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Thread: Foster failure? And hard decisions. LONG.

  1. #1

    Foster failure? And hard decisions. LONG.

    I have a confession to make. For the last few months, we have been a single-cat household. My husband is disabled, and for a time we have been forced to accept free housing arrangements with an in-law.

    Charlie and Sherpa did not adapt. They BOTH started peeing around the house, on soft surfaces and in the sink. I ran urine and blood tests, I got them on urinary tract health food, I played with them relentlessly to keep them tired and entertained, I set up cat trees and shelves all over the house, I put out extra litterboxes, switched to cat attract litter, kept the boxes VERY clean, put them on anti-anxiety medication, I have spent the last year trying EVERYTHING I could think of.

    Sherpa was harassing Charlie constantly, mounting and chasing her. He would corner her and pin her down repeatedly, bite on her neck and pull out her fur.

    Charlie HATED Kyubey. She would snarl and hiss if he ever came into her line of sight, and if he walked around a corner and into her she would attack - claws out, serious business.

    My mother in law was understandably upset about the ruined couches, pillows, and carpets, and she was more patient than I had any right to ask her to be while I did my very best to sort the situation out.

    Finally, my husband told me that all of the pandemonium was stressing him out to the point of making him ill.

    I spent two months trying to find them a home myself. I talked to my customers. I contacted every rescue I've worked with. Not only would none of them help, I faced some horrible commentary on my ability to care for my animals, since I was "dumping" Charlie and Sherpa.

    Finally, I filled out a surrender application at our local no-kill shelter. Even though I was 100% honest about the inappropriate urination, they were willing to take them in. It was, hands-down, the hardest thing I've ever done...leaving them there. Happily, they were both adopted into single-cat households, and I get periodic updates. Neither of them has had any inappropriate urination problems. Charlie has some out of her shell and become a lap cat(which she never was at our house). Sherpa is as cuddly as ever with his new people, and they ADORE him.

    The problem now is that Kyubey is despondent as an only cat. He cries any time he's not with someone, whether we're sleeping or just in the other room. He's spent the last few months prowling around seeming to look for his friends. (or friend anyways, since Sherpa was the only one who would tolerate him) He's not eating much. And....he LOVES mama cat. And she loves him.

    I feel like a horrible person for even thinking about adding another cat right now. I failed my last two miserably. I don't know what I could have done better, but I failed them. I LOVE Charlie and Sherpa. We were together through four interstate moves. We went through massive health problems with Charlie and I never batted an eye. I would have done anything for them, and I let them down.

    Then again, I'm worried about what Mama's departure would do to Kyubey. He's so smitten with her, and he has calmed considerably since she came out of quarantine.

    I'm also afraid of chaos developing again. If they love each other now, is that likely to change? If I work hard to build good, stress-free foundations NOW with lots of playtime and lots of litterboxes....I just don't know. Would it be easier to manage with two cats than with three who hated each other?

    I guess I still hate myself a little. I am NOT the kind of person who just gives up on my animals when they become inconvenient, or I never have been before. I hate seeing that in myself, especially after all of the fostering and rescue work I've done.

    Anyways, today is my birthday, and I'm taking Celeste for an exam and vaccines. I was thinking of filling out an application for her while I was there... but I guess I feel like I don't deserve her after what happened. She is SUCH a wonderful girl, and she deserves only the best. There was a time when I thought that was me...with my shiny vet tech degree, all my knowledge and experience, and the fact that I would not hesitate over most any challenge or vet bill presented. Now I know better.

    Here she is learning to enjoy a cat tree. She is so beautiful. Right before this was taken, I brushed about half a kitten worth of fur out of her and trimmed her nails. She was calm and collected for the entire process, like a perfect lady. I also noticed that her teeth are gross. Whether I keep her or not, she will have a dental prophy as soon as those kittens are weaned. Yech!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    21,011
    Hey hon - hugs! It must have been heart-wrenching to let go of Sherpa and Charlie. But they each have done so well in their new homes. Bless you for giving them that chance.

    As for now - everything is working, Kyubey is happy, Mama cat is a doll. I'd say foster her a bit longer, but I don't see any problem with you adopting her. Four happy kitties - what more could one ask for?
    "I like physics, but I love cartoons." -- Stephen Hawking

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
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    13,266
    I don't have any answers for you, but I am so sorry to learn of all that has been going on for you and your family, human and feline.

    I am sending along prayers and good wishes that solutions that are satisfactory for all concerned is found. God bless.

    {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}} and ~~~~~~~PURRS~~~~~~~ and ,
    Pat and cats
    I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
    Death thought about it.
    "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

    -- Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    39,794
    I wish I could advise you , but that is such a tough choice to make , and a hard thing to let Ctas go. We are praying for you and we pray things work out well
    THE RAINBOW BRIDGE FOUND HOTEL ANGELS HAVE A NEW FRIEND IN CORINNA.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    California
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    11,618
    Oh wow. I am so sorry for what you've been going through. I know how hard it must have been for you to do what you had to do. But think of it this way, Sherpa and Charlie are happy cats now. They are not stressed out and living in fear of the "mean kitty lurking around the corner".
    My two do not get along after 3 years, but there isn't inappropriate urination or any stress from either of them. And I've seen Paizly stressed when I was fostering a friends cat.

    I think if Kyubey and Celeste get along then by all means keep her. You might feel like you failed Charlie and Sherpa (which you didn't!!) but you could give Celeste a great home. And I know your home is a great home! After all, look how Paizly turned out!
    Our goal in life should be - to be as good a person as our dog thinks we are.

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    I've been Boo'd!!!

    Cindy (Human) - Taz (RB Tabby) - Zoee (RB Australian Shepherd) - Paizly (Dilute Tortie) - Taggart (Aussie Mix) - Jax (Brown & White Tabby), - Zeplyn (Cattle Dog Mix)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Posts
    36,736
    It sounds as if it was a very hard decision, but that both Charlie and Sherpa are in better places for each of them now, and happy, loved kitties. I do not think you :failed" them at all. And adopting mama Celeste would not be any slight against them, as the situation with her are Kyubey seems to be working out good for both on them. Know you are in our prayers, and we hope you have a good birthday despite all the hard decisions!
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    27,644
    I'm sorry to hear that you had to rehome Charlie and Sherpa but you did the right thing. You did everything you could think of and now they both have wonderful loving forever homes. Some cats just need to be only cats but it sounds like your current cat Kyubey is a cat that needs to be with other cats. I had to rehome my cat Cirrus many years ago and it was difficult. I had him for about 2 years but things were getting worse not better. He was later adopted by a retired teacher and he even had an outdoor cat run area so things did work out for the better. Since things are working out with Celeste and Kyubey so well, if I were you I'd also be considering adopting her. She sounds like a real sweetheart and maybe she's also a cat that needs to be around other cats too. I'm sure that whatever decision you make that it will be the right one. Good luck. Happy Birthday!!!
    Owned by Sky, Pearl, Ziggy Stardust, Alani, Blaze, Colby, Finnegan, and Summer.


    My Rainbow Bridge Babies:
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    RB Storm 1/11/96- 8/2/12 RIP Sweet Storm

  8. #8
    Thanks everyone. Your words mean a LOT to me, I've been afraid to tell anyone about what happened.

    Apparently, in order to make Celeste permanent, I just need to talk to the foster coordinator, who I didn't see today. I'll give her a call sometime soon.

    Celeste bit me when I went to put her in her carrier this morning. -_- Luckily it only barely broke the skin, and she was a perfect lady for her shots.

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