educated me in the horrors of kill shelters, in the first place)...and now I know that's no longer an option available to me. I seem to have been suddenly lumped into the same boat as all of those who call her and lie to her about their OWN animals they no longer want, so claim they are strays...yet I've never been anything less than totally truthful with her, and this one, lone cat in all these years is OBVIOUSLY not mine! I imagine she must have had a fantasy in her head all these years that once we lost our 2, I'd be taking in someone else right away...and I've burst her illusionary bubble, so she's making me pay now for her delusion. All I want to do is run away, far and fast, and leave absolutely everything behind. I've discovered I'm a lot weaker than I ever expected I'd be, and too many of those around me seem to be expecting more from me than I'm capable or even wanting to give. I don't expect any of my other friends and aquaintances to REALLY help me find a forever home, either, and I already know some of them are silently chastising me for even attempting to help this guy out at the beginning of this...so I'm not 'worthy' of their sympathy now. I even feel like I'm betraying myself, much less all the poor abandoned animals....all because I'm grieving a loss no one can or will understand, and because I want my OWN life, too. Which way do I go NOW??????? IPB ImageIPB Image

Edited by Maylissa
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Ah, Maylissa,

You continue to be faced with such difficult situations and decisions, which only complicate your grieving process. I am sorry to hear that your "friend" does not understand your grief and wants you to act in a certain way. I don't really have any sage advise because I do understand your dilemma. All I can say is that you have to take care of yourself first and foremost, as it seems no one else will do so for you. You cannot deal well with these issues until you have given your self the time and the permission to grieve and to put yourself first-be selfish for once-although I don't really think of it as selfish, only again as taking care of your needs first. You cannot save every cat no matter how much you try. But you can save yourself and I pray for you to have the strength to do just that.

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Hi Serl, and thanks for reading and replying to my dilemma. I managed to get all 3 different ads written, finally, but now there's been a glitch in getting the most local one published, so it won't even go in the paper for another week. Another one will run only on wknds in the major city paper, starting this upcoming wknd. As well, just as we were about to edit the photo for my posters, our photo software expired(!), so now we have to wait for an ordered one to come in first. Not much is going right here! I still have to familiarize myself with the screening questions (there are a 'million'!) too, and get that organized. At this point, I figure I'll at least go through with this part of the process and if I can't handle it all anymore, I'll hand it back to my 'friend'. I just can't help but worry about her being the only one to try and place this guy, as I now know how hopeless her adoption rate is...and I would really prefer if he doesn't end up having to stay with her forever. He deserves far better, especially when I know what a 'love barometer' he is. It's LOVE that will get him over his fear of the indoors, and that's something he won't get much, if any, of in this shelter, as she doesn't have the time to devote to such 'luxuries'. If this behaviour problem contiunues, or worsens, he'll never get placed then...so I still feel compelled to try at least somewhat.

The other 2 cats who may have been stray haven't shown up since the frigid weather hit....thankfully....but of course now I keep getting horrid images in my head about them possibly slowly freezing/starving to death somewhere out there. You wouldn't believe how incredibly, bitterly COLD it's been here, especially for only Nov. - about 40 below F. overnight when you include the windchill!! (this is NOT normal for this time of year, and even for where we are)

The only better thing that's happened this week is that my H ended up telling the boy next door that we wouldn't be able to cat-sit their guy over holidays ( and why ), and he and his mom were very understanding about it. She'd apparently not thought I'd be up to it(!) anyway, so we've been given permission to go over and visit with him anytime, for play or cuddles, even before or after they're away....so THAT'S nice! My H says he's still darn skinny, so I'm very glad I'd decided not to take this on.

I could start another thread for these next things, but don't want to take the time, so I'll just yak about it here:

We also just received Nissa's casket this week (via the mail), and that's been pretty traumatic, too. Not only was one corner a bit damaged (insufficient packing materials), but they didn't even include the closing clasp as ordered! So now we have to find something here, which we'd done for Sabin's casket as well (only because we didn't like the clasp they offered at the time)...another thing I didn't think we'd have to be worrying about. The quality of this product has definitely gone down some since our boy passed, and although I got my baby-pink lining as requested for my girl, they didn't do as nice a job as they had previously, and now we're stuck with it (with a partial refund to cover the above flaws). This just doesn't seem GOOD ENOUGH for my precious Nis'. I just end up wondering why we can't be those people who seem to have horseshoes up their you-know-whats when it comes to life! Instead, I seem to be attracting nothing but problems, problems and MORE problems!

Also recently, a 'former' friend from our original home emailed me...I guess hoping to cash in on some sympathy and help, as she was slated to go the clinic to check if she has breast cancer. We'd had a falling-out about a year ago and although I'd sent a Xmas card last year, she never responded. Now she came back saying that all that didn't matter to her anymore and what's really important is what should be focused on. I wrote back briefly offering her some sympathy (didn't want to expend too much effort yet, just in case) and let her know that I wasn't doing well, either, as we'd lost Nissa (she knew all about her from before, plus met her both before we'd moved away from home and again saw her 2 summers ago when they stayed here one night on vacation). Well.....she didn't even have the decency to write back with even a short expression of sympathy, much less a card in the mail or anything else! Oh yah....she really learned about what's truly important! :glare::angry2: For me, I could have done without this 'intrusion' into my grief, just to be cast aside as unimportant, yet again!

So between my crazy family and relatives, and now even MORE 'friends' who obviously aren't very good at friendship...I say again ~ is it any small wonder I love animals so much, by comparison????? At least THEY love you back if you offer them the same!!!! In MY world, it seems it's nothing but loss after loss after loss, no matter the degree. I'm getting royally fed up with all this and having my body die, just to get outta this unloving place, will seem like a piece o' cake compared to this!

Right now I'm clinging to something the pastor said at the recent funeral we had to attend out of town (for my H's friend's FIL). He spoke of death as being like birth, but better...something I've read before now and have to agree with. At birth, we're torn unceremoniously from our safe, warm haven in our mother's wombs..the only form of living we've known in the flesh, where our needs are simply provided w/o us having to do anything to get them met. And when we die, it's mainly the same thing, except instead of going from a 'good' to 'not as good' living condition, it's the opposite. We're torn from THIS world, with all its challenges and heartbreak, back to one where we find peace and contentment again. His rendition was more eloquent than this, but you get the idea. He ended up calling this man's death his birth and was so upbeat about it all that I actually found some comfort in his words....good, because up 'til then, I'd been shedding tears all throughout the ceremony and slideshow, and didn't want to have to explain to anyone WHY this funeral was upsetting me so much (the usual...grieving over an ANIMAL?!?!?). So right now, I can't hardly WAIT for the time I get to leave this cruel place and trade UP to something that just HAS to be better!

My H and I also seem to be getting rather bitter after all this. As I searched for the 'right' words to write in our condolence cards to this family, we were both remarking how we didn't know why we bothered to try and say comforting and understanding things anymore....only because WE never seem to get the same effort expended on US when WE'RE the ones grieving. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we get people wondering why in the world we're feeling sad over holidays...and if they say anything insensitive, this baby's gonna BLOW!!IPB ImageIPB Image

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