This story by Idaho cruelty investigator Karen Williams is currently making its way around the internet, so you may have already seen it. But I found it to be incredibly moving, so I wanted to post it anyway. I’ll let the story speak for itself, but I will say that Princess Cuteyface got some extra lovin from me after I read this one . . .
“I killed your cat today…
You remember, the sweet little black one who I am certain used to curl up beside you and sleep. The loving cat that used to run to greet you every day you came home from work. The one who used to purr so loud as a kitten you thought for sure he would hurt himself. I’m certain you were so excited to bring home such an adorable little fur ball and I know how much fun it was to watch him grow. His gorgeous gold eyes mesmerized you and you couldn’t get over how beautiful they were. Oh how much fun it would be to finally have a cat!
But then the newness began to wear off, the excitement began to wane, and he wasn’t nearly as much as he used to be. The thought of having to clean out the litter box every day; making sure he had clean water and food available; and then there were vaccinations and vet care he would need for his entire life! Did you ever think that maybe you weren’t ready to make a lifetime commitment to him? Was it because he was no longer a cute little kitten? Maybe he started to claw your furniture? Did you adopt him even though you lived in a place that didn’t allow pets, but thought you could sneak him in? Maybe you moved and didn’t own up to the RESPONSIBILTY of pet ownership? Or is it because we live in a society today where it pets are disposable?
After all, it’s easy to just dump them off at a shelter. You just know someone will adopt him because, after all, he is beautiful and friendly. That’s what you told your kids as they stood in the lobby of the animal shelter crying. The person behind the counter remained silent, knowing full well that your cat may be euthanized as soon as you walk out the front door. You see, shelters are full of beautiful, loving pets that folks just like you drop off every minute of every day. Sadly, most of them are destined for the landfill to make room for more loving, beautiful pets the next day.
You did teach your kids a lesson that day. You taught them it’s ok to throw away a pet. You taught them animals have no value; they are just property to be disposed of when they are no longer convenient. You showed them how simple it is to refuse to take responsibility. Lessons that will follow them throughout their lives; that I am certain of.
But you didn’t dump this cat off at a shelter. You chose to drive him to a remote area with just a few houses, hoping someone would take him in. You chose to turn him loose in an area full of wildlife, mostly predators, always looking for an easy meal. Hawks, Owls, Eagles, Coyotes, Foxes, etc, the list goes on….But your cat was one of the lucky ones. He managed to survive and did find people that cared. He found a couple who didn’t want to see him injured or die a horrific death. They cared enough about YOUR cat to catch him and to try to offer him a chance at the Humane Society. But because so many folks refuse to take responsibility for their pets, the Humane Society is inundated with unwanted and abandoned pets. These nice folks were put on a waiting list and told it would be 2 – 8 weeks before the Humane Society may have room.
They cared for YOUR cat, until he got scared one day and bit the lady on the arm. It wasn’t a vicious attack, he was terrified. After all, he went from a quiet life, to being tossed out into the woods to fend for himself, to being kept in a cage to keep him safe. I wonder how you would have reacted under the same circumstances.
I killed your cat today…..not because I am evil or twisted. Not because I needed a cat to fulfill some type of ritual. Not because I wanted to, because I HAD to. You see, when YOUR cat bit the lady that was trying to help him, he wasn’t able to show me proof of having a rabies vaccination. I guess you didn’t think to send that along with him when you dumped him off.
I killed your cat today….and I want you to know how and why. I want you to know so that maybe, just maybe, you think about this before you decide to get another pet. I want you to know so you can see just how emotionally draining it is on those of us who chose to take responsibility for YOUR pet.
I want you to know YOUR cat died on a cold stainless steel table, in the hands of total strangers. Strangers that were heartbroken by having to kill a healthy, loving animal that through no fault of his own ended up on that table. Strangers that held him close and stroked his fur while he drifted off to a never ending sleep.
I want you to know that YOUR cat was then taken into a back room and dismembered so his head could be sent off to a lab to be tested for rabies. I want you to know that YOUR cat caused a great deal of distress and heartache for all of us involved in his case. I want you to know that I then had to transport the remains of your cat to the landfill for disposal. Even the folks working at the landfill are affected knowing when I drive in; I am delivering what was once a cherished pet.
I want YOU to know that as much as I love my job, having YOUR cat killed deeply affects me. You see, I love ALL animals. I do my job because maybe, just maybe, I CAN make a difference in the lives of those who have no voice. I do my job, so maybe; just maybe, I can convince some people that pets aren’t disposable. While I know I can’t save them all, I can save one at a time. I killed your cat today…. I just wanted you to know.”
Karen J. Williams,
Animal Cruelty Investigator, Idaho