Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Trying to Keep My Mouth Shut

So, I followed my friend into the bowels of the vet clinic, and there, in isolation, were five adorable kittens playing with their new surroundings. They were rescued from under a trailer where a horrible man lived, my friend said. Horrible.

I didn't want to know how horrible.

I have to tell you that I had to unfriend a friend who kept posting those kind of stories and pictures about the horrible people that dogs and cats are rescued from. I know that some dogs suffer terrible neglect and abuse at the hands of people. I know that some people let hordes of cats overrun their properties but lose track of them where they get parasites, starve, and often die. I know that there are wonderful people out there who routinely rescue these sad creatures from the clutches of death and help to find them homes.

But I can't tolerate the agony. I just can't. I'm willing to be on the receiving end of these stories. I fell in love with an abused cat who was returned to the shelter three times and a pit bull mix who had been abused and who had nearly died. I had two other shelter dogs who turned into beloved members of the family. I know that this is the only thing I can do. I can not rescue or even watch a rescue because my heart breaks every time even though the ends of the stories are usually happy.

But when I looked at those kittens, adorable and tiny as they were, a quiet voice in my mind told me it was a mistake to be here. We finally had some peace in our house, finally enough sleep.

It was probably Mike's voice. I've lived with that man for a quarter of a century. I know his voice in my ear when I hear it. He has a soothing voice, a sensible voice, a voice that respects the boundaries of having too much to do.

"You should adopt one of these sweeties," my friend said, leaning into my other ear. "He would love living with you." She already had one in mind. Three were already claimed. She wanted me to take the one she loved but couldn't take because her dogs would eat him. She wanted to love him from the vantage point of my house and the days when I brought him in to stay because we were going on vacation. She wanted to be an auntie.

"I'll think about it," I told her after looking through that window for twenty minutes. "I'll talk to my family and we'll think about it."

And it should have ended there. I should never have opened my mouth at home. I should have called Nick to carry in the big bag of dog food and left a comfortable silence between us or at least talk of homework and Scout meetings and such. I should have, but you know I didn't.

Thank you for listening, jb

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