Tear jerker

0613/12th April 2023

Not fancying a diet of cat food which seemed to be the only thing we currently had a supply of, a supermarket trip was in order.

“You should come with me!” said Grant

“There may be things…”

Warm weather has accelerated the arrival of Spring.

So I didn’t even need to be persuaded.


Normally I try to space my exertions and yesterday’s vet visits would certainly qualify as that.

Mental exertions are apt to be equally draining!

However we were pleasantly surprised by the health reports, if not by the cost thereof.

When I became involved in fostering cats, I acknowledged the responsibility this represented. It is far too easy to get in over one’s head in this sort of endeavour.


You can too easily accept more animals that you can decently care for.

This is not fair to the animals, but people who bring you pets they wish to surrender pressure you by telling you that the alternative is a kill shelter or immediate euthanization.

Pretty soon you begin to look like a hoarder. And when you find yourself putting conditions on adoptions, you wonder if you have strayed into that dark corner.

But there have to be conditions for adoption. You have to do your best to ensure the animals in your care find responsible, caring homes.


Ironically, the two “best” homes we found were failures. We were never happy to give our cats up, but in these two cases we were confident that we had found excellent situations for those cats.

Which proves that you can never be certain of anything!

Closing the door to my foster home was hard. More than once I had the door closed but had not yet slid home the bolt.

And at least twice I re-opened it.


If I had not made the decision to sell up and come back to New York, I have no doubt that my door would have opened again.

The only true sadness I felt about leaving Washington after 18 years, was having to walk away from Charlie and Little One.

Charlie was feral and it’s very unlikely he would have become an indoor cat. We first saw him in the Winter before we left.

The following Spring, he had a little female in tow. We took to calling her Little One. She was very timid but in time would have trusted us.

In fact it seemed she already did.

She and Charlie showed up on my doorstep one morning with their kittens and a look that seemed to plead.


Only a hard-hearted brute would turn them away.

By then I was committed to the move and I had to avoid getting emotionally involved. Somehow I managed to shut down that part of myself because I knew my heart would break.

Grant rounded up the kittens. I couldn’t bear to look.

Homes were soon found.

Charlie and Little One went back to their life on the street. They belonged together.


Months later when I put up photographs of all the pets I have known, I found one of Charlie and Little One and hung it up too. Then I cried my eyes out.

If they had come on the scene a few months earlier, I have no doubt I would still be living in Washington. Probably opening and closing the door for more animals. It was time to stop before finances ran out.

That move was life-changing for me and I know the cats that came with me are happier now. They are certainly better off.

But I still think of Charlie and Little One.

This was a long way around of explaining how I feel about accepting responsibility.

It reached a point, with my cat re-homing situation, where all the adoptables had been placed. The cats that remained were old, temperamental, or had medical issues.

And there was my own personal household…

If I accepted more, I would not have been able to offer them proper care. I have witnessed hoarding situations and I didn’t want animals in my care to live like that.


So this morning when Grant suggested diverting in to Big Lots for discounted items, I thought that was a really swell idea!

Except that once we get there, we always decide to stock up on things that we don’t need now but will…..

And the short shopping trip took much more time than I had intended to allocate.

Oh well.

5 thoughts on “Tear jerker

  1. Letting any pet or rescue animal go for adoption is always a roll of the dice. Seemingly lovely people might turn out to be the worst adopters. I think it was a wise move to stop doing that, Carolyn.
    Best wishes, Pete,

  2. Mmm, Charlie and Little One seem like two lovely cats … I can understand why it was hard to leave them behind. The responsibility of looking after foster animals is huge – I get so emotionally attached to animals that it would be hard to let go …

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