Can you imagine having a pet for almost 20 years and then suddenly deciding that you don’t want that pet anymore? Most people are absolutely appalled at the very thought of such a thing. Unfortunately, others don’t seem to have such a problem with it. In fact, there was a couple that recently surrendered their 18 year old cat to an animal shelter because they claimed to be dissatisfied with the amount of cat hair inside their place of residence. That brings up a lot of questions, to say the least.
Why Is the Cat Hair Suddenly a Problem?
This decision to surrender their cat ended up on social media when the shelter where they surrendered their cat posted a picture of a gorgeous little ginger tabby cat and captioned the picture with an explanation about how she had arrived at the shelter. Obviously, it didn’t take very long for people to start seeing the post and when they did, it went viral. Many people are wondering why the cat hair in the couple’s place of residence is suddenly a problem when it apparently hasn’t been a problem for the past 18 years. As a matter of fact, it created a great deal of speculation, with people wondering if the cat actually belonged to the couple themselves or if it had been the pet of a child that had gone away to college, thereby being forced to leave the cat at home. Some readers that saw the post from the animal sanctuary speculated that the parents never wanted the cat to begin with, so couldn’t wait to surrender their child’s pet to an animal sanctuary as soon as their child was out of the house. Of course, no one knows if that is actually the case or not. That said, it is definitely a possibility.
Workers in Animal Shelters See Too Much of This
Unfortunately, people who work in animal shelters say that they see this type of thing far more often than one might imagine. Remember, this couple had the cat for 18 years. In this particular case, Pumpkin the cat was surrendered because there was a supposed problem with cat hair. However, many individuals that have spent a lot of time working in animal shelters feel like it has a lot more to do with the fact that people have a tendency to get pets and enjoy them while they are younger, only to decide they don’t want them anymore when they start to get older. In reality, it often comes down to the fact that pets may not be as active or as social when they get older, largely because they don’t feel as well. Animal shelter workers have also commented on the fact that when pets get older and start having more medical problems, the people responsible for them often decide that they no longer want them. They don’t want the expense or the hassle associated with taking care of a pet who has medical issues, so they simply surrender them to the animal sanctuaries so they won’t have to deal with him any longer. It is a heartbreaking situation and one that clearly needs to be addressed. For animal lovers, it’s unthinkable that you could have a companion for 18 years and then suddenly decide you no longer want it.
Pets Aren’t Always Treated Like Members of the Family
As previously mentioned, anyone who truly loves animals finds it beyond disturbing that someone could have a pet for almost two decades and then decide that they no longer want anything to do with it. This only goes to show the growing problem in this country associated with pets being treated more like possessions than living, breathing creatures. Sadly, it’s something that happens all the time. People get puppies because they think they are cute, then surrender them when they grow up because they’re not as cute anymore. The same thing is true with cats. It’s easy to become completely enamored with a cute kitten, only to discover that it’s difficult to be as fond of the grown cat who wants little or nothing to do with you on a routine basis. At the end of the day, it comes down to the fact that pet owners need to be more responsible. It’s important to think about the fact that you’re making a commitment that could last for decades when you adopt an animal. There will be medical bills and there will be pet hair, among other things. If you’re not willing to sign up for those things, it’s best not to adopt the animal to begin with. Instead, give it an opportunity to go to a home where someone would genuinely love it.
Adopted and Happy
The good news here is that this particular story has a happy ending. It didn’t take long for the animal sanctuary to find a forever home for Pumpkin. Today, she appears to be happy and healthy, living in a home where she is loved and is truly a member of the family, something that she deserved to have throughout her entire life. While it is frustrating beyond measure that she was treated more like an object than a pet to begin with, it is nice to know that she finally has a home where she can be treated as she should have been treated all along. The thing that is so disturbing here is that many animals never get this chance. Pumpkin is one of the lucky ones.
At the end of the day, it’s crucial that we remember that pets depend on us for everything. It is up to the people who get a pet to care for that animal’s medical needs and also for their emotional and mental well-being. It’s a huge responsibility to take on, but one that is so rewarding that for most people, the rewards far outweigh any potential drawbacks. The point is, people that aren’t willing to commit to a pet and give it the love it needs don’t need to get one in the first place.