Every now and again I think about you, and I can’t help but feel sad. You didn’t deserve what happened to you, but I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. I knew I was broke and I knew that I couldn’t afford to have a pet, so when I found you as a little kitten, I should have taken you to the pound or found a home for you where someone else could take care of you. But I didn’t have anything that made me happy, and you made me smile.
You were so small and cute. You were so much fun, tearing up the house and lapping up milk. I know that the canned meats weren’t the healthiest things I could feed you, but I could afford them with Food Stamps.
When you got sick, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t afford to take you to the vet. I tried to take care of you myself, but you were just so sick. I didn’t know what to do, so I took you outside, put you in a little box, and left you there. I couldn’t handle your dying on me. I left you alone, scared, sick. I’d had you for several months, and I loved you, but I left you alone. I didn’t even put you somewhere close by, because I didn’t want to look and see where I’d left you.
Sometimes, when I get really sad about what I did, I pretend that you’re still alive. I pretend that someone found you, took care of you, took you in, made you well, took you to the vet, fed you good food, did all the things I should have done for you.
But the truth is, that probably didn’t happen. You probably died, alone, scared, terrified. And it’s my fault. I am so sorry I did that to you.
I’ve not allowed myself to have another pet because of you, Misty. It’s not fair for me to have that pleasure when I didn’t do right by you. But now, my children want a cat, and they found this little grey tabby, who looks just a bit like you—but maybe that’s just my guilt thinking that—and I feel so guilty every time I look at her.
So I’m writing this to you to say I’m sorry. If you really are at the Rainbow Bridge, then maybe one day I can tell you how sorry I am when I see you again. I wish I had saved you. I wish I’d done the right thing. But this time, I will. This time, I can afford a pet, and I will take good care of the new kitten. I hope you don’t mind, won’t think I’m undeserving after what I did to you.
I’m so sorry, little Misty Kitty. I hope wherever you are, you’re happy and maybe you can forgive me for not being brave enough or strong enough to do what was right for you.
~~Amanda Barnes is a pet lover who made a mistake when she was young, but writing this letter is something she hopes will bring some light to others who might find themselves in a similar position. There are organizations that will help people who cannot afford to take care of their pets during an illness, and local animal shelters also will usually assist in certain circumstances. The Human Society has more information about how to get assistance with veterinary help for your pets if you can’t afford it. Visit them here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_veterinary_care.html – Amanda only wishes she had known about this so many years ago.