Giving Up Dora

Sigh. I’ve avoided this topic for a while because I was sort of in denial about how bad it was. I really thought it would get better. I’m not a cat expert, but I’m pretty good. I’ve had them my whole life, I connect with them very well, and I take really good care of my cats. I’m not humble about that-I do. I take DAMN. GOOD. CARE. of my cats. And my dogs too for that matter.

But Dora. Poor, sweet Dora. As you guys may remember, Dora, Cookie, or Baby Cat as she has been known has been a part of our family for about a year now. We officially took her in last March, but she first showed up on my porch about this time last year. We got her fixed, shots, tried to find her a home. We couldn’t really find one. I had one lady interested, but by the time she came round to committing I had gotten so attached to her that I begged Chief to let me keep her and the day before my birthday he agreed. She was my birthday gift last year and I adore her. I really do. She is so special to me, and she’s even more special to me because she is linked in my heart with Charlie. I was six months pregnant when we adopted Dora. I have some pretty great pictures of them together, and Charlie loves her.

A few months ago Dora started having tummy trouble, so I took her to the vet. It was a pretty easy thing to deal with-she needed to lose some weight, so we put her on a diet food. When she first came home Dewey went after her pretty hard. This isn’t entirely abnormal-she smelled different. It happens. I broke it up and didn’t think much of it. But then it happened again. And again. And again. And then at one point. Nate got dragged into it because the fight happened near him, and I think someone got him with a claw, so he jumped in. And now all of a sudden I have a small female cat afraid of two, large males.

It got the point of her not being willing to leave the couch. So I decided to isolate her and reintroduce her slowly. I was sure this would work. I got the feliway things out and plugged them in and did the whole slow introduction again.

It did. not. work. In fact if anything, it made things worse, because now she’s afraid to come out of the sewing room. We put a litter box and food and water in there for her. Even if I open the door she doesn’t come out unless I carry her out. And then she stays wherever I set her. Set her on the bed? She stays there. Set her on the couch? Stays there. Afraid to walk through her own house. And yesterday, while sitting on the couch, Dewey jumped her the minute my back was turned.

I had already contacted all of our local rescue groups and heard absolutely nothing back. I know how overwhelmed they are, I really do, but are you telling me no one could even say “Sorry, we’re full.” back to me? It was really upsetting.

So I put a long post up on facebook talking about her story and what was going on. It broke my heart, but I can’t ask her to live this way. Trapped in one room forever? Afraid to be around my other cats? That’s not fair. She’s only 2-3 years old, she has a long life ahead of her and she is so damn sweet. She just deserves better than that. I didn’t expect anything to come of the facebook post. But my friend from my birth club said that she wanted her. And she meant it.

I don’t love all the folks in my facebook birth club, but I do really, really like this one person. We get along really well. She loves cats and hers died while she was pregnant and she hadn’t had the heart to get another one yet. She has saved a lot of strays and found them homes. Her daughter was born the same day as Charlie. And she wanted Dora.

But….she lives 11 hours away. It didn’t matter though. It felt right. It felt right for Dora to be an only cat with a like minded woman (she’s even a Detroit Lions fan!) and a little girl to grow up and adore her. It makes me sad to not be Dora’s momma anymore, but knowing she’ll have a great momma and be the apple of their eye makes me happy.

Now we just had to figure out a way to get her there.

In comes my friend N. She used to be my boss way back. She moved away, but her mom is still here and she was coming to town next weekend. She volunteered to take her home with her and then drive three hours out of her way to a Indianapolis. So that was more than half the journey. So I posted that we needed someone to take her from the meeting point to where my friend lives, which, since there are no names, I think I can safely tell you is in Michigan. Then, we find out that my friend who is taking Dora, J, has a sister who will be working IN INDIANAPOLIS FOR THE DAY ON THE VERY DAY THAT N WILL BE TAKING DORA TO INDIANAPOLIS. So she volunteers to pick up Dora and take her on to her sister, J.

