Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why I cannot adopt the Blueys

Thank you very much to everyone who has written to me asking me to adopt the Blueys. Many of you cited that I should do so for the sake of Bobby as the Blueys are very close to him and vice versa. I know this, as I'm right here watching them every day, but I cannot adopt the Blueys for many reasons, which I shall attempt to list down here:

1. My house is not ideal for raising kittens. My six are free-roaming, a "mistake" made five years ago when I was none the smarter. We thought we wanted them to be free, to climb trees and explore in the garden, not knowing cats would be curious and adventurous and may not be very street-smart. Since the are free-roaming, I now cannot barricade my windows as they come in and out freely. Then, we lost Pans, Kimba and Suki on the road and that's when I realised letting them be free-roaming was a mistake - this is not a natural world but a man-made one with fast-moving vehicles and humans who may not care very much about street animals' safety. However, I could not confine my six anymore - Feline World War broke out in the house! This is also one of the reasons why we are moving soon, so that we can build a bigger cat-space at the back of our new house where the cats would be safer. 

2. Cow, Bunny and Cleo are extremely alpha. Cow & Bunny chased their sister, Pole, out of the house four years ago. Pole has been living as a community cat ever since. Cleo chased her brother, Wolf, out and we never saw him ever again. I noticed this chasing always starts when the junior cat is about 5-6 months. That's when Cow, Bunny and Cleo find them a threat. Even now, there is some ongoing war between them. As such, how can I adopt another kitten?

3. Bunny and Tiger are FIV+.  By right, I should not even bring in or foster another kitten, if you go by the book. I'm breaking the rules already, but only because I know Bunny and Tiger do not harm kittens. I also will only take in kittens if nobody else offers and there is no other option. I am not a fosterer, because I cannot be one.   

4. Six cats is about all I can handle, financially, physically and emotionally.  I know others can handle many more. I really take my hat off to them. But I cannot. I do so much AnimalCare work outside the house and it is unfair to growing kittens that they have to be locked in the room when I'm out. They need more attention, love and care, which I cannot provide sufficiently though I try my best. That is precisely why I started AnimalCare - I cannot keep adopting these animals as I have my limitations, so I provide a fund to help with the medical needs of animals and in this way, I hope to encourage other people to adopt and take care of the animals. I cannot help so many animals directly, so I extend my help to those who can - the rescuers, fosterers and adopters. 

5. I do not live alone. I have to respect the wishes of my family members too, and for them, six is enough. Cow & Bunny's territorial spraying intensifies each time I bring home kittens to foster. That's the way they are and I cannot do anything about it. Last year, due to so much fostering, I had to spend Rm5000 to re-paint the whole house. I cannot afford to do this every year!

6. Indy has run away from home now, though he is just five houses away, I cannot risk him running further. He is at the age where he feels jealous and threatened with the presence of any new kitten. Every day, I have to go down the road, hunt for Indy, and coax him to come back. From three houses away, he is now five houses away. I cannot risk losing Indy as he is my responsibility. Indy had a very bad start in life and his health condition is not very good (that is why I never got him adopted). He came from the drain with a bladder full of pus. The rescuer asked me to foster him for two weeks where I nursed Indy back to health, his life literally hanging by the thread (read Indy Jones and the 4 Pillars of Kindness) and the rescuer never took him back after that. Indy may have kidney problems too and is on RC Renal (special diet). He will not do very well as a stray. Cow, Bunny, Pole, Tiger, Cleo all ran away from home three years ago when I brought Felix back to foster. They only came back after I sent Felix to the vet's for boarding. Indy was the only one who kept Felix company (ironical, right?). This running away is real - it can happen. I have checked with my vet. I cannot risk Indy running away from home for good.      

