Social Question

JmacOroni's avatar

How would you react to a friend taking a pet (that you gave to them) to be euthanized (See details)

Asked by JmacOroni (3266 points ) February 28th, 2011

A few years ago I volunteered with an animal rescue. Long story short (since that isn’t the point of this question), the rescue screwed me over and left me with a ton of sick cats. I took care of them, and found homes or an alternate shelter for all of them.
One was a small, long haired tabby kitten with a severe abscess on her back. She was nearly dead when I received her, and I spent months and months nursing her back to health. Since her recovery was longer than the other kittens – she was a cat by the time she was ready to go to a home.
My very good friend decided that she wanted a cat to keep her company, since she lives alone in an apartment. Fast forward a few years – she doesn’t want the cat anymore. She finds the cat “annoying.”
This friend has announced on her Facebook status tonight that she plans to drop the cat off at the pound tomorrow. Needless to say, I’m absolutely furious. I’m not even sure how to react. To be honest, I’m questioning my ability to even maintain a friendship after this. I saved this cat’s life, and she is throwing that life away just because she is annoyed. Am I overreacting?

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27 Answers

The_Inquisitor's avatar

I don’t think you’re overreacting. In my opinion, that is not a very good reason to have a pet euthanized. You should speak to her about it, and let her know that you are upset over this situation. Perhaps there’s more to it than just her irritation with her cat. Then go from there…

JmacOroni's avatar

@curiouscat thanks, I did, actually. Her response was “I don’t want her anymore… I don’t really care, I don’t feel bad at all, if that makes me a horrible person, so be it.” So there are no misunderstandings. Now I’m just unsure of how to react. I am literally considering ending a friendship over this. I’m really upset. :\

WestRiverrat's avatar

I would offer to take the cat back. I would probably then let the relationship die.

JmacOroni's avatar

@WestRiverrat I can’t take the cat, or I would in a heartbeat.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@JmacOroni; oh my! she sounds ignorant! I’d end that friendship as well! Why can’t you take the cat? Can’t she find a home for the cat?

DancingMind's avatar

Like @curiouscat said, no you’re not overreacting.

I was gonna ask what @WestRiverrat… but,
Any chance you could foster her until you find her a better home?
Have you tried any of your other friends?
Anyone who adopted from you before want a second?
I can’t stand it either, to think this cat could lose her life because someone got “tired” of her being there….

If this is how this friend values life… I’d be reassessing the relationship, too, honestly. What a shitty awful thing to do. : / Sorry your friend’s doing this.

JmacOroni's avatar

No, there is no way that we can take another cat right now. We have 3 cats and 2 dogs, and we have a lot of things going on right now (which I won’t get into), but it would be irresponsible for me to take another cat. I’m trying to find someone else that can take her, but if you’ve ever tried giving away a full grown cat.. particularly one that does best as the only cat in the house… you know how difficult it can be to find her a home. Trying, though.

DancingMind's avatar

I’d offer if I wasn’t terribly allergic : (

Sunny2's avatar

I wouldn’t keep a friend who had such a warped value system. She could at least take it to a shelter rather than having it euthanized. The cat may be the perfect pet for an elderly person. She’s already trained and would probably do well with someone who couldn’t cope with a kitten.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Any Jellies need a cat?? I wish I could take her.

Taciturnu's avatar

Just had to chime in-

I tend to be… righteous? I would ask if there was something going on that I didn’t know about with the friend, because I “couldn’t believe” I was friends with someone who thought so little of a living creature. I would (admittedly) also lecture about the level of respect we need to have for all life and profess my personal attachment to this kitty in particular and mention that my friend’s knowingly destroying the cat that I had bonded with (without regard for their right to be cared for as expected when adopted) would be taken as a personal offense. I would ask if I could find her another home for the sake of the cat and if my friend would care for her in the meantime.

When all is said and done, I think my morals and values would clash with my friend’s and our friendship would suffer as a result… For me, this would be a deal breaker. I have little respect for people who don’t take “pet ownership” seriously.

JmacOroni's avatar

@Taciturnu I have to admit that I think this is a deal breaker for me, as well. I am really struggling with the way she is handling this, how she can discard a pet that she has had for years. I just can’t wrap my head around that. It is especially hard because we have been good friends for a long time, 15 years or so. It is kind of nice to hear that others would feel similarly in this type of situation, I really feared that I might be overreacting. Maybe I am. I just can’t shake the awful feeling this left me with.

Bellatrix's avatar

You aren’t overreacting. When we take on pets, we take them on for life as far as I am concerned. They are family and you treat them with care, love and respect. Obviously your friend doesn’t get that. I hope you find the poor puss a new home. How awful for you. Let us know how you go.

Taciturnu's avatar

@JmacOroni (What happened to your other account? I think I missed something…)
I think it really is a clash of values, since you’re both apparently polar opposites in your thoughts. It’s not unnatural for friends to grow apart. I would guess at this point that it would be hard for you even if your friend decided not to put her down, since you know she has no qualms about taking that leap. We are the company we keep (most of the time) so stay true to yourself and your convictions.

jca's avatar

I would offer to pick the cat up and take it to a shelter. I would do whatever I could to save it’s life. If I had to, I would lie and tell the friend that I am keeping the cat, just so she is not spiteful about it.

