Rescue Journal

here is the thing about headaches and little sleep at saints...

Carol  ·  Nov. 14, 2010

first i get bitchy, then i am close to is one of those inevitable things.
i am kind of sitting on the cusp of both right now so please forgive the not so nice or not very understanding tone of this post..but this is another reality of rescue, bad days affect me just like they affect everyone else and i can and will eventually scream.

the thing i want to get off my chest is one i have been keeping safely bottled up inside for many long years. it is one of those things that need to be said..but is pretty much impossible to say in any kind of gentle or polite way. so today i am just going to be blunt.

Don't be a Dick Head.

i am absolutely fed up with the numbers of senior animals who come my way because the "man" of the house is a dick head. i don't know which neandrethral cave they grew up in but we are now in the year 2010 so it is time to grow and become a modern man. men still should protect their families and do all they can to ensure that those in their care are happy and healthy and well. and please don't forget the happy part..real men do not inflict impatient, selfish and self serving tendencies on the rest of their families..that would be something that dick heads do. real men care about the happiness of their wives and children and actually learn patience and how to problem solve. so if your wife and children's most beloved cat occasionally pees on the couch..threatening to take said cat and dump by the side of the road somewhere is in fact a childish and bully type behavior to get what YOU want. it seems to me it is a good way to get resentment and anger directed at you for the rest of your life. who actively seeks to hurts their family just to win the battle over an old leaky pet?

i think a "real" man could figure a few things breaking the hearts of those that you love is pretty damn petty and mean. a "real" man could add in his head...a 15 year old cat will probably be dead in another year or two without the man pissing off or hurting his family and since the couch is already ruined he has plenty of time and can save up and buy a nicer one pretty soon anyway. and a "real' man knows damn well that a small tarp can be purchased and staple gunned to the couch for less then ten bucks total..toss over a decent looking quilt and wash it every day and while patiently and kindly waiting for that much beloved peeing cat's life to naturally end... he can still sit on a nice and clean couch when he gets home from work if he doesn't mind switching the used quilt for a cleaner one.

i am so tired of animals coming in here with a flood of tears from the rest of the family because the man of the house pulls rank and wins.
if the "man" of the house can sometimes be a royal pain in the butt and difficult to live with but still everyone else has to suck it up..then the "real "man is willing to accept the imperfections of others in his family and try to help problem solve solutions that don't cause heartache and pain..not to their wives, not to their children and not to the animals taken into their family heart and home.

not only are animals NOT disposable...but values like respect, responsibility, love, committment and trust within families should not be disposable either.

saints welcomes another new, old, dick head victim, beloved family pet.



Well said Meaghan and Carol.

I have learned over the years to be very careful in offering judgements unless I have walked a mile in someone else's moccasins. Meaghan and Heather thank you for being willing to share a bit of your journey in a time of pain. It's brave and I wish you both well.


yay meaghan! good for you for putting forth your side in such a direct yet respectful everyone else..give this family a is HARD living it and i do see where this family was coming from, it is why i took in the little cat when we were so sucks to be in their shoes. and NO animal should have to live in a home that is split over wanting him or her..that is not fair to the animal either.

i actually learned to love and value and stand by animals because of similar experiences when i was growing up and in my early marriage where someone decided an animal that i cared for, couldn't live in the family anymore. we learn lots of lessons in our families....sometimes we learn how we don't want to be...sometimes we learn to be better. meaghan is on the right road here...she stands up for her family and speaks her mind. she knows at least the women in the family did the best that they could.


Carol made very good points about people being dickheads considering this. Misty was my families cat and I value your opinion xine but as a matter of fact it was a matter of death. It was a matter of death for Misty. If we had not gotten rid of Misty my father would have drove her somewhere and left her somewhere to die.Sending her to saints was a last resort we didn't want to take. But we had to. Carol is an amazing woman for doing what she does and my mom tried everything to keep Misty at home. I don't think it is okay to give away things you love without giving a fight. I will not grow up and nor will my sister and not value my mother, she tried and I love her very much and I do not regret her decision to send her to SAINTS I understand the circumstances and I know my dad. I know himon an obvious personal level in which you do not. If you, or anyone was in the same decision maybe you'd choose different, maybe you'd actually do the same. Though your opinion is valued I think you're making wrong judgements about my family.


