Those that know us know that we love animals. We're long past the "crazy" definition, with 4 Chihuahuas and 16 cats. For all intents, we run our own pet shelter, but without the benefit of a tax break since we're not a non-profit. The cats (and half the dogs) are rescues. The bulk of the cats "found" us either thanks to some human dumping them on our country road, or via Liz's work in fostering cats or trap neuter release work.
Our furry herd has grown over the years, with a crash course introduction in 2006 when Sage and Silvers (two mom cats) showed up late one evening with their very small kittens in need of food, cleaning and care. A trip to the local pound would have probably meant 24 hours of life before receiving the death penalty, so we kept them, and that gave us a 7 cat starter kit. Sage came with a tattered ear and evidence that she'd survived a past encounter with a car, yet it never phased her. She's been the cat in charge since she arrived.
It's a lot of work to take care of so many, but we have our systems in place, and if you didn't know we had so many critters, you wouldn't know otherwise. Our home doesn't smell like a zoo (LOTS of litter boxes and they get scooped daily). A dedicated washer/dryer set in the basement just for the pets. Hardwood floors throughout our home.
Liz puts a lot of work into keeping things just so and she does the breakfast feeding and I take care of the dinner wave.
Our furry ones don't lack for anything and we've been the unofficial sponsor of more than one vet clinic wing over the years (and all this time you thought I work dual career engineer/real estate agent just to build a big retirement fund??).
The cats and dogs love us and we love them. And that means sometimes we have to make some ridiculously hard choices with input from our vet advisors. It's that razor's edge between doing everything that can be done to heal a sick pet and recognizing it's no longer in the pet's best interest to allow them to continue to fight a painful battle that can't be won.
So we honor the promise we make to each pet, to care for them from start to finish, fight back the tears and the pain and we do the right thing.