Letter to the Woman Who Abandoned Her 17-Year-Old Pet

“The tech wrote “depressed” on her card. I’d be depressed too if I went from “sleeping in the sun” to a metal cage with a thin layer of newspaper.”

5.1.15 - Letter to the Woman Who Abandoned Her 17-Year-Old Pet1
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From Canine Haven, a safe haven for rescue dogs from all over the world:

You decided that you wanted to move to an apartment that didn’t allow pets (and by the way, landlords are forbidden to do this in Toronto). I don’t know what lured you. Maybe it was a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Maybe it was a great view. Maybe you liked the woodwork. At any rate, it was more important to you than she was. So you took her down to the shelter, still wearing her cute little pink leopard collar with a bow, and you cheerfully wrote on the card that she was very healthy for her age and friendly and just likes to sleep in the sun! I guess you knew her pretty well – you put her birthday down on the card, too, making me believe you’ve probably had her for her entire life.

Then you left, secure in your rationalization that somehow, in the midst of kitten season, your seventeen-year-old cat would find a home. The shelter took a picture of her scared face and big eyes and put it on the web.

For two weeks, I looked at that picture. I hoped someone else would see her fear and feel compelled to help her, but the public wasn’t seeing her. She was back in isolation, getting vitamin B shots and subcutaneous fluids. The tech wrote “depressed” on her card. I’m not surprised. I’d be depressed too if I went from “sleeping in the sun” to a metal cage with a thin layer of newspaper.

Finally today, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I felt too guilty thinking about her sitting in that cage at her age. So I went down and I got her, and now she’s curled up on a fleece baby blanket in a cat tree in my bathroom. When I go in there, she rubs her head on my hand.

Today, I cleaned up your mess. I felt worse for your cat than you did. And all over the city, other rescuers did the same. They rescued your abandoned cats and dogs and bunnies and exotics. And we all wondered the same thing as we did it: How could you create this situation? How is it that you feel no remorse? How is it that you were you able to walk away from an animal you shared your home with for a year, ten years, fifteen years, knowing that they might die because of your actions?

I’ll never meet you to ask you those questions. I just hope I meet the person who will be good enough to give your baby that sunny spot to sleep for the rest of her life (however long that is). She deserves it, and it’s a crying shame you didn’t have the decency to give it to her.


666 thoughts on “Letter to the Woman Who Abandoned Her 17-Year-Old Pet

  1. It makes sense to share this on a dog site because this situation isn’t exclusive to cats. It can happen to any pet…dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc. In a disposable society, sadly pets are often disposed of when they become inconvenient.

  2. Our old girl cat is now 19 years old, losing tufts of hair, is senile and gets lost if she leaves her bed on my sofa, sometimes throws up at the most inappropriate times (during our dinner), can be loud (Siamese), and a pain in the rear, but she is still our old girl and she’s not going anywhere! When the time comes that I know she’s suffering with a disease or arthritis then we will be there holding her until her spirit leaves this earth.

  3. I work in a shelter too, and some days it’s really really easy to pass judgement (especially reading the reasons the pets are surrendered!). One day I was ranting about an old cat that had just come in. The person who actually processed the cat’s admission then told me the owner had been distraught at the counter, brawling her eyes out and feeling very guilty about abandoning her old friend. She’d had to move due to money problems and could not find a place that would allow cats. The only solace was that our shelter has a decent rehoming rate. I still get really angry often at work, but that day I was glad to be reminded there are multiple sides to a story…

  4. This breaks my heart I have only one word to her BITCH sorry for the language I work in a nursing home it happens there too family just doesn’t want to be bothered breaks my heart

  5. So far we have rescued over 25 ferol cats. Took our own money and fed @ over $150/wk and had neutered or spayed. Way over a $1000. Some kittens that were born didn’t make it. Those that did are happy, but why do you people leave cats, dogs and other animals to run free? These babies need love too! I will do what I can for as long as I can no thanks to you people!

  6. I have had 5 kitties for a few years and have lost all but one they were all old the last one that passed away was about 19. The on that is left is about 15 or 16. She was the baby. I would not have abandoned them.

  7. They could have gotten very ill, or even died – and no other family member to take care of cat. To have kept a cat that long, they didn’t give it up with out a big loss or tragedy.

  8. A person like that is extremely selfish! That is like your child! Would you do that to the child? Someone like that should be treated that way also! Shame on that person!!!! That cat is so adorable!