First, it is an easy shot in rebuttal to say "I hope you never find yourself in a complex situation" as it is the same kind of assumption you accuse me of, and it would be false.

Next, this is not a situation of death or deathly allergy, hurricane or household foreclosure, or inability to cope with a sudden change. This happens to be simply, by the woman's own words that "there is no other reason" then the husband being a dickhead.

This is a case of claiming a false sense of having done the right thing, by finding a shelter to care for a cat who has only known one home and will likely be incredibly unhappy for the rest of its aged life. Even if in all unlikeliness the cat is rehomed, it will be miss its family terribly.

Sorry, but I have not changed my mind. It's great that there are people like you Linda and Leila to be so magnanimous that you accept people's decisions unconditionally. I write this sincerely. The world is a better place for you. I simply can't--but that doesn't make the world worse, only more realistic. Of course I only know what has been written here and of course it might make a difference knowing the details--but it might not. Given the comments written here I am not the only one to feel this way.


I have taken in rescue pets, mostly seniors, for over twenty years, I have spent thousands of dollars on needed medical care, gladly. I have given up holidays, rearranged my life many times over for the animals I have taken in and done so gladly. And hope I never find myself in a position where I would have to make a horrible decision about one of them. They have been and continue to be, my family.

I feel it is very dangerous to judge someone when you don't know their circumstances. And since you asked, yes I do think you read it wrong. It has nothing to do with the sentiment.


Yep you're right I was extreme. But that's the side I am taking, since everyone I know who has rescue animals could never ever do that and are apalled that someone gave up these animals for whatever reason. The line I objected to was about setting a good example... for what, I read it as sticking with the husband and getting rid of the cat. Did I read that wrong? You'll argue with the sentiment, yet there it is...


Wow Xine! I only hope you never find yourself in a complex situation. Your judgment of this mom is a very simplistic response to a complex situation. I did not read that the mother was "throwing away" her cat nor did she say she was "sticking with her husband on this issue". She clearly agonized over the tragic position she was forced to sort out. Her children would see that she faced a very difficult situation and obviously took the time to find a humane and wonderful place for her cat. Especially when it sounds like the alternative her husband was suggesting was pretty scary. That shows her commitment when facing heartbreak.

I have been following this website and was actually quite excited about the idea of adopting a cat from Saints, BECAUSE of the compassion so consistently demonstrated. I trust that the majority of those that also follow this site would agree that compassion is not reserved just for our four legged friends. Hopefully we have room for people in tough situations as well.


I read this post the other day and it was really upsetting. I have fallen more in love with my partner for how he cares for our sick rescue cats (and for me, since we got them cuz I wanted them). And I'm sorry to read that the woman who owned the cat felt like she was setting a good example for her daughters for sticking with her husband on this issue... what kind of crazy example is it to show that you can throw away a companion animal? This will affect her daughters more than standing up for herself and them and keeping the cat. I am so so sorry for the cat. It's not good enough lady to say you are grateful to Carol. Everyone else is grateful to Carol for being there for the CAT. You, however, is the problem and part of the reason for Carol's selfless work. Ask your daughters what they think of you. If not now, they will think you caved, or else they will grow up to believe that you can give up precious lives (and a little of themselves) to bullies. Carol had it right all the way through her post, gender aside.


On a lighter note - but in the same vein - I think some of you would really this book:

Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog by Lisa Scottoline



Stop with all the other person blame stuff, 'cause I know people of both sexes who have caved in response to demands from SO, be it animals, vehicles, kids or hairstyles. Take responsiblity for what is in yours, don't like my hair, cloths, kids, or pets. To bad. Like any bully, cave, submit or what ever you want to call it, once and the power grows along with the demands. So to all who whine s/he made me do this..bullshit. Your actions are your own.

Linda de J.

