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What do you think about this?....

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Someone I know from another forum who is only 12 is having problems with her cats. Her cat, Angie, was acting aloof & agressive, so her mom said she could not keep her and they had to let her out as a stray. On purpose. So.... they just got another cat, I think either a sister or daughter or Angie - her name's Stephena. Anyways, her (the girl's) brother has his own cat, who just came in with a major wound to the leg, but they can't bring him to the emergency vet because their mother has always expected them to pay for all of their own cats' expenses, and right now this girl can't afford to pay for it. She is 12, and I think her brother is even younger. They obviously cannot get a job to pay for everything. She loves her cats with all her heart but........she can't afford her cats, so her mom lets the cats out permanently as strays if they make a mistake like scratching or biting or mis-behaving.

I say this with all due respect to her mother of course.

But I have mixed feelings about it. I think it's really unfair, to her, her brother and the cats, to expect them to pay for it all. Food, vet bills, litter, toys, etc. There's only so much responsibility you can give to them. Even so, they cannot get jobs. They can't pay for everything the cats need. Some might say maybe they just shouldn't have cats then, if this is the case, but it's too late now.

Also, it's not fair to the cat because of course cat misbehave sometimes!! Of course some cats have issues......of course they get hurt. They're not perfect. They need to be helped along. They can't just be thrown outta the house to become strays like that. They can't even bring them to a no-kill shelter or anything because they're afraid to pick them up, and I'm not sure why they didn't call a professional to pick them up and bring them at least.

Now I am not blaming anyone. It's a tough situation. This girl DOES know what is right for her cats, but she is very good and listens to her mother and that's really nice. I just don't think they're well-informed on the behavior of cats, and stuff. Her mom just wants to protect her daughter from being hurt by her cats - that's part of it.

I just don't exactly agree with this, pretty much.
But there isn't much I can do.
WHAT DO YOU THINK???

What's your opinion on this...or any ideas...etc..
Please share your thoughts.
Thanks.
post #2 of 17
personally I would report the mother as it is illegal to "let out and make a cat a stray"
post #3 of 17
I'd be getting a rescue and/or animal control in there to hand Mom a citation and find the cats a safer home, unfortunately. The girl, regardless of how much she loves her cats, would be much better off waiting another 4-6 years until she has the resources to properly care for the cats and keep them safe from people like her mom. Perhaps between now and then she could be a junior volunteer for a cat rescue?
post #4 of 17
I think that when parents decide to allow their children to have pets, they need to have the very realistic expectation that they will be doing a good part of the work to care for that animal.

Pets help teach kids responsibility..but "teach" is the operative word there. You can't expect the average kid to be able to handle the full responsibility or an animal, ESPECIALLY the financial part. WHOA.

you post this with due respect to the mother.. and you are a much better person than I am. That woman obviously has no respect for animals. That's just plain cruel.
post #5 of 17
I would suggest to the girl that she not get anymore cats. It sounds like they are all being let out as strays. Its not a good situation or home for cats at all.. Its a very cruel way to teach children responsibilty thats for sure . Shes teaching them that cats have no value their disposable and how to be cruel to pets! Shes setting a horrible example to her kids.
post #6 of 17
I'm perfectly willing to blame the mother. You cannot expect children who cannot have jobs to have the financial responsibility for a pet. It's not just unreasonable, it's advocating neglect. The child has no choice in this matter. I understand that she wants a companion. It's the mother's job to say no if she doesn't have the patience or finances to care for the pet - not to pawn off that responsibility to a young girl who has no choice and feels horrible (I'm sure) about not being able to properly care for them. Mom needs a swift kick in the backside. She isn't teaching her children anything except that cats are disposable and can just be thrown outside if anything happens to them. Unacceptable.
post #7 of 17
Well, when I was a kid, I had a pet rat. I rescued him from the feeder tank at a pet store. He was the sweetest rat, very tame, and I loved him to bits. And then I went away for a weekend school skills contest, and my stepdad put Decon in his food bowl and he died. I missed my rat so much, and wanted another one. But I didn't get one, because I knew my stepdad would just eventually kill it. Now I'm an adult and I have my own house and a very understanding husband, and I have 3 rats. Because I know that nobody is going to poison them.
We got a puppy for my daughter. She's 3 1/2 years old and thinks it's fun to feed him and open the door so he can go outside. And she tells everyone that she's "Trey's mommy." But does that mean that I EXPECT her to feed him or let him out? No. I put food in his bowl twice a day and give it to her, and she goes and feeds him. I tell her he has to go potty and she opens the door to the fenced yard for him. But she doens't do it EVERY time and I don't expect her to. Heck, I won't even expect her to when she's 16 (although she won't be having a car to drive if she can't take care of her dog!).

The moral to this long drawn out thing is, if you know your parents will be cruel or inhumane to your pet, either by refusing it medical care (which my stepdad did with a cat we had that died of a UTI), or directly killing it, don't have one until you move out or have a job that pays enough that you can afford a vet bill. And if you don't think your children will take care of a pet, and you don't want to take care of it, don't get them a pet. The puppy has cost about $300 so far with shots and being neutered, but I knew full well what it would cost before I got him.
It's a hard lesson to learn at 12 years old, but hopefully it will make her a great pet owner when she's older, who knows the value of providing a good safe loving home for a pet, and providing proper medical care. Or it can teach her that it's ok to dump your animals when they get expensive, but if she's posting on a message board looking for help, I don't think that's what she's learning.

