Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I got a very nice comment on my post about returning Skippy. CG (oddly enough my own initials) just returned her first foster kitten (and I am assuming it is a woman) and is dealing with the guilt.
Guilt. I know it all too well. The "I want to save them all and I can't". Every time I go into the shelter for supplies I seem to come out with a new kitten to care for. I just recently had to turn down a two day old kitten who needed round the clock care because I realized bringing kittens into work every day was NOT going to work out (co-worker's dog thinks kittens are toys) I felt horrid.
But there is some acceptance of that guilt, and I just live with it as a companion to the joy that comes from the good I am able to do. CG has limitations in her life with three high maintenance kitties. For her own good, and for the good of the kitties she does own, she knows her limitations. Adding more and more cats would overwhelm her and do harm to her own beloved cats.
When I am tempted to add more (than my already busting at the limits seven cats) I am reminded of a woman who used to foster with me. Under just one year her household went from one cat to 12. 12. Now I have no issue with her having a dozen cats because I know her, and know she can take care of them, but when I had six I was easily overwhelmed with them (of course one of those six was a diabetic) and I couldn't fathom having double that number. I think I vowed at that point to never have more cats in weight than I weighed. *smile*
I know it is so easy to keep kittens. They are small. They don't eat much. They are fun, and cuddly and playful. Basically they sucker you in with cuteness. however by giving in, you put their life, your own, and the lives of any of your current pets under more stress. Maybe it would work out (as it did in my case when I kept Fleurp - but I struggled long and hard about that) but there is a good chance you'll just overwhelm yourself and not provide the home for anyone you want.
I also have to remind yourself there are a *LOT* of great homes out there. No, they aren't yours, and no, they probably wont do everything as you would do it, but that's ok. The kittens will be loved and cared for, and while you might do it differntly, the cats will be happy.