It is Autumn in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and I’m starting to dismantle and clean up my expansive summer garden to prepare for the impending upstate New York winter. I have lived in this new house for close to a year now, and I truly can’t believe how quickly time passes.
Like the readers of Catnip, I live with cats of various ages and different backgrounds — but the same reality exists for all of them. What would happen to them if something happened to me?
It’s a sobering thought (probably morbid to some), and just like many people, I avoid worrying too much about it, assuming things will work out when the time comes. At present, I know that my family would step forward and take care of my cats if that ever became a necessity.
The house and my other tangible possessions are taken care of on paper; but as of now, there is no official and legal plan created for my pets.
Sometimes, as the executive editor of this publication, I feel like I should always be one step ahead of this information — certainly, I should have already completed what we are encouraging our readership to do! But I also possess the human quality of thinking, “That could never happen to me.”
Well, disability happens to some, and death happens to all. So I am going to take the sage advice presented in the article, “Estate Planning and Your Pets,” and take the necessary steps to make sure that there is a sound back-up plan for when the time comes (for one thing, willing family members today may not be in the same position years from now). This includes not only the rehoming part, but also the potentially large financial obligation it requires to take good care of a pet for a decade or more.
I don’t want my pets — not those today, and not those in the future — to end up being statistics in a local animal shelter. It is estimated that half a million beloved pets end up in shelters each year after an owner passes. The thought of that possibility is far more sobering than the fear of my own mortality! So let’s all be proactive this season, and sleep well at night — with our beloved cats curled up right beside us.