Why we’re shipping Jeff’s cats, and what we’ll do with the money
It seems inevitable, in almost any situation, that someone will take umbrage with a decision you have made. Most certainly we live in the age of “you’re doing it wrong”.
This is particularly painful when you’re doing something you think is not only right but right in a bigger sense. Right because it’s morally right. Good. The right thing to do. But as I am eternally fond of saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”.
Someone found their way to my original post via twitter and, in a series of comments, let me know this decision to ship Jeff’s cats, Bert & Buddy, was dumb. Worse than that, our asking for help in this endeavor was shady. There are shelters in Seattle, people who adopt cats in Seattle. The person who’s adopting Bert & Buddy, if she’s such a good person, giving them such a good home, then she should be able to pay for them all alone. The guy who owned the cats, the guy who died, if he loved them as much as we say he did, he should have taken care of them before he killed himself. His family, what about his family, they should be taking care of everything. Right? RIGHT????
So here I am, spending my lunch hour, writing this so I can explain a few things.
Jeff loved his cats. That’s something we know.
When I read Jeff’s note on tumblr, I felt sick and helpless, in that chest-searing way that feels like someone has carved out every bit of insideness, as if they were making a smooth canoe in the small cavern of my ribcage, the wood tight and too hot to touch. Totally helpless. Could I have done something? Could anyone? Could I do something now? Anything? Nothing? I didn’t know. The last line, the aloneness, was the worst, the most painful, the most white-hot.
A few hours later Bailey and I texted, and we thought about his cats. We thought about them because he mentioned them, and because we love cats. Lisa had tweeted about trying to find a home for them, and Bailey mentioned adopting them if she could ship them down here. Without a second thought, I told her I would help her get the money.
I don’t think I should have to explain this but I will because this is how we do things now:
These cats are a part of a friend, who we lost.
If we scatter them, put them in a shelter where we hope they will be adopted, give money to the shelter to support them: We could do that. Who knows what would happen. We could work to find them homes. They might stay together, they might be adopted separately. We’d probably never know. Then we move on, and that’s that.
But here was a friend, a part of this internet community, this funny thing we have that is sometimes wonderful and sometimes horrible and sometimes neither of those things but just is, who was offering to take both cats. And here I thought: We should all pay for this. Not just one person. We should all pay to take care of these creatures Jeff loved because that is the least we can do, goddammit. I was hoping we’d raise enough to ship the cats. If there was a little extra for food and litter, then that would be great.
But then a crazy thing happened. You guys happened. By the time I started writing this post, we’d raised over $2100.
I think what happened is our collective sense of helplessness poured out. Maybe. I don’t know. We didn’t know what to do so we tried to rescue these cats and support them and put them somewhere they’d still be in the circle of people we knew, where we’d feel like, “You know, maybe that would make Jeff happy.” And we are all paying to support those cats. Not just one person. All of us. Because in a way we’re all coming together to try and honor this person in the way that we hope would mean the most to him.
Because I do not like to be called shady, and because I really didn’t expect to get more than a few hundred dollars, I want you to know what we plan to do with the money. Our plan with the funds is as follows:
- ship the cats from Seattle to their new home in San Francisco
- pay for any necessary vet bills, vaccinations, etc.
- factor costs for food, litter, flea medicine, etc. (possibly months, possibly a year, maybe more, because cats require love and care for a long time)
If there are excess funds, we are going to figure out a way to donate the money to something that makes sense. Possibly an animal shelter in Seattle, possibly a mental health organization. Open to suggestions.
Truly, neither I nor Bailey (and this was not her idea to ask, it was mine) had any idea you would all be so generous. We thank you for being amazing. In my mind, I think we want to help Jeff’s cats have a happy life in a good place because we couldn’t help Jeff have a happier life, as sad and uncomfortable as that is to think, and this is the best we can do and a way we can honor him right now.
For those of you who do not agree with bringing the cats to San Francisco, who think we should have left the cats in a shelter, who think whatever it is you think: Please familiarize yourself a little more with Jeff’s story and please, please have a little bit of respect for friends who are trying to do a good deed for a dead friend.
73 Notes/ Hide
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- vena-cava reblogged this from ohheygreat and added:
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- goestoeleven said: Thank you for what you are doing. Some people are shit. But what you’re doing is fantastic.
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- roothakers said: People are the worst. You guys are awesome.
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- atsween said: Well said.
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- redcloud said: I went and read the comments. What an assdouche! Fuck this person. So. Angry. Now.
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- muffpunch said: Some of that money came from me, and I don’t think you owe any explanation of how the donations will be spent. It was given freely and willingly so that there might be some sort of good from a really sad situation. I love and hate the internet.
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- guillee said: What the actual fuck is wrong with some people, seriously? Unbelievable.