Would you, as a cat caretaker, commit suicide?
In the news this week there has been a story about a desperate woman who could not afford to stay in the house she had lived in for eighteen years, she was only in her early fifties but unable to work through illness and since her son and daughter had moved out and she lived alone it was decided by the powers that be that she was no longer entitled to full help for a three bedroomed house and she was told she would have to find an extra £20 a week rent. This she could not do, as it was she couldn’t afford to feed herself, she had actually told a neighbour that she could no longer afford to live.
This lady had lived a happy family life in the house, a single mother she had brought up her children there, had friends around her and didn’t want to leave her home and garden where the cats she had shared her life with over the years had been buried, neighbours said she used to like to sit in her garden in peace, in the sun, and remember her cats. She also had a cat, Joey, at the time of her death and it’s said that on the morning she died she left him in her house, locked the door and put a note with her keys through a neighbour’s letterbox and then walked to her death on a motorway.
I find this so, so sad and it’s stayed in my mind because I keep thinking how desperate she must have been, to leave her cat, her family and her beloved home, to take her own life, and it made me wonder what other people’s opinions are on taking this way out and more or less abandoning her cat?
Speaking for myself, if I was ever inclined to commit suicide (and I think I would have to be more desperate than I’ve ever been so far in my life to even consider it, and I have had my moments of total despair from time to time) I know I wouldn’t be able to do it if by doing it I was leaving a cat, or a person, worse off for my passing.
So, is it selfish to kill yourself if you have a cat (or dog) totally relying on you for food and shelter, or is it forgivable if you’re desperate enough, or maybe does it comes down to mental health where the poor soul was incapable of behaving rationally and so couldn’t see any other way out?