I love my cats… And I can’t keep them
I had a sudden change in my personal circumstances. I’m not going to go into exactly what, as it’s private. The end result of this change is that I simply can’t keep the cats. The why isn’t really important. Everyone who needs to rehome a pet will have a different reason. And most people who rehome a pet aren’t dumping them – they love them, and the reality of their life circumstances make it impossible for them to keep their pets.
I know some people dump pets – I’m not talking about them in this article. My cats are on a waitlist – and I’ll be keeping them for the 4-5 weeks until a place becomes available for them. I’ve also reached out to my Facebook page/community to see if I could find anyone who could take them – and I contacted multiple refuges before I found one that could help.
I was a bit reluctant to post on the Facebook page, and I copped some judgement. Not nice! I’ll talk more about that in a minute.
The reasons that people need to surrender a pet could be many – financial, due to domestic violence, because they are moving and can’t find a rental that will allow pets, due to an illness, a death, or whatever.
You don’t know the person’s circumstances
Even if you think you do, you don’t really know. You are not in their shoes. You can be sure of this: The person surrendering their pets will have agonised over their decision, and they will have only decided to rehome their pet because of the awful reality of their necessity, driven by their personal circumstances.
Here’s a suggestion. Bite your tongue. Swallow your judgements. Airing them is not supportive, and will actually make it more painful and harder for the person who needs to surrender or rehome their pets.
If you want to be supportive, maybe connect and enquire what’s going on, and how the person is feeling about having to rehome their pets. I can tell you that they will be sad. I am. It’s a difficult, stressful, awful thing to need to do.
And I need to rehome my cats. Why I need to is my business, but I can tell you that I thought long and hard about this before coming to my decision – and I believe that most people who need to rehome their pets will do the same.
Be kind, seek for understanding, don’t judge
People who need to rehome their pets need you to be kind. It’s emotionally difficult for them. It’s not something they want to do, it’s something they need to do.
Even if you don’t agree with what they are doing, or their reasons, surely you can respect the fact that they are individual humans who have the right to make difficult decisions about what they need to do.
Be kind. Be supportive. Be understanding, and accepting of their decisions.
I have to tell you, it’s a really bloody hard place to be in, and I know I am making the best choice I can, given my personal circumstances. I’ll be so sad to see them go, and I have found a great refuge that has them on their waiting list.