  9. I have a 15 year old female cat, her name is Zelda. I could not imagine leaving her, she is my little old princess. She loves her life sleeping in the sun in the laundry room window. Cuddling with me on the couch at night. Plus her boys when they come home from college break, just scoop her up. How could you turn your back on these sweet old pets.

  10. I adopted my 14 year old cat from a rescue after having to put down my 17 1/2 year old due to medical complications. I had looked at several cats before finding my way to the rescue and when I saw him I knew he was mine. It was love at first site. I opened the cage door and he climbed out and wrapped himself around my neck. They had rescued him from the shelter where he was dumped off covered in his own feces so they had to shave him. He’s now 16 and healthy as ever and I”m hoping for many more years with him. I adore my pets to me they are my family. Since him we have taken in 2 more rescue kitties and they all have a happy home with us. Thank god for the work rescues do in saving the lives of these precious beings.

  11. Breaks my heart knowing that after 17 years that this person could do this to her soul…blacken it, with such a selfish act .

  12. No, I will never abandon my pet. I chose him/her, we are a team for life. Period. I take responsibility for my pets. Period.

  13. Hopefully the person who turned in her 17 year old cat never has another animal.
    She obviously doesn’t honor her commitments.

  14. I was mortified by the actions of the previous owner, abandoning a 17 year old cat that she’s lived with for so many years, at such a tender and vulnerable age. A number of my cats are geriatric. Fortunately I do own a house now, but for most of my life I was renting. I searched high and low for apartments willing to take me with the cats. I always managed to find one, because there was no such thing in my vocabulary as abandoning my cats. I was blessed with a cat that lived for 22 years. At this time, I have an 18 year old, a 17 year old and some 12-13 year olds. I have some very healthy cats and some cats with health issues. The health issues always get addressed. I have recently lost an older cat to what I was told was a brain tumor. In spite of his illness, which lasted a year and a half, I stuck with it and it was more than I could bear at times. Never once did I entertain the thought of putting him down before God’s calling. He had friends that loved him. There is a stray feral that was coming to visit him twice a day, until the very last day. He was greatly loved. I was devastated to lose him. I was ready to invite this poor abandoned kitty to my home, until I read that the rescuer took her. I am so grateful. I could never have lived with myself and would have done the very same. The animal abusers that I read about on facebook are depraved individuals. In my opinion, the previous owner is just as guilty of animal abuse as the man that drags a dog by a rope attached to the bumper of his car. She didn’t give it a second thought, that her lifelong friend would perish due to her selfish actions. I am waiting for the day that GOD avenges these predatory beasts and hope that the meek will truly inherit this world. Our species is depraved and lower than any animal species of this earth. Morality and ethics : history. Mankind has fallen. I thank you for your kindness and wish you only blessings for the goodness you’ve imparted to a helpless soul that needed the comfort you’ve bestowed. I thank you for that. I am also very thankful for the letter you wrote and hope that it doesn’t fall on deaf ears. People are beasts and the devil lives in them.

  15. I have 2 boys they are 17 and 16. The oldest has hyperthyroidism and is on meds twice daily, the other is absolutely fine. We take the medicated boy with us camping due to medication requirements and he is now the new mascot!

  16. I would never leave my older cats or dogs. I have a cat now who is 19 years old. She has a health problem I have been taking her to the vet off and on for since October. She is still going strong and we love her as much as we did and even more since my husband brought her home 19 years ago after finding her in a field as a very small kitten. Why people do this when the animal needs them most is beyond me. Such Hateful people!

  17. Shame on her,and thanks to you for giving her the care and companionship her owner should have,your pet should be your ‘friend to the end’

  18. There are rare circumstances when some can’t keep a pet. Our family had a problem with a 6 yo calico. She was a great pet until there was a dog she had to deal with. And also had separation anxiety. After multiple vet visits we decided to euthanize her. We tried everything to help her and I believed her problems would continue. I didn’t want her to be abuses and returned multiple time. It’s was a heart wrenching decision. I can’t imagine giving up a senior pet because if a move.

  19. Bless you for having the compassion to take beautiful kitty. My little ones range in age from 1 year to 23 years. They are all rescues. They are my family.

  20. Sorry sob thanks for rescuing this sweet baby, hopefully she will have a long loving life ahead of because of you, God bless you!

  21. Did it occur to anyone that perhaps the previous owner had died? Maybe a friend or a family member brought the cat in. No one will ever know the whole situation. There is no way to prove the validity of the information provided to the shelter. Adding details helps with the adoption process. The person who adopted the aged cat did a beautiful and wonderful thing then tainted their beautiful act by lashing out like this.

