December 1, 1999

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Dear Asshole,

If you are wondering if this letter pertains to you, ask your self this question: Have you ever abandoned a pet in the woods or a neighborhood or dumped them off on the side of the road, or left them when you went to move somewhere else? If you answered yes, than this letter is for you.

Today has been one of those days I wish I could erase from my life, one that I wished I could no longer remember but I know that until the day I pass from this life I will remember the difficult decision I had to make about three very beautiful animals. I might not have had to make this decision had the original owners decided to do the moral and responsible thing.

On October 20th, some coward dumped off a box of mother cats and their kittens into our neighborhood. It was cold, and being the kind hearted person I am I took them in, all that I could catch that is. A silver gray mother cat with white paws that looked as if she was wearing shoes, and three kittens. The mother cat was beautiful and sweet. She slept in our bed at night and purred as we petted her. WE instantly became fond of her and eventually decided that she would have a permanent home with us. Her kittens were sickly in the beginning so I nursed them back to heath giving them warm baths and antibiotics and providing them with a special diet. with each and every day I became more attached. I enjoyed watching them play, scampering about the house chasing each other around chair legs and wrestling. I would have loved to have kept them all but I knew the time was coming that I must give them away.

Before Leaving on vacation I did just that, gave one of them away to a very good home. I felt proud of myself for rescuing these animals and helping them find answers where the asshole who had dumped them failed. I didn't know that upon my return I would get horrifying news. The little kitten I had given away had tested positive for feline leukemia and had to be put to sleep. I knew what this meant for the others, that there was a strong possibility that they had it too and would have to be out to sleep.

Today was that day. I sobbed all day as I watched them play around my Christmas tree. I petted Mama Cat hoping for a miracle and before I knew it was time to put them into their carriers and take them to the vet to be tested. I left Elizabeth with a neighbor and Jeff went with me. As soon as I walked in the the vet's office I began crying. They tried to reassure me that it was possible they might not all have it. Mama Cat cried except for the brief moments we petted her and the assistant held her in her arms.

For over an hour we waited for the results. I was crying, feeling a deep ache in my stomach and Jeff sat motionless, hardly even looking at me. AS we sat in the room with them all, I looked over at Mama Cat who had tears streaming down her face, I couldn't help but weep and even the vet said it appeared she was crying. Jeff whispered "she knows" and I could barely look at her any longer.

The test results were what I had feared, very strong positives for feline leukemia, all of them had it. The vet said it was the first time in his career that he had ever seen this many cats at once have it and all from the same owners. The only humane decision was to put them to sleep, even though Jeff and I tried to think of some rational reason to save them. The vet didn't paint an easy road ahead if we chose to take them home, and said that emotionally it would even be more trying. The vet kept saying how sorry he was and hugging on me and all I could do was stare at their little helpless faceless.

I had to leave. I couldn't stand being in the office anymore. I was sobbing and I was gasping for breath and snot was coming out of my nose. I sat in the car feeling helpless and awful, and I was angry. Angry that someone dumped these animals out instead of being responsible. I was angry they had not spayed their pet or loved them enough to vaccinate them. I was angry that they dumped them off trying to rectify in their minds that these kittens and mama cats would be taken in by people like me that would take care of them and that they would live happy little lives, but that isn't the case. These cats were having to be put down, others are living in the wild breeding and passing diseases, and may even suffer cruel deaths like getting eaten by dogs or hit by cars. Angry that I am going to have to explain what happen to a two year old child that has fallen in love with these animals, and angry that I'm going to have to test my other cat and possibly be facing another decision like this in a few days.

Right now I can barely see the computer screen to write this letter. When I close my eyes I see their faces, and I hate myself for what I have done, even though it is not my fault.