A Pet Parent’s Confession: Harsh Decisions Made, Dirty Secrets Kept Posted on Tuesday, 14 June 2016
“You’re a good owner,” my friend would say.
Behind the attempt to smile, the girl in the mirror could only shake her head.
This isn’t a story about the sunshine-and-flowers about having pets. This is about being ignorant to the actual responsibilities of being a full parent to a pet. Unless you’re aware of them, your wallet isn’t the only one who’s going to get hurt.
On a cold new year’s eve, I chanced upon a tri-color kitten underneath my uncle’s truck. Fireworks were still going on so I decided to keep her inside the house for the night.
Little did I know she would be staying in our lives.
The kitten grew into a beautiful queen. Her bright green eyes stood out from the amber-yellow of the cats in our streets. Her face is round with plushy fur of orange, black and white. Even my mom, who didn’t like cats, said that she was a beauty.
It was in her teenage cat years that the trouble started. Trouble that came in the form of male cats.
1-2 times a year she would go in heat. 1-2 times a year for five years, she’d get pregnant.
Kittens that we grew to love. Kittens that broke our hearts when they died. Kittens that got sick when we couldn’t afford a vet. Kittens that led to trouble in our family since a few family members didn’t really like pets. Kittens that were deformed at birth.
At that time I was so mad at her for getting pregnant. I tried locking her in the house to keep her from getting pregnant. It never worked.
Only a few of her kittens survived.
After 5 years my sister and I had had enough. We were once uncomfortable with the idea spay and neuter. But the deaths, heartaches, and financial struggles made us realize how important spaying and neutering pets were.
We finally had her spayed. She was so scared when we brought her to the vet. I remember her glowing from pregnancy, not caring that I was glaring at her. When I carried her to the clinic, she looked scared, as though realizing the price of being owned.
After the operation, she knew something had changed. She’d sit in front of a male cat –just waiting for something to happen. Nothing. No hormones. No drive.
It took a long time before she would let us touch her again . Maybe if we had her spayed and neutered early, she’d never miss what she never experienced — mating.
As much as we loved her and saw her as a family, she was a cat and her nature is to mate when she is in heat.
A few years later, it was her son and granddaughters who were starting to mate. There was a slight tummy bulge in one of the females.
My sister took them to be spayed and neutered. When they returned, she sadly told me one of them was pregnant when they opened her up. Abortion was done in the process.
Deep down, I knew she was pregnant. But I turned a blind eye because I couldn’t deal with the heartbreak, the personal conflicts, and the financial struggles again.
I felt like a monster because of my irresponsibility.
Maybe, if I took the time to study up on the costs of and obligations in taking care of female cat I wouldn’t feel this bad over the loss of the kittens.
So, here’s the moral of my story: Spay and neuter your pets. Trust me, it’ll save you and your cat a lot of problems.
To avoid making the same mistakes that I did, please click here.
To know more about spay and neuter, please click here.
Tags: adopted pet, animal advocacy, Animal Advocacy in the Philippines, animal rescue blog, animal rescue in the Philippines, animal welfare, animal welfare blog, animal welfare in the Philippines, CARAWelfare Philippines, Cat Adoption, spay and neuter, spay and neuter pets