7. There is also one person who wrote to me condemning my family members for not allowing me to adopt the Blueys or for not supporting what I do. Goodness gracious me! Is that fair? I started AnimalCare, not my family. I am very thankful that they allow me to spend time away from home doing all that I do, raising funds for AnimalCare, giving public talks, rushing off to be at the vet's 24/7 or anytime there is any emergency, spending hours blogging the day's reports. They have allowed me to adopt Cow, Bunny, Pole, Tiger, Indy and Cleo, and previously, Vixey and Wii and a few others. They have allowed me to foster all the baby kittens who have gone through me despite them creating a mess (and lots of smells) in the house. They have also helped me a lot in everything that I do. The bottom line is, I do not expect my family members to participate in what I do. What I do is my passion, not theirs. They do their own things in life which interest them. It is good enough that they put up with everything that I do, which, infringes into the household. So, condemn me, if you must, but please leave my family out of the picture. When people tell me they cannot adopt animals because their parents object or their spouse objects, do you hear me condemning them? We may do what we like, but we cannot expect others to share our passion too. To each her own, please.  

8. My back neighbour hates animals, the sight of any animal and all the sounds that animals that adds on to my limitations too. They have reported me twice to the authorities. They threw things at Wii and shouted obscenities at him, that is why I had to get Wii adopted. I was afraid they'd kill Wii one day. This is also why we are moving away from this animal-hating neighbour.     

9. Some of you say I'm not being fair to Bobby if I get the Blueys adopted. Maybe you have not followed my stories for the past five years. Bobby has helped me foster Cow, Bunny, Pole, Tiger, Cleo, Pans, Wolf, Vixey, Wii, Indy, Felix, Kimba, Suki, Joanie, Creamie, Crackers, the Orange Family of 4 kittens, Babykit, Prince, Simba, Bobtail, Teddy, Bandit, Xiao Li, Peanut, Butter, Jelly, Rex, Fox and Honeybear (the Sunnies), etc.  Did I leave anyone out? I may have. So, I think Bobby is able to savour and enjoy the moment, and let go when the time comes. I believe he has learnt. After all, he has the sixsome to help him around now, and amongst them, only Cow, Bunny and Tiger take care of him. Truth be told, Bobby is an extremely loyal dog, and I think he is doing this because of me. He would do anything to please me. So, when I foster kittens, he does it too.  

I only offered to foster the Blueys because Bagheera was not eating and was totally emaciated and dehydrated when they were picked up from the drain. I did not offer to adopt because I know I cannot.

SO, having written all this, I plead for your understanding (please don't ask me to adopt the Blueys, I would if I could) and hope you will instead help me find a good home for them. Parting with them will be sad for me, but that would be something I have to do due to my own limitations.  

Thank you for your kind understanding. 

The other reason I'm writing this terribly long-winded post is so that we all empathise that everyone has his/her own limitations. I hear rescuers condemning others for not doing what they do, ie. you ONLY have six, I have thirty, or, why can't so-and-so adopt the dog, she has a big enough house and she isn't even working, etc, etc. Sometimes people do not explain their reasons to us, but they have their own personal reasons. We have to respect others who say "no" to what we might readily say "yes" to. And we should not make their lives difficult just because they do not do what we do. 

Live and let live, please.


Anonymous said...

Such a long explanation..if I were you, I would choose to ignore these peoples for I am not as patience as you are, especially those who condenming your family members.
Come on, please leave Dr Chan & her family members alone, who do think you are, har?


Pooi Ling said...

Dr. Chan, i agree with you..every household has their own limitation..we do not live alone in a secluded area..we have to b fair to our family members and neighbours too...i stopped bringing strays bck to the hse for i myself have reached my limitations too..somtimes, its not jst sbt rescuing, being fair to the ones tat u already have in the household matters too...

Huey said...

Wow. Seriously, condemning your family for that?

Many do not understand that animals don't actually 'function' that way. Saying that it's being 'unfair' to Bobby is as much as humanising dogs. Dogs live in the moment. We *think* it's unfair because we judge by our own value. We see them being so close and we feel sad that they will no longer be able to be with each other. I'm not saying that he won't realise when the Blueys are gone or he won't bother, but he'll move on. Amazingly, animals understand this is how the universe works - nobody can stick to another forever. When it's time to part, they part. When they meet again, they cherish the moment. Personally I think it's a value we as human can learn a lot from.

And yeah. Don't make others' lives miserable just because they are not answering to your demand. It's self-centred and selfish.

kilikulu said...

I keep my 3 cats free roaming too. I don't think letting them free roaming is a mistake. I see it as freedom. Maybe it come with a price tag - dangerous. Perhaps confine feline inside the house did no harm, just as the fish in the ocean would not know what earth is. But being a frog can be pretty fun too. Now u see I'm in water , next I'm on the land. Cheer !