Amber
post #8 of 17
This parent is not only advocating the very real "throw-away" pet-owning mentality of a large part of our society, she is teaching it to her children by example. Hopefully the 12 year-old can sort out right from wrong.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I'm perfectly willing to blame the mother.
ME TOO!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
This parent is not only advocating the very real "throw-away" pet-owning mentality of a large part of our society, she is teaching it to her children by example. Hopefully the 12 year-old can sort out right from wrong.
Exactly! That mom has totally missed the boat on teaching responsibility. She is teaching TOTAL IRRESPONSIBLITY by turning her daughter's pet into a stray! Grrrrrrrrrr!
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatkitties
Well, when I was a kid, I had a pet rat. I rescued him from the feeder tank at a pet store. He was the sweetest rat, very tame, and I loved him to bits. And then I went away for a weekend school skills contest, and my stepdad put Decon in his food bowl and he died.
That is horrible! Thank God that YOU had the sense that you did!
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
you post this with due respect to the mother.. and you are a much better person than I am. That woman obviously has no respect for animals. That's just plain cruel.
post #10 of 17
Wow. I think you're being too nice to the mother.

At 12 children are very impressionable and will remember stuff that occured to them longer then any other age (from what I read). So therefore throwing a cat out because its aggressive is showing the child that things can be "thrown out" because something goes wrong. This can be pets, people, material things, etc.

Secondly, expecting a 12 YEAR OLD to PAY for a cat? OK, I'm not sure about you guys but my last vet bill was $150 for Luna's annual checkup and shots. when I was 12, $150 was like having a million dollars! Parents are responsible for kids until their 18-22 (insurance can last longer, plus loans, etc). I can understand if the girl is doing chores around the house to help "pay" for the vets (i.e. girl does the weeding, take out the trash, mow the lawn, whatever for 2 weeks and mom forks the money over to the vet). But unless this girl is getting good moola at her birthday and christmas, the mother is out of line.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom
Wow. I think you're being too nice to the mother.
Yes... I know, I think so too. I guess I was too shy to say anything bad about her, but that IS how I feel - I agree with everything you guys have said. These are the things that have been running through my head also. It's just... ... What do I tell her?? I feel so helpless, but I want the best for her (what she's learning) and her cat. What IS she supposed to do? Her mother would probably just get angry with her if she opposes her, it seems. Doesn't the mom see she's punishing the cat, not her daughter?????? Also, I do think she is learning the wrong thing from her mom too. She kind of accepted it as a normal punishment, and didn't argue or anything. They just.. got another cat. I'm afraid if I say much of anything, she might tell her mom who might get upset with me.

She joined the other forum before all this happened. She was trying to figure out a way to bring Angie to a shelter or something. But it didn't really seem like she even tried. I and some others on there suggested she try to call the local animal rescue - something like that, to come get Angie for her at least, before they let her out. But.....they didn't really try much of anything......So they let her out, permanently, without trying much to help Angie's behavior, etc.

So she is kind of learning the 'disposable' thing, it's NOT good.
I feel so bad for their cats. And for her; her mom's setting a bad example. I know.

........................
post #12 of 17
I agree with what most of the others have said... and I think it's obsurd!

My husband and I both work, we have two grown kids, a dog and only 2 cats and sometimes we can't afford the vet bills!

I think if she wanted to teach her 12 year old financial responsibility, maybe she could be responsible for the toys... but not ALL of it! Gee!
post #13 of 17
Most jurisdictions have legislation relating to the responsiblities of pet "owners". Of course, a 12 year old child cannot be legally the owner of an animal for these purposes because s/he is not able to fulfill these responsibilities.

So in short, not only are the mother's actions reprehensible from the standpoint of both the cats and the kids, but they're probably illegal too. At the very least, she is legally required to maintain up-to-date rabies vaccines and probably forbidden to abandon a cat. Most communities have additional laws as well.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Most jurisdictions have legislation relating to the responsiblities of pet "owners". Of course, a 12 year old child cannot be legally the owner of an animal for these purposes because s/he is not able to fulfill these responsibilities.

So in short, not only are the mother's actions reprehensible from the standpoint of both the cats and the kids, but they're probably illegal too. At the very least, she is legally required to maintain up-to-date rabies vaccines and probably forbidden to abandon a cat. Most communities have additional laws as well.
Wow. But again I just don't know what to say to her!! I'm so stuck. I don't want to offend anyone.
post #15 of 17
As a Mom and a cat lover, I am rather appalled. That woman is definitely teaching her kids that animals are disposable!

I doubt you will make much difference to the girl...but maybe you can keep advising her to hand over the cat to a rescue. And definitely tell her NOT to accept any new pets until she is an adult. (Although I doubt a kid in the world would turn down a pet if the Mom brought it home!)

Poor kitty, and poor kids.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
And definitely tell her NOT to accept any new pets until she is an adult. (Although I doubt a kid in the world would turn down a pet if the Mom brought it home!)

Poor kitty, and poor kids.
:that:

Just say that kitties can be expensive and wait until she's 16 or so to get a job where she can afford to keep a cat.

Get some empathy from her too...i.e. "After having a nice warm home to live in, how do you think the kitty feels being left all on her own?" Well OK, something more a 12 yo not a 6 yo.

Maybe by the time she's 17/18 she'll realise what her mom was doing to those poor cats!
post #17 of 17
What your friend's mom does is considered a felony in Indiana. She can't expect two kids to be solely responsible for an animal, not just ethically, but legally. What she is doing is against the law and my suggestion would be to call animal control and report her. I also don't think that your friend should get any more pets until she is out of her mother's house. I know that can be rough (I had to wait until I was 22 and out of the dorms before I could get a cat, and I did pretty much immediately!). I'm sorry your friend has to go through this.
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