Pets are (almost) people too.

This morning, not long after I got home from work and was lounging around on Facebook, trying to wind down enough where I could go to sleep, June Bug called my wife.  And from the tone of the conversation from Yes Dear’s side, it sounded like June Bug was quite upset about something.

While on FB I soon discovered what the issue was when I saw June Bug’s latest post.  Apparently one of her cats, which she had for about four years, had come home critically injured, likely from a fight with one of the dogs in the neighborhood.  After taking it to the vet and discovering that the only choices were either a huge vet bill to save its life (which her and her fiancee were totally unable to afford), or euthanasia, she was forced to choose the latter.  Trouble was, her fiancee and his family couldn’t seem to understand why she was so upset.  Their attitude was that, “it’s only a cat, and besides, you got two more”.

I do get that there are a lot of people out there that don’t get attached to their pets, that they regard them as disposable.  Coming from a family who regards its pets as part of the family, I don’t quite understand the mindset, but that’s just the way some people are.  I’ll never claim to be or agree with the animal rights activists that put them on the same level as humans, but I do believe in humane, respectful, and responsible treatment of animals and pets.  And to top things off, I’m highly allergic to cats and don’t care for them much myself, particularly once they aren’t cute kittens anymore.  But Yes Dear & I totally understand and sympathize with June Bug’s pain.  Furthermore, we respect it, and her grieving for the loss of her pet.

Why can’t people get that?  Even if the issue may be trivial for them, why can’t they understand that for many there’s nothing trivial about it?  Okay, I do think some people go a little too far with their pets, but that’s not for me to judge.  I totally get that many regard their pets as furry four-legged children (particularly quite a few of my readers) and losing one is sometimes as painful as losing a family member.  I remember many years ago when in one week my great-grandmother and our family dog of ten years died.  Guess which one was more acutely painful?  It may sound like our grief was somewhat misplaced, but the truth was that my grandmother was 93 years old and in the grip of late-stage Alzheimers, and the knowledge that she was passing into an afterlife where she would no longer be confused or in pain was more a relief than a burden.  It was much harder to watch our beloved family mutt expire on the vet table, even though he too had been having health issues as of late.

People just need to try to be more understanding, even when sometimes they don’t.  Because it hurts to lose a pet.  Maybe not quite as deeply or as long as it would to lose a child, or another close family member, but the pain is still there and it is very real.  Pet owners need sympathy and comfort too.  They need to work through their grief in their own way.  They do NOT need crass and asinine comments about it “only being an animal”.  All that does is make the “helpful” commenters look like insensitive assholes.

Just ‘saying.

I did send June Bug a link to the poem about the Rainbow Bridge.  Figured she called because she needed to talk to someone who understood, which both Yes Dear & I do.  And we’re happy to be able to help her in whatever small way possible.

Because our pets are part of the family.  At least in ours.

8 thoughts on “Pets are (almost) people too.

  1. My pets’ departures have always torn me up. I live surrounded by animal-loving people, at least at the family level, so I can’t imagine someone telling you your feelings about a pet’s death are invalid.
    I hope JuneBug feels better soon.

  2. I’m so sorry! The sense of loss June Bug is feeling and her grieving are very real and to denigrate that is insensitive at the very least.

    Hope she takes comfort in her remaining furkids. {{Hug}}

  3. Yes, it is only an animal, and on that basis, SO ARE WE!! I have never understood that callous disregard. They give us that unconditional love and always are there for us when we feel lost and sad. I’m not a cat person, but I have always enjoyed that feeling of a curled up purring ball of fur nestling against you. It’s amazing, and for someone to dismiss the grieving based on the animal’s hierachy among the mammals is not just insensitive, but wrong.

  4. I hate to say this… but June Bug may want to heed this as a warning sign as to what she’s marrying into…

    Even if they feel that way, the inability to try to understand how she feels or to try to bring comfort is not a good thing.

  5. I’ve often lost it over a cat or dog I had for a week (when you adopt from a shelter, there’s no guarantee you’re getting a healthy pet). Pets I’ve had even longer…it’s a long time before I get over that!

    Hugs to June Bug

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