I read an article recently from scientificeamerican.com regarding why pet loss should be taken more seriously. I totally agreed with everything that was written in the article. I am in the “furbaby” club. I did not bear a child. I did not ever wish to. I consider Batman as my “furbaby” and he is referred to as my “furson”. Link to the article below:
I ran into an issue this past week when Batman was ill. I had taken him to the Animal Emergency on Saturday. He was treated and sent home with medications for me to administer twice a day. The findings were faxed to my regular veterinarian. On Monday, my regular vet called me to check in on Batman’s health. Batman was a little better but still needed to eliminate. When I returned to work on Tuesday, Batman still had not eliminated. I found out that my co-worker had called out sick. I had spoken with my Captain in regards to possibly leaving early to have my regular vet treat him for his health issue. My Captain, however, hates cats. He laughed at me that I had taken him to the emergency vet. He stated, “No. You should just take him out back and just shoot him.” I was taken back by this. Hopefully, the Captain was just joking but still I was quite upset. The vet tech and I played phone tag most of Tuesday. The vet tech only called my home phone and not my cell phone. When I had returned the phone call after retrieving the voice mail remotely, the vet tech was gone for lunch. I spoke with the receptionist. I never received another message on my home phone nor a call back that day. I wasn’t able to log into my home phone remotely to have it forwarded to my cell phone. My co-worker never came into work this week so I was never able to take Batman to the vet. Luckily, the medications worked on Batman and the vet trip became unnecessary. I had my home phone forwarded to my cell phone for the rest of that week.
I should have been taken more seriously and allowed to make some kind of arrangements for the time off to have Batman’s medical issues taken care of. It is hard because only two of us are on staff for the station that I work for. Any of my prior Captains would have had no problems closing the station done for one afternoon. My prior Captain would have even allowed me to bring Batman to work with me. He allowed my co-worker to bring her dog to work several days when Bambi was seriously ill. My co-worker eventually had to make the difficult decision to end Bambi’s suffering. There needs to be a change in how workplaces treat those that have “furbabies” over human babies. It is no different in our eyes as pet parents. We worry about our “furbaby” just as parents worry over their child being ill. When a parent loses a child, they grieve. The same applies for pet parents as well.
As I have spelled out in other posts on my blog, I am not a people person. I suffer from social anxiety. I also do not fit into sort of society cliques. I am an outsider all the way around. I had lost cats before in my life. They have always been a part of my family even before I was born. But when I lost Boo in 2014, that was a true loss of a family member. Cuddles was special to me as well and losing her 1997 was heavy loss as well. Boo and I had many wonderful adult years in our own place. She was truly my cat and not the family cat that we all shared time with. We also had a few years with Batman added into the mix as well. The day that I was going to have her put down, the Captain that I had at the time had never seen me so depressed. I had to go into work because my co-worker didn’t know how to do the deposit and some of the other pressing paperwork. I quickly got that work done then left for the day. I was glad that she was at least somewhat accommodating for what was one of the worst days of my life.
I found solace and support later that year after I had joined Twitter. Twitter has a wonderful animal community which all support each other through everything. I was able to talk with other pet parents that had lost a beloved pet. Later on, I took on the persona of Batman as my main Twitter presence. Batman became involved in some Twitter clubs with other animals. Once a month, there is a virtual tribute ride where animals lost can be honored and acknowledged. Batman is a member of this “club” and it is an emotional ride each month. This allows a support outlet amongst others that feel as I do about my “furbaby”. There also is honor flights done by “The Aviators” which is a virtual flight where a flight leader leads a flight to the rainbow bridge to send a lost pet off with love and support focused on the lost pet and their grieving pet parents. Those flying or riding can offer their final goodbyes as the lost pet crosses the rainbow bridge. The most emotional flights and rides have been for those animals that have become my best furiends on Twitter. That person’s furbabies become an online family and their loss is also my loss. Each one that we have lost have taken a piece of my heart with them.
Workplaces and society need to accept the fact that some people may have furry children rather than actual children. I heard so many times after Boo had passed “Oh it is just a cat” and how I would want to punch them in the throat. Those people were subsequently cut out of my life. I have no room for those type of people. There are too many other people that I have met over the past few years that think like me. They offer me support, guidance and love. They are more a family to me than my own relatives.
It makes me sick when I hear the news of puppy and kitten mills where the breeding animals were rescued from deplorable conditions. Those useless, greedy excuses for human beings should be treated in the same manner as those animals were made to live in. However society believes that is cruel and unusual punishment. I applaud that society is starting to wake up and increasing penalties for animal cruelty charges. I want to see more done. There still is trophy hunting and poaching going on.
I know there are still some cultures that actually celebrate the killing of animals. I am with the rest of the world that wants these practices stopped. I applaud celebrities such as Ally Walker, Ricky Gervais, Pauley Perrette, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Ellen DeGeneres who are the most outspoken for animal rights. With their star power, I am hopeful that we shall be successful in ending the barbaric practices such as Yulin Meat Festival, trophy hunting and poaching.
If you feel as I do, join Twitter or even Instagram to feel and be a part of this wonderful animal community. Some people may think it is weird but they are part of society that feels that animals are just animals. We in the animal community find them weird for not loving animals the way that we do. I wholeheartedly disagree with that part of society. To know true unconditional love is to love an animal with all of your heart. You grow a bond with that animal and cherish every moment because your time with them is fleeting because they do not live long lifespans. We are their whole entire world and it truly is a treasure to feel that kind of love.
With this time where everyone is whining about something and calling everyone a racist for one reason or another, I am speaking up for those of us in the animal community. I am not going to continue to stand for it. I will speak my mind and spell out why. Hopefully that makes some people look at this view in a different light. This post may help others that have lost a pet and felt ridiculed because they were told that it was just an animal. Join me and start thinking outside the box. Look at things from both sides with an open mind.