DEAR ABBY: I think I'm losing my sanity -- or am I being extremely sensitive?
My husband of nine months and I were having a discussion recently regarding a newspaper article we had read about a man who drowned trying to save his wife in the ocean. Unable to swim, he dove in, trying to save the life of his love, and they both drowned.
I foolishly asked my husband if he would try to save me if I was drowning, and got a very unexpected response. He told me that if it appeared that both of us would drown, he would not jump in to save me.
We have one child together, and he is the stepfather to my three children. When I asked him if he'd jump in to try to save his infant son, he immediately replied, "Yes." When I asked him to explain why he wouldn't die trying to save the love of his life, he stated that in all lifesaving classes, people are taught to evaluate the situation (i.e., make sure the rescuer wouldn't also die) before trying to save another life.
I'm sorry, but I would die trying to save my four children or him, for that matter, even if I had less than a 1 percent chance of living through the ordeal. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I didn't at least try to save a loved one.
Please tell me I'm not crazy. Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic, but something seems very wrong here. -- HURTING HEART
DEAR HURTING HEART: You are neither crazy nor hopeless. However, you should be aware that it is impossible for a person to project accurately what he or she "would" do in a life-threatening emergency. In other words, if your husband were to see you going down for the third time, there's no telling for certain that he wouldn't throw caution to the wind. And as you're the mother of four children, there's also no guarantee that you'd jeopardize your own safety to pull him from a burning building.
My advice to you, for the sake of your marriage, is to stop playing "What if?"
DEAR ABBY: My question concerns two stray cats, one male, one female, who appeared at my back door within the last year or so. Both are somewhat timid, but look as though they are in good health, aside from being very hungry. They don't bother my other cats, and it's no problem for me to feed and shelter them.
Here's the problem: Neither of these animals has been "fixed." I have made numerous attempts to find the owners, with newspaper ads and walking the neighborhood, but no one has come forward. I would like to take them both to the vet, but since I'm not sure there is an owner, I don't know if this is the "proper" thing to do.
I hate to think of the number of unwanted kittens that could be created because of this type of neglect, but do I have the right to do this to an animal that isn't really mine? -- KITTY LOVER
DEAR KITTY LOVER: If you are feeding and sheltering the cats, and no one in the neighborhood knows to whom they belong and no one has answered your newspaper ads -- then the cats were probably dumped or left behind by their owners. By all means have them neutered. You'll be doing your little furry friends an enormous favor -- not to mention acting like a responsible and generous adoptive parent. Bless you!
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