Most people wouldn’t think of southern Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada as part of the wild West. But it was. We have place names like 17 Mile House and 6 Mile House that marked the stops of the old stagecoach routes. Goldstream is the name of a street as well as a provincial park that referred to a “small gold rush” in the basin of that river in the 1860’s. A ghost town on the coast, Leechtown, also had a small gold rush then and gold flakes are still found in that area.
At times I think the spirit of the Wild West lives on here. Typically I think this when I have a Twit in a Truck Tailgating me. A honkin’ big truck and me in a tiny import car. Ride ‘em cowboy! I use the mini-history and the sarcasm to distract from the grim reality. Wouldn’t take much for this to be deadly — a deer dashing in front of my car could do it. And if cowboy killed me, what would happen to my cats?
I live alone and take care of a bunch of rescue cats. What would happen to them if I was suddenly out of the picture? And how would anyone even know to do something about them? A number of them are seniors and the majority are feral (wild). That doesn’t make for easy adoption. Feral cats are frequently homed on farms to be barn cats. Some of mine grew up scavenging and apparently didn’t learn to hunt. Where would they go?
Although considering your own mortality is an unpleasant scenario, if you truly care for your animals you should have a plan in place for them in the event of your unexpected exit from this world. About a year ago on Facebook someone was frantically posting to find homes for horses within a couple days. The owner had died, his heir didn’t want them and they were scheduled to be taken to slaughter in just days.
Having family around at your demise doesn’t guarantee your animals will be looked after.
Just to give you some ideas I’ll tell you about my plan which provides for many of my questions asked a couple paragraphs above. Some time ago, I arranged with another rescuer, to rehome the cats and execute my will. Recently, I arranged with yet another rescuer to be back up in case the first was temporarily unavailable. I wear a medical wrist band from icetag (In Case of Emergency) Canada with both their names and numbers. This wrist band is easy for emergency personnel or even good samaritans to locate. I also have an actual ICE key tag that I haven’t determined where to place.
Although both rescuers have been told where to find the spare keys, I have a hidden (can be only accessed by the link I give them) page in my website with info on where to find keys and phone numbers of both rescuers. I will be updating this with photos of the cats listing approximate ages, disabilities, hunting ability. A life insurance policy with the first rescuer as beneficiary should help with funding.
Next step is to give the rescuers’ names and phone numbers to the landlord and landlady. I will probably talk about the Twit in the Tailgating Truck so that they don’t wonder if I am terminally ill or moving house.
Already, I am feeling more peace of mind, knowing I have done what I can to ensure the cats’ well being if they outlive me.
originally posted on IBOsocial, 2014