Anonymous said...

hi dr chan.

you already did a lot in helping animals. and sorry that you have such animal hating neighbour. as for me, i'm lucky to live in a street where almost all neighbours also help in feeding cats and dogs. they'll pass kittens or sick cats to me for fostering/taking care and i'll let them know if there's stray dogs nearby.

i can understand your situation when it comes to alpha adult cats trying to run away and can relate ur needs on why we need some cats to be adopted by other people. me too if i dont let other person to adopt, i might be keeping more than 50 cats now.

you have done such a great job by starting up animalcare and sustain it with anyway you can.

don't mind about what other people say even though it must be hard sometimes, most people dont understand why we do such actions as they are not in your shoes. Like myself, as i'm having cancer and still on treatment, some people are kinda mad with me when i decide to keep my cats with me. and funny thing is that, those are not my family or close frens either, coz they know what i love to do and they got no problem with it, in fact helping me with the cats as well. That 'other people' might feel that way coz they think they cared for me. as for myself, i am more than aware of the risk for getting infection etc, and doing my best to avoid infection while handling animals etc. Caring for animals are therapy that no one will understand unless they are in my shoes. And god help me by not letting any infection infect my chemo port for more than 5 months now.

I know u must feel sad coz there are people sending unpleasant emails to you. As you've said in your earlier post, these are difficult people. Difficult people mostly dont feel emphatize with problems of others. So'd be it. I've been working with you closely for sometimes now, you're doing great job so far. Let other's helping you by adopting Bluey's as you done phenomenal job fostering them. We cannot do everything even we want to, always there's a limitation. But whatever we can do, we'll do our best and be thankful with people around us who never stops supporting

Best wishes


The Lee County Clowder said...

You do what you can, and probably more than the people complaining are doing. Our suggestion is just ignore the goofballs that demand you adopt the Blueys, or anyone else. Your own kitties have to take priority.

Are Cow, Bunny and Cleo neutered? We don't know much about your situation, but sometimes neutering the kitties will dial down their urges to drive away competitors.

Purrrrrrring that Indy hangs in there a little longer.

Anonymous said...

Dr chan jus ignore those who are condemning. U hav done a great job. So is ur family too! I hav saw how ur hubby help u out at the fair n gav us the book when we are there.Hang in there n I'll try to ask around to see is there anyone in adopting bluesy. Will pray hard so tat Indy won't run away frm home.take care dr chan

chankahyein said...

Hi everyone, thanks for all the kind words. Sure helps a lot.

Lee, yes, Cow & Bunny are neutered, and Cleo is spayed. Their territorial behaviours only started AFTER the spay-neuter!

It began when I started bringing in kittens to foster. They find that a threat to their territory.

It is a personality trait, I was told.

Anonymous said...

Just do what you think is right Kah Yein. The important thing is the Universe understands your situation. It is not for other human beings to judge you or condemn you. You have done a lot to help so many stray animals by running AnimalCare. If others think they can do better, let them set up their own animal welfare NGO and see if they can do better. Keep up the good work Kah Yein and don't let these 'human mosquitoes' get to you. Om Mani Padme Hum.... kttan

Connie said...

Kah Yein,

Its not fair for others to judge you for not being able to adopt the blueys. Yes, it would be great if blueys stays with Bobby, but it wouldnt be fair to the others. I'm sure Bobby would be greatful too if the blueys can finally goes to their permanent home and the house will be back to normal.

Catherina said...

Just like what our Dr. M said, we can please everyone.

rozitahalim said...

this is wat people just love to do kahyein, to judge ! hate that. ignore them. do wats best for u, your family and the furries. take care :)

Anonymous said...

You have done a great job which I personally admires a lot.

Az said...

Ignore what they said or condemned you for, you have done a terrific job by helping the animals in need. Just carry on with what you are doing now. Do not let these people deter your good intention and hard work.

Sending my love and hugs to all your furry babies..

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is because you are so compassionate and committed, ppl expect you to perform miracles. Forgive the ignorant or challenging characters who may be starved of loving kindness & understanding. Carry on doc ... the dogs and cats adore you & yr accommodating family(..."woof woof" "meow meow").