Yesterday was a weird, weird day.
I woke up absolutely drenched in sweat. My clothes and all my bedding were just sopping wet. It was super gross and uncomfortable. I’m guessing that it was an effect of the edible, which is another reason I don’t ever want to do that again.
I still felt some of the lingering effects of it throughout the day too. I wasn’t still high but I just felt incredibly “off” and out of sorts.
I took another box of clothes and shoes to my friend who is starting over with nothing after being in prison. I had a really interesting conversation with her about prison. The fact that she wound up there in the first place really terrifies me when I think about how close I once came to the same.
She was charged with “conspiracy” to sell drugs but they didn’t produce a single bit of evidence against her. She was just associated with people the government suspected of selling drugs.
Something she told me that I hadn’t known was that the federal government wins 97 percent of the cases they file against individuals and if you try to fight it, it almost always results in ending up with you getting much, much longer sentences. I think I’ll be researching and advocating for prison reform in the future.
But then my day continued to be weird. I did the first really big thing with my life insurance money that I’m not sure J would’ve approved of and I still feel worried about: I wrote a check to my friend to pay off all her debts. (It was a little over $10k.)
Part of why I did it is because I know she’s changed her ways a lot. And another big reason why is because she’s living without air conditioning and that is having a profoundly negative effect on both her son and her husband. Her husband is at the same mental state I was in before I left Michigan, which is just totally defeated and pretty much giving up on life. I really wanted to give her a way out because I know how much it meant to me when I was given the same.
But then my friend did something that really rubbed me the wrong way and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. We were sitting with her and all her cats (she has a lot.) One of them was so super snuggly, especially with Dyl’s girlfriend Savannah. I asked if we could adopt it and my friend said that we could.
We went to the grocery store chain that Dylan loved while he was away at college and we were happily talking about what we’d name the cat. And Savannah was SO happy that she would have a cat to snuggle with whenever she came over to our house.
Then all of a sudden, my friend sends me a text message, saying that her husband loves that cat and therefore we actually can’t have it.
Sav was heartbroken and so were Dyl and I.
And honestly, I do understand having a special relationship with a pet. And I also understand why her husband in particular needs that.
But I also kinda felt like they already have so many cats, I don’t see why it would be so hard to give one up. And I honestly still don’t understand that, even though I have cats myself and love them. Maybe because I have cats and I love them so much. I don’t put myself in situations where the number of them I have so severely limits my options.
The number of cats she has far exceeds the limits of any lease, which means she has no choice but to buy a house. And I don’t understand that at all. I have always kept my own personal pets limited to a number far less than I would like because I can’t afford to buy a house to be able to move.
I mean, I could have bought Dylan a pretty freaking nice used car with that money instead!
She said that all the cats are like family, so she can’t give any of them up. But meanwhile she’s spending in excess of $400 a month just on pet meds and cat litter. I don’t see how that’s sustainable on their income and it is going to limit them in buying a home and saving up for emergencies.
Honestly, I was pissed that I had just given her a check large enough to pay off every one of her debts and her husband was more focused on losing a cat than on the check I had given. I’m still pissed and I don’t know what to do about that.
It’s not that I felt entitled to a cat in exchange for my check. But it’s also a stray that they took in and he’s not part of all her other cats who are related to each other. And it really, really sucked that I had to deal with Sav’s sadness at not getting the cat after we’d already been told we could have it because she’s faced so many hardships.
Furthermore, seeing that she’s not willing to part with any of the cats just seems so financially irresponsible. I am finding it harder and harder to imagine a good outcome of me paying off all their debts because she’s not willing to look at the expenses associated with having that many cats and consider possibly giving some of them up.
I realized that her problems are actually two-fold: both the amount of debt she had but also the number of cats. She doesn’t see the cats as a problem but they are, because they limit her housing options so much.
If it came down to giving up most of my cats to get my family in better living conditions, I would. And I believe in general that pets are family and lifelong responsibilities. But I would never let my husband and children suffer for the sake of protecting my cats.
I just keep feeling like J’s disappointed in me and I think I might have made the wrong decision, just because I’m too nice and I want to save their marriage and let them be more comfortable. But maybe that wasn’t my job. And I feel like the fact that she wouldn’t even part with ONE cat bodes poorly for her financial future.
I hope I’m wrong but I just don’t feel good about it anymore.