  22. Gosh,I felt guilty when I had to leave my 15 year old cat for four days,with a babysitter looking in on him twice a day.shame on them all.

  23. Before you rush to judgement, you have to consider things you don’t know. First, there is no way you loved an animal that many years and had no remorse about leaving them. The owner could have been dying or sick and couldn’t take care of the cat anymore. I love my animals and wouldn’t dream of ever leaving them but sometimes life can throw you some unexpected lemons and you have to make rash decisions. It’s not for us to decide that this owner is bad unless we know the whole story.

  24. Ok I have read many things. Our animals are our children. This is Wrong on so many levels. Hope someone puts her out to the curb when she is okd.

  25. After 17 years…that cat was a member of her family. How cold hearted. The redeeming part of this is that she surrendered the cat and didn’t have the cat put to sleep. A pet is a commitment for its life.

  26. Yes it is awful that this person gave up their elder cat, but at least they took the cat to a shelter, instead of abandoning her on the street, like so many stories I read on this website. We should not be chastising this type of behavior, but rather embracing it. This person made their own decision to give up the cat, but at least the cat has a better chance of survival in the shelter than on the streets.

  27. Here is my response to you, miss Melanie. I hope you take it to heart.

    Dear Her Royal Highness Queen Ass Hat Melanie,
    I bet you are one of those people who goes up to a homeless person and says, “YOU must have screwed up financially and lost your home.” I bet you’re one of those people who goes up to a person who got into a car accident and says, “YOU must not have been driving safely.” YOU are part of the problem with this society we live in today, this smug, self-righteous “Bad stuff won’t ever happen to me because I’m good with my finances and I’m good with my health and I’m a safe driver and I’m a” blah blah blah.
    Moron, I’m glad you haven’t had to experience hardship. I’m glad you have such control over your life that you know your future. It must get awful breezy up there on your high horse. Let me do you the favor and knock you down a few pegs where it’s warmer down here where us peasants live so far below you and give you the point of view of someone who has experienced difficulty a few times in my adult life.
    My husband and I were financially stable when we took in two cats. We could afford our apartment. We both had jobs. Through no fault of my own, the 2008 economy disaster occurred. Through no fault of my own, my employer lost her business and I lost my job. Through no fault of my husband’s own, the company that hired him went out of business and he lost his job. Through no fault of my own, despite the fact that I was in good health, a freak reaction to a medication I’d taken hundreds of times in the past caused me to nearly die of kidney failure. Through no fault of our own, my husband and I could not find jobs and I was too sick to work anyway but was still looking for work despite that. My husband and I realized we would not be able to pay our bills anymore. The money we had saved up in case of emergency ran out. I WAS good with my finances. But even the savings didn’t help when we couldn’t find jobs. I WAS good with my health. I ate right, I exercised. I did everything you’re supposed to do. That didn’t prevent my illness. My husband and I then became faced with the grim reality that despite all our careful budgeting and planning, we would lose our home. The reality grew even darker when we realized we would have to give up our animals. No, I didn’t hate my cats. My cats are like my kids to me, and thankfully, if it hadn’t been for my wonderful brother-in-law who was willing to pay for a rental car for us to drive back to our home state to live with my husband’s mom, we would have lost our cats.
    Let me explain a few of the numerous reasons that you obviously didn’t think of when you chose to write this disgusting trash to this elderly woman, saying to her, “I don’t know why you would have chosen to live in this apartment that doesn’t allow pets. Maybe you liked the view? Maybe you liked the woodwork?? No, asshole. Here are the more likely reasons:
    1. If she had this cat for 17 years, she obviously loved him. You are ridiculous if you think that she just one day woke up and said “Oh, I’ve had this cat for 17 years, that’s long enough, I’m going to give him up to the shelter now.”
    2. Yes, you’re right, it’s true that it’s illegal in Toronto for landlords to not allow pets in an apartment. That’s for RESIDENTIAL apartments. That law DOES NOT APPLY TO ASSISTED LIVING APARTMENTS, you dunce. Did it ever occur to you in the fluff in your head that this woman may have had to live in an assisted living apartment because she was old? For health and safety reasons, many assisted living apartments can’t allow animals.
    3. Her money could have run out. If she did have to live in a place that didn’t allow pets, it’s likely because she couldn’t afford an apartment that did. Ones that don’t allow pets are cheaper than ones that do.
    4. Did it ever occur to you that maybe she found out that she was terminally ill? Older people have a tendency to get sick. Perhaps she was too sick to care for her cat anymore. Maybe THAT is why she had to leave him at the shelter and that “apartment” she was living in that didn’t allow pets could have been a hospice.
    5.Did it occur to you that SHE may not have been the one to choose this apartment? I’ve worked in a nursing home. I spent all four years of my high school volunteering at a nursing home. I have personally witnessed adult kids put their elderly parents in an apartment or nursing home or somewhere and the parent has little to no say in the matter. They take their homes, they take their pets, they take their money and they say it’s for their parent’s own good. I’ve met nursing home residents who miss their animals that they had to give up. One resident, for example, probably had the worst case I’d ever heard. His name was Ed. He was from Minnesota and was far away from his home. He owned a farm and livestock and a couple loyal old dogs. He had only one child, a son, who worked in Minneapolis and hardly ever visited Ed, claiming he was too busy (he was a corporate banker). One day, Ed decided to visit an old friend of his who lived in my hometown of Spokane in Washington State. He took a plane over from Minnesota to Washington to see his friend, with whom he’d been friends since World War 2. During his stay at his friend’s house, Ed fell. He called his son and told him what happened and said he was going to stay with his friend until he healed. During Ed’s stay with his friend in Spokane, his son, without Ed’s consent, sold all his Ed’s livestock and drove Ed’s old dogs to a shelter. Then he went to a court to rule Ed as mentally unable to care for himself so that he could legally sell the farm and property for money. He promptly took control of Ed’s bank accounts. He had Ed’s doctors say he was too old to fly home. The son flew to Spokane long enough to arrange Ed’s new, permanent home at the veteran’s nursing home where I eventually worked. Ed last saw his son run out the door to catch his plane back to Minneapolis and he never saw him again. Ed fell again at the nursing home and was confined to a wheelchair. His friend died. Without his friend, Ed knew no one in Spokane. he told me this story as he was looking out the window watching the falling snow. He ended this story with tears in his eyes and said, “I love my son. I don’t know what I did to him for him to take everything I had and leave me here. I really wish he hadn’t taken my dogs.” If you had been the one to adopt his dogs and had written him this nasty letter about how much he obviously didn’t care about his animals, I personally would find you just so I could slap your face.
    You are not in control of everything in your life. Shit happens. Sometimes it happens without your control. Sometimes it happens even if you do everything “right.” Not all of us are as perfect as you, Miss Melanie who wrote that vomit-inducing letter to that elderly woman who had to give up her 17 year old cat. I hope one day your perfect luck doesn’t run out.
    The only letter I hope I see from you is not a reply to me but an apology to this elderly woman you decided to publicly shame and humiliate despite not knowing her circumstances for having to give up her cat. The funny thing is, by attempting to make everyone think she was an ass for giving up her cat, you only made yourself look like the biggest ass on the planet. Oops.
    Most sincerely,
    -Someone you severely pissed off.

