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In Case of Emergency: Have a Back-Up Plan

October 4, 2011

Image courtesy jetalone

Recently the cerebellar hypoplasia cat community lost one of it’s own. An acquaintance died a sudden, tragic death — but there was one thing that made it just a bit less tragic. She was prepared.

Kim had the foresight to have a plan of action for her 11 cats and 2 dogs in case anything would happen to her. And thank goodness she did. The moment she passed, those involved in her plan flew into action. Thankfully, now Kim’s fur-family members are all safe.

While it may be a morbid topic, it really is the most practical and kind thing you can do for your pets. What a wonderful way to show them how much you love them by making sure they’re in good hands — even if those hands aren’t yours.

Where to start? Here are some tips and things to keep in mind (thanks to Debbie and the CH Kitty Club!):

  • Begin to think about who you would like to be your kitties’ future guardian. The obvious first choice may be a spouse or family member, which is fine, but then choose a back-up in case something happens to you and that person at the same time.
  • Have a conversation and agreement with all future guardians about your concerns and wishes. Make sure these are understood, and if possible, get them in writing. If you have a will, you’ll most likely want to include this in there. If you don’t, please consider making one and including these very important wishes.
  • Don’t be surprised if those who immediately come to mind aren’t interested in helping. You’ll need to appreciate their honesty since pets, especially ones with special needs, are a big responsibility. If that’s the case, it’s best that you know now, so you can come up with a plan that works for everyone.
  • That said, be considerate and don’t rely on those in the CH kitty community to automatically take in or adopt out your pets. Remember that they’re already quite busy with the dozens, more likely hundreds, of special needs cats that are in an immediate need of rescue — and they don’t have any other options.
  • If you’re comfortable with the idea, give your pets’ future guardian a set of your house keys. (After all, you’ll never know when something will happen.) Also consider putting away some money that the future guardian can use to take care of your pets (food, any vet bills, medications, etc.).

While it may be a bit uncomfortable for you to consider your future, focus on your pets’ future comfort instead. Otherwise, the likely and unfortunate consequence is pretty obvious: Your pets may likely be dropped off at the nearest shelter where they will likely be put down.

So give it some time to settle in, and take the first step. Begin a conversation with your (human) loved ones, so your (furry) loved ones will always be safe.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 10:25 am

    So glad those babies are safe..I have a plan with my mom…thank you for the useful info

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