Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Shouldn't you be doing something for me right now?
Diagnosed Mortal #3
How peculiar to be human beings and find ourselves in relationship to our adopted fur families. It is like you blink and all of a sudden there are these pelted, fathered and scaled beings afoot. In my case, I pretend a sort of reluctance to participate in their care and feeding and secretly worship the earth they represent. My caregivers. My roommates. They are domesticated earthly ambassadors...they speak on behalf of the part of me that will always be related to the earth and the benevolence that radiates from that source. That is what my two cats are to me. If there is anything tangible about my relationship to the earth, it is reflected in my relationship with these animals.
This essay was written on January 2, 2017. It is the 3rd of 20 essays from the series, Diagnosed Mortal.
Almost everyone I know has a pet of some kind and I would bet less than 20% have given much thought to what would happen to their beloved friends should they expire, let alone written their care into their estate planning. Even if you do not put anything in writing, it should be discussed because most animals put in a regular shelter - especially if they are older animals - will be euthanized almost immediately (60% of dogs and 70% cats; 3 to 4 million annually. That is over 900, 000 animals a day!) At the very least take the time to find your local no kill shelters to give your animal a chance to be adopted, if no friend or family can help out. A small amount of money put aside and arrangements for the animal to be examined, given flea drops and bathed gives your confused and displaced pet a chance at a decent retirement from having to put up with your shenanigans all of their lives.
This from National Cremation:
We recommend following the Humane Society’s process for “pet estate planning.” The steps include:
Find a replacement caretaker and at least one backup caretaker.
Establish expectations and provide important information related to your pets’ care, and make it easy to find after your passing.
Set aside a fund to cover your pets’ expenses and make this part of your will.
Formalize any agreements rather than relying on informal or verbal commitments. The ASPCA Pet Protection Agreement available on LegalZoom is a good way to do this.
Create a trust fund for the pet, with a trustee whose role is to administer the fund and check on the pets’ care and well-being.
Have a plan in mind when working with an attorney to make will provisions and set up trust funds.
Yes...it seems like a lot but consider how you feel about your pet and they, you; consider the reality of their fate if something happens to you. Even if only two of the above things on the list are done, you will be a decent human deserving of the love of an animal and a peaceful rest after you have collapsed...Goals.
Brian Wilson with Various Artists, Pet sounds, God Only Knows
I chose this song for the obvious reasons ...the title of the album, the sentiment of the song in how I feel about the devotion of my animals...and this particular video? How lush, like the tune, and the celebs?...I'm a fangirl and...Well, the tiger on the piano was too much! It spoke to me! It felt so perfect....
For the curious: this Blogpost explains my motivation and intention for this series of 20 essays in the Diagnosed Mortal series.