They Won’t Have Us

I’ve been told by everyone in my “safety” that I won’t be allowed to live with them. And why? Because of Mario. My little cat Mario is the one element that seems to turn everyone away. I rescued this cat, just when I needed something to rescue, just when I needed something and someone to rely on. I’ve had moments where there wasn’t enough food for me, but I made damn sure she had something to eat. And now, as Mario and I are leaving this damned property 20 miles from nothing, no one will have us. Is it simply her? Or is there something deeper being spoken by anyone and everyone who is aware of my situation? Is Mario the issue? Or is it simply easier to use her as an excuse for why I can’t be saved?

Can’t be saved?

Did I really just write that? I have a bag of clothes and a cat. That’s all I have. And those in those places I once considered heartfelt reject me at every turn because, I think, all I have is a bag of clothes. Mario is an excuse. And even if she weren’t, wouldn’t any great, loving human in my circle, in those I cling to for hope find some way to deal with a quiet feline who is as afraid of life as I am right now?

I’ll take care of her before I take care of myself.

To quote someone deplorable recently, “Put her down. She won’t survive in the woods without you. And you can’t move on with her….”

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9 comments

  1. Dude! I lost my job last year and when I ran out of money and didn’t have anywhere to go, my cats were a “obstacle.” My own mother and boyfriend told me I’d be better off getting rid of them — MY CATS! One I adopted as a kitten and one I found crying and hurt in the rain. What the hell is wrong with people?

    Glad you’ve found a place with your cat. I never found anyone to live with. I kept my cats (fuck everybody who thought I should get rid of them). Through some miracle of GOD I’m still in my apartment, though also still jobless. But I have hope.

    Seriously, how can people suggest you get rid of your cat? I’ve been in as deep a depression as one can go, and I made a commitment to a little furry creature that I’d take care of it. And for someone to tell you that you can’t even do that anymore? To try to take that away from you? How can they not understand that thats all you have left? People kill me.

    1. I love your willingness to remember the greater good. And I assure you, the person who made the comment about putting Mario down is someone with whom I no longer keep contact. No matter how hard they try. My last response to them was, “I’m anxious for the day you’re not feeling well…..So I can put you down and take you out of your misery. Life got you beat? Don’t think you can handle the pressure? By all means, let me put you down then…..since you won’t be able to survive in the harsh environment….”
      Here’s to loving instinct of animals. Cheers!

  2. I spent the better part of my teen years living on the street with my faithful Rottie at my side. She always had the premium petstore quality dog food and always got her shots. Eventually I did have to give her up because I had a baby to take care of and couldn’t rent a place with her. It broke my heart, but I gave her back to my brother who had her mother. Good for you standing up for Mario. 🙂

    1. I had no choice, you know? Mario stood up for me when all I needed to keep myself alive was something to care for. She rocks….and has never questioned why she has a boy’s name. 🙂

  3. As someone who adamantly would walk barefoot across broken glass for her cat, the fact that someone told you to put her down (her only options are death or abandonment in the woods?) makes me so very sad. This isn’t an inanimate object like a paper bag, it’s a friend, with personality and feelings and love and comfort on lonely nights. I took my cat with me on location for work last year; I flat out said I would only go if he could come with me (since I’m his human). It wasn’t even a thought to leave him with others or give him up, and had they told me no I would have told them no.

    I’m glad you have a furry friend to experience life with; it makes a cold night a bit less cold. I’m also glad things are going better for you and you found you way to Orlando after this post.

    1. I recall so often, that intensely personal and inseperable idea of the “deamon” in The Golden Compass. Mario and I understand each other, have been through heaven and hell togethar, and are reassured often that we both rely on each other when people fail us.

  4. Dear Gregory,

    My comment is perhaps 5 1/2 months late, but once I read this blog entry I had to say something. For God’s sake. I have a little black and white cat named Callie, who looks a lot like your Mario. Callie is the epitome of love and snuggling and ridiculously cute cat behaviour and she drives me crazy. She is my “velcro” cat, in that she comes running when I walk in the door; needs her kisses not as soon as I’m able, she needs them NOW; and has slept and cuddled up or been stuck to me like glue somehow for the past seven years. About the only time she’s not hanging off of me is when I’m in the shower or racing up and down the hallway in the middle of the night (also chasing Q-tips). I took her in as a favour to a friend over Christmas and we fell in love and that was that.

    Almost three years ago, I was in the position of having to move from the place I had lived in for over a decade. While looking for a new apartment I was discouraged by the tiny number of places that would allow pets, and the seeming hypocrisy of places that allowed tenants to smoke but not own a cat. I thought about what I would do if I couldn’t find a place in time–if I had to move without her, what would I do? Who could I give her to? I didn’t want to surrender her to a shelter; she was 9 years old at the time and I’d adopted her when she was 5 and knowing that she could live another 15 years with me. I think it’s unfair that just because I don’t have the privilege or financial wherewithal of owning my own home that I should be barred from making a commitment to care for another living being. If I’d had a kid it would have been easier to find a place to live, and kids are WAY messier/noisier/stinkier than cats…

    The main reason I couldn’t live (somewhere) without her is that she’s my friend. I love all seven furry pounds, one fuzzy butt, twitchy tail and four pokey feet of her. I live by myself and I’m single (not a crying shame kind of thing, but it’s a fact, so there it is) so she’s what I come home to. If I had to give her up–or live without a cat, when she goes–I’d be lonely. Some people say about this kind of thing, “Oh, it’s just an animal, get over it”–but it’s different when something as cute and friendly and charming as she is depends on you for companionship and survival. I depend on her. She’s a dinner-plate-sized ball of love and without her, my heart and home would be so empty.

    So, what I am rambling on about to say is that I understand where you’re coming from when you won’t move somewhere without Mario. She’s not just a feline, she’s a four-legged, meowing source of good feelings and cheap home therapy. She is a source of comfort in the dregs and one of love when all else seems to go wrong. She is company, solace, and entertainment rolled into one. She is a creature who depends on you to love and care for her, for her well-being. The payback is that in return you get all of the things I wrote about above, which are a priceless anchor when life is a storm.

    Good luck to you, and I hope things definitely turn around for you and Mario. If, upon cleaning out my yarn stash, I come across something that needs a new home in the shape of a bear or part of a blanket, can I send something to you? I’m not sure what extra I’ve got lying around (and it will pale in comparison to that Lion Brand box you just received!) but I’ll be glad to send it to someone who needs it more than I do. You can send your address to my email, which I think you’ll see if you moderate my post.

    Best,

    Kate

    1. You see? I wish more people understood how valuable our animals were to us. They’re not accessories to tote around to have people notice YOU. THEY’RE LIVING BEINGS! Feelings, personalities, quirks. I’ve never been this attached to an animal. I think it really comes all the way down to history. She was with me the whole time things crumbled and she didn’t ditch me. She was with me when I had to go out in the woods. Never left my side. She’s been through this ordeal with me. She’s the only one who experienced right along side me. We’ve come to rely on each other. We’ve come to trust each other. I couldn’t imagine things without her.
      I’m looking into getting a PO box. I’ll email you when I get it ready. This way, no matter where I end up, I can still get mail. 🙂

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