Arts & Leisure

Dear Homeward Bound: Too old for a cat?

Dear Homeward Bound,
I have a weird question for you. My grandma lives alone now since my grandpa died last year. She’s been talking about wanting to get a cat and I don’t want to hurt her feelings but I worry about if it is a good idea since she is really old too and might not live that long. What would happen to the cat?
Dear Curious,
Thank you for asking this hard question. I’m glad you are thinking about it but please don’t worry yourself too much; you’re a kid and you should enjoy being a kid while you can!
One thing you could do is talk to a grown-up who is close to your grandma and see if they are willing to make sure the cat has a place to go if something happens to her. Lots of people make special parts of their wills (the piece of paper that says what happens to your stuff when you die) so that their pets are safe; maybe your grandma already has that. Family members and friends often step up and offer to care for a pet after his or her person dies and this can often be a great arrangement since the pet may already know the person.
It can also be a good idea for your grandma to adopt an older cat rather than a kitten — who might drive her crazy running around playing all night anyway. Older animals make wonderful companions for older folks as they often like the same things — naps!
There are different ways to handle the problem you are worrying about — like most problems the best thing to do is start talking about it with your mom or dad or someone else close to your grandma and let them know that you think it’s really important to make sure there is plan if something happens. Most humane societies, including Homeward Bound, will always take back an animal who has been adopted but for the pet that can be stressful so having a Plan B for where he or she can go is always best.
Thanks for being such a thoughtful kid!
Homeward Bound

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