Silent Victims of the Recession

This is Bubba my CFM (chief feline muse).

The Senate’s decision (as of this writing) not to renew an extension of unemployment benefits means I have to seriously consider the possibility of life without my three cats.

What the recession has meant to so many animals and their humans is beloved pets ending their lives in shelters with little chance of adoption, or pets abandoned in foreclosed home. For others, barely scraping by, it may mean their four-legged companion might have less to eat or shredded newspaper instead of cat litter. Senior pets have an incredibly low adoption rate and special-needs pets are all but out of the running when placed in cages next to fluffy, energetic young’uns. In some ways it is far worse for seniors — especially when they have known a lifetime of care and affection. Just the shock of being torn from familiar surroundings could be fatal.

I have been fortunate enough to provide for my little fur family during a yearlong job hunt but now I can barely look at Bubba, Chyron and Stanni without fear of what the near future will bring and how to keep them out of a shelter, if possible. It’s just the four of us, no friends, family or resources. I write that not out of self-pity but from a realistic assessment of options.

Chyron the cat.

Even in the best-case scenario of finding homes for one or all of them, knowing that they would have to be split up is sad. Bubba is 22 and more than anything, I want the rest of his life to be one of comfort and kindness. Chyron is about 14 and Stanni is 9, so they still have a few more years left to chase each other and compete for Bubba’s affections. It is the least I can do for them.

Undoubtedly there are many more people out there facing the same dilemma. As I wonder whether I will be on the street, it is crucial to keep these three devoted friends from suffering due to my misfortune.

Who will love them when I’m gone?

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10 Comments

Filed under cat health, cat lovers, cats, old animals, pet adoption, senior pets, senior pets for seniors

10 responses to “Silent Victims of the Recession

  1. Suszan

    Someone needs to start up a fostering program for companions that have been displaced by the recession. I have heard of families living in their car with their companions and cats are at particular risk when this happens. I have noticed that numbers of ‘owner surrendered animals to animal controls, or animals that have obviously been someone’s companion being impounded as strays has risen over the past six months and I’ve often wondered if it was due to the US dismal economy.

    • oldcatsrule

      That’s an excellent idea, Suszan. If anyone out there knows of such a program, ping us here or on Facebook.

  2. Ihavecat

    My heart breaks reading this post Gina. Aren’t there places that are now providing food to those who are under financial stress?

  3. Karen Lucas

    Is there anything we can do to help? Would you be better able to manage if you had help with food and litter? Can I send you something?

    • oldcatsrule

      Karen,

      Thanks so much for reading the post. Your offer is beyond touching — and it’s nice to know there are people out there who care about the animals. If it comes to that (and hopefully, it won’t) I won’t be shy about asking for help for my three furkids.

      Best.

  4. Daniel McCarter

    I just recently moved to a new neighborhood in NY and have seen cats abandoned! They’re not even being taken to facilities and are forced to fend for themselves. It’s upsetting to see how the economy has forced the inevitable on our feline friends.

  5. mhmerz

    What is your current situation? Do you still need help? Please let us know. Praying for all in this situation as I am unemployed myself but getting along ok.

    • oldcatsrule

      Thanks so much for visiting. I am sorry you are unemployed — it is a horrible time.

      I still don’t have a job and am not sure what to do.

      Here’s hoping for great things for everyone.

  6. kat

    i’m so sad to read this post! i looked for a paypal donation button after reading this – you should put one on your site. when i was in a tough financial situation and had animal medical bills that were difficult to afford, some kind people donated to me via a button on my blog.. i was hoping to do the same for you.

    • oldcatsrule

      Kat,

      Thank you so much for writing. I am touched by your generosity. This blog is hosted on a free version of WordPress that will not accept PayPal donate buttons.

      The thought is appreciated and hopefully, things will get better. If you haven’t already, stop by OldCatsRule on Facebook. It’s a ncie group of people.

      Best.

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