  28. I have a 19 year old cat that is getting old; she misses the cat box sometimes, sheds everywhere, gets lost in the house and cries blood curdling cries until as we call out to her she can then find the lost human she was looking for. I wouldn’t give her up for the world and she has every right to continue to live her life with us until it is time for her to leave this world. Just because she is old doesn’t mean she isn’t still lovable and wanted. I applaud the lovely lady that took the beautiful red kitty. She will know that she is loved and wanted, now and for the rest of her life with you, probably more so than she ever experienced in her first 17 years. Thank you for adopting her and your letter!

  29. if this cat is still available for adoption, please someone add the City/State location and other contact information about how to apply. Someone out here reading this has a sunny spot available. We have my late father’s 20-year-old orange cat, after some family members quietly dropped him off at a vet’s office at age 15 right after my dad died and they moved in with my mother. (They had a cute kitten, and didn’t want to bother with Dad’s old cat anymore.) The vet was going to try to rehome him, but his euthanization was “prepaid” just in case….so thoughtful. My sister and I happened to find out about it before anything happened to him, and we went and got him back. He is deaf but otherwise healthy and yes, loves to sleep in a sunny spot. It takes so little for him to be happy, but then it takes people with big hearts to look past a senior pet’s age. Thanks to those of you who have done this!

  30. It is revolting how many people acquire pets for nothing more than the selfish pursuit of trying to eliminate boredom and/or loneliness from their lives. Pets, in cases like this, are treated like robots, enjoyed and taken care of by a human master until they are deemed to be an inconvenience. These cruel people need to realize that animals have emotions and that a pet’s psychological well-being can be adversely impacted by treating them like objects of entertainment.

  31. The more stories I read of people that abandon their furry companions, the more disgusted I get, BUT then there are people that DO resque these creatures, as they still have a lot of love in them.

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