Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Conflicting Voices

Within my value system, certain rules stand out, and in this situation with Harry, I have arrived at an impasse.
Rule One: Teach by example and stay consistent in your actions and in your words.
Rule Two: Now that I am a mother, my daughter comes first.
Rule Three: The way a person treats other living non-human things is a good indicator as to what kind of human they are.

I love Harry. I have raised him for the last eight years, since he was a kitten. He taught me how to care for another being who needs you, and he trained me so I am now a better parent than I may have been otherwise.

In a way, Harry is my first born, part of our unconventional family.

I am in fact a single parent, and the sole financial supporter of our family. The money I have spent and will spend on keeping Harry alive essentially comes out of Raphaela's pocket.

I want to teach Raphaela the value of helping others and service to the community, so I work as a Chiropractor and try to help people feel better. I want to teach Raphaela that you don't euthanize your pet just because he isn't human and because his hopefully temporary illness has become a financial, emotional and temporal inconvenience.

I want to teach my child that we sacrifice for the ones we love, and that the price of that sacrifice is worthwhile.

I am disgusted by those Israelis who tire of their pet and drop them off at the side of the highway, hoping they will get run over. I could never look myself in the eyes if I became one of those people.

And yet, we are leaving for the United States in about a week, and will be gone for almost three weeks. How can I leave him in the care of a cat sitter, knowing that she may become overwhelmed by the specialized care he needs? How can I deal with my own feelings of not wanting Harry to vandalize the house, because he is both ill and cooped up for too long?

When I went to the veterinarian with Harry last night, I prepared myself for the very real possibility that like Sarel before him, no treatment would help and I would have to decide whether to put him to sleep. Today Harry is alive and very possibly improved, but there is that practical mother's voice saying, "Cut your losses, can you really handle this feline and your child and the trip and your work? Your daughter comes first."

The conflicting feelings comes from that part of me that almost wishes that the decision had been made for me, by nature.

1 comment:

koshergourmetmart said...

I know you love your cat very much and appreciate what he has done for you but your daughter takes precedent over Harry. How will you feel if you need something for your daughter that is vital and you cannot get it b/c you spent $$$ on Harry? If harry is in pain it is sometimes more of a chesed to let him die than let him suffer (I know based on your recent post he is not). If he is suffering it is not much of a life for him.