Then friend and I would be friend no more.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Oh, @JmacOroni , that is truly awful. I think that would be a deal-breaker for me as far as keeping this person as a friend. If she is that callous about the life of a creature that she cared for and knows the history of, and how you feel about all this, I would question what other areas of her personality reflect that? Has she ever been in a situation with you (or someone else you know she’s friends with) that would really test her compassion or understanding? I’d be afraid she would let me down if I really needed her to be supportive…

JmacOroni's avatar

I have to admit that I’m surprised to hear suggestions of taking the cat to a shelter. Maybe other areas aren’t as bogged down as they are here. No kill rescues are very difficult to find, and those that exist have a waiting list as long as a year to take a single animal. “Shelters” and the local pound have very high kill rates, and will most likely euthanize the animal as soon as it arrives, sad as that may be. Is that not common everywhere?
I know that is slightly OT, it just peaked my curiosity. (Or is it piqued? I need @Jeruba sans txtspk.)
@JilltheTooth I am strangely not surprised at her decision. As much as I care for her, and we have been very close friends for a long time, as I said… somehow I don’t find it terribly surprising. I think that is what disturbs me the most. I don’t think badly of her in general, she is a good friend, but I think that I am most concerned with my own lack of surprise. To me, discarding a life in the way that you might get rid of a toy or an object that no longer interests you is probably one of the worst things I can imagine a person doing. I suppose that might sound dramatic, but, I can’t shake it. It literally kept me up most of the night. Very much like you said, it makes me wonder what other aspects of her personality might reflect that kind of attitude.. and that is upsetting to think about.

What a lousy situation. I do feel better, though, you are all so supportive. I’m still working on finding her a home. Hopefully something pans out.. I will be devastated if she really does put the cat down.

JilltheTooth's avatar

If you lived closer I would happily test-drive the kitty with Zuppy. Unfortunately, I’d have to test-drive first, because he’s so rambunctious I couldn’t guarantee it would take.

I think your lack of surprise is the biggest tell, here, @JmacOroni, and the saddest part of all.

JmacOroni's avatar

@JilltheTooth I wish I could deliver her for said test drive.

Seelix's avatar

I’d be very upset if I were in your situation. You thought you were doing a good thing by giving this poor little kitty a home, and now your “friend” is willing to just get rid of her, and she obviously doesn’t care about it.

Good luck; I hope you can find a home for her. A local shelter may be able to put you in touch with pet foster homes – people who take care of animals while you’re looking for a permanent home for them.
Do the shelters in your area hold animals for a certain amount of time before they resort to euthanasia? I’m thinking that maybe you could shelter-hop – take her to a couple of different places if necessary while you look for new parents for her.

I really do wish the best for this situation – and for what it’s worth, I’d end the friendship too. Anyone who doesn’t appreciate the life of a snuggly, cuddly kitty who depends on humans for survival is not the kind of friend I want to have.

JmacOroni's avatar

@Seelix I only know of one that has a holding period, and it is 3 days. The others make it very clear that they don’t have the room… and we all know what that means. I am trying to get her on the waiting list for one of the better known shelters, with better resources, but that will all depend on whether or not my friend is even willing to keep the cat long enough for that to happen.

I can’t help but think back to when she was a kitten… she had this hideous infection, it went all the way down to her spine. I flushed and aspirated the wound several times a day, fed her by hand, administered her medication, slept with her bundled up in a blanket next to me. She actually has a tic that the vet believes is related to the severity of the infection. I really thought she was going to die, but I tried so hard to save her. It is just a stark contrast to my friend’s attitude of “it’s just a cat.” Makes me want to cry.

Leanne1986's avatar

No way are you overeacting. I would be well and truely pissed off about this. This is the very reason that when I help to rehome animals I insist that, if the new home find they cannot care for the animal, it always comes back to me. Luckily this hasn’t happened yet and goodness knows how I would cope if it happened too often but that’s not the point. I wouldn’t continue the friendship. People with such little compassion for animals are no friends of mine.

MacBean's avatar

You know what? I’m usually kind of a dick when it comes to animals. I’m one of those “It’s just a pet” people. I don’t get attached the way most people do and while it makes me quite sad when they die or have to be put down, I don’t react like I’ve lost a family member like many (maybe even most) do.

That said, I think this “friend” of yours is completely despicable. Her response when you told her you were upset is repulsive. I definitely don’t think you’re overreacting; I wouldn’t be able to maintain a friendship with a person like that, either. Her attitude is so much worse than “it’s just a cat.” Even “just cats” are still living things that deserve better than to be dumped somewhere that’ll likely end up just killing it.

Supacase's avatar

Do you think she would keep the cat until you are able to find a new home for it? She might agree to that compromise since there is no real reason or urgency for her to remove the cat from her home.

What a horrible person.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’d offer to take the cat until I could find a home for her (but I’m 98% sure you live very far from me).

No, this is ridiculous and despicable. You wouldn’t have given her the cat if you thought she wouldn’t love it for a long time, and if things changed, at least find a new home for her. Hell, just letting her be a stray would be better.

jca's avatar

If you wish, please post an update as to the outcome.

JCA
The Update Lady

JmacOroni's avatar

I had a neutral friend suggest calling about getting her on a waiting list for one of the no kill shelters… and she agreed. I thought it might be better if it didn’t come from me, since I didn’t know if she might act out of spite since I kind of snapped at her when she said what she did.

So that in itself is good news! In the meanwhile, I am still looking for someone that might like to take her.

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