There needs to be legislation in place to protect animals like this little cat (name?). First, no one should be allowed to own an animal unless willing to accept it as a family member for the rest of its life and protect it and care for it with all the rights and safeguarding one would provide children especially as their pet ages.
The family pet is not an accessory in its youth and disposable once aged. This is a feeling, thinking being with the mental capacity of a 1 or 2 yr. old human child who experiences fear, separation and loss. To discard a family member because it no longer provides for the needs of others is a travesty.
I trust once more people grasp this reality and become conscious of their actions, more people will undertake to right this error and join the ranks of people to correct it.
Thank you Carol for eloquently expressing the anger and frustration many of us feel. Thank you for Saints. I'm kind of glad this cat was removed from the above said home. Its final chapter in life my be its best.

Carol Ann

Oh boy been there done that got rid of a couple of husbands who had the stupidity to say me or the dog. I am so happy with the dogs.


i lived in a marriage for almost 30 years where my partner did not want my rescued animals in our his life. we fought constantly. he wouldn't give in...i wouldn't give retrospect, it was a stupid and unhappy way to live. there are only two answers to this if you don't want to live in conflict forever...either one person has to graciously give in or you have to both be willing to walk out the door.

it just pisses me off that it is almost always the women, the actual family nurturers and caregivers who have to give in....and sometimes giving in, does break their hearts because sometimes (not always)..that animal is as much a member of their family to care for as their husband and children are.. too sad.


Just wanted to say that I loved your article,as it holds alot of truth to it. Though there is no reason other than my husband being a dickhead about giving the cat up, I am very grateful beyond words that you have taken her. It will be along time before there is peace again in this house. Though the "other women" comment that I have no back bone, we have been together for 23 yrs and he was not always like that. What example am I showing if I throw in the towel, if my husband can't be the grown up and set a good example then I will!! I know for a fact that my daughters would not want us divorced, though who's to say down the road it won't happen. There are always the what if's in life. What if SAINTS didn't take my cat were would things be I would hate to think and my kids are very grateful to.

Louise Z.

I agree with Faith and Sheryl. I think the women who allow their "men" to tell them what to do, and then cry about it, should grow some cohones themselves. Years ago, my husband said he did not want anymore cats, and that one cat was enough. Well, at our peak two years ago, we had nineteen cats and sixteen rabbits (who lived outdoors in our garden shed which he also had to give up). Every time I had one more to bring home, he was not pleased (to say the least). He would be ticked off for a few days, and then the cat's charms would win him over. My logic to him was that I did all of the scooping of the litter boxes (three times a day I might add), bought the food, fed and watered and cleaned....What was the big deal really?

When I fell down a flight of stairs a few years back and had major back problems, he even went to the animal shelter I was volunteering at every morning before he went to work to feed the rabbits that were at the shelter and drop off supplies for me.

Now, we have only fourteen cats and ten rabbits (the house seems almost empty!). My husband loves the cats and rabbits, and has shown me time and again what an exceptional and giving man he is. These women need to stand up for their beloved pets and see if their counterparts are the best and most compassionate beings they can be. We never know how good we can be until we have to rise to a challenge and let our true souls shine through. Stop crying ladies and grow a back bone! What type of example are these women showing to their children? That we are not equal and haven't an equal say in matters, and that we can't think outside the box when kitty thinks outside the box and come up with solutions? Surely, we can be and do better than that.


I just don't understand why women put up with that type of behaviour from men. Kick him to the curb is right! And don't wait until later - do it now! Then you can keep your pet and live happily ever after.


My head also wants to explode when the woman is ready and willing to boot their "beloved pet" to the curb when they get into a relationship with a "real" man. I went out with a guy who professed to love cats. I had 3 at the time. I said to him, "That's a good thing, because if it came down to choosing between you and my cats, you wouldn't like my decision." :0)


Will we ever get to the day when all creatures are valued and not considered disposable? These 'dickhead' creeps are the same ones who don't pay child support, who's families end up in transition homes to escape brutality, and who entertain their equally creepy friends with their tales of 'manly pursuits'. It makes my blood boil!


Hopefully when said dickhead gets old and leaky himself, his devoted family kicks him to the curb.
If they don't do it sooner.