And…. just like that, Dora has a new home.

I am….so incredibly sad. More than I can express. I may not have had Dora as long as my other guys, but she is still mine. I fought to keep her. I fought hard. I spent the night on the floor with her in the bathroom when I was pregnant. I cried basically for an entire day at work when I thought she might die from her difficult spay surgery. I love her, simply put.

But last night I went into her room and talked to her about where she was going and why. I explained to her that it’s not because we don’t love her, or because she’s not good enough-it’s to give her a better life. I told her how happy J’s family was to be getting her, and how she was going to have a sweet baby girl just like Charlie to play with. Then I put the very first blanket I ever made in the corner that she sleeps. I wanted her to sleep on it for the next week so it can go with her and she’ll always have a piece of our family. I have one more week with her and I’m going to try and give her as much as love as I can before she leaves our home forever. She lights up when I come in the room because she spends so much time alone. As sad as I was, this strengthened my resolve that what I was doing was right.

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14 thoughts on “Giving Up Dora

  1. I’m so happy that everything fell into place the way that it did. Complete transportation, and going to a home that you know and you will be able to see pics and get updates of her. I’m kinda jealous, honestly. You know how hard it was for me when we had to do this with my Gabby, and I only wish that I knew where she was and if she was happy. I have to tell myself that she is or I’d go nuts. If you need someone to help get you through once she leaves, just let me know. I’ll be here 🙂

    • I feel very lucky. I hope that at some point I won’t feel happy-sad to see pictures of her with another family-that I’ll just feel happy. Thanks for being there friend. I know there’s going to be some hardcore sobbing when N drives away with her.

      • It’s okay to feel sad that she won’t be in your home anymore, even though you’ll know that she’s in a good home. Sobbing is acceptable, even is a good ugly cry. Even a few of them, for a lot of days. It’s whatever helps get you through it. Let me know if you need me *hugs*

  2. I’m glad you found a good home for Dora and she’ll be with a friend of yours. I know how hard it is letting a pet go that you’re attached to. I hope Dora is happy in her new home and the trip goes well!

  3. Awwwww you are such a wonderful pet owner. I think how easy the whole transfer to 11 hours away is going to be shows that this is the right move for Dora. And you will be so happy when you hear stories about her playing happily again.

  4. This post made me cry because I know how much you love your cats, because I know how much I love mine and how it would absolutely crush me to lose one of them for any reason. Thankfully this reason is to improve her quality of life and you of course are doing the selfless thing to do this, but still my heart aches for you.

  5. I’m so sorry that you had to make this choice. It’s probably some comfort to know that her transport will be easy and that she’s going to a good home, but this is still an impossibly sad situation. *hugs*

  6. Oh no I’m so sorry. I remember all that you went through to keep her. It’s great you have found her a forever home with someone you know will take good care of her. It must be so hard to give her up, but you are doing the best for her, you have a big heart 😊

  7. I’m sorry it didn’t work out to have Dora stay with you, but I’m glad you were able to find her a good new home.

    How’s Pepper doing?

  8. I was so happy to see all of that unfold on Facebook. I’m so sorry it’s come to this with Dora, but you’re doing such a good thing for her. Poor sweet kitty. God, I remember how hard you fought to keep that girl. I’m so sorry. Saying goodbye is going to be so hard.

  9. I’m so sorry. I remember how much you went through with her and it must be so, so hard. I’m glad you were able to find her a new home where it sounds like she will be loved. Thinking of you.

  10. I’m so sorry to read this. I read this on FB and was wracking my brain trying to think of other things you could try behaviour wise to try and work it out. I know it hasn’t worked out perfectly, but I am glad that she will be going to a happy home where she will be loved and the centre of attention 🙂
    The fact that it all feel into place so wonderfully makes me feel like she was meant to find J. I also think she was meant to find you. You have been a wonderful human parent for her and I know how much you love her. You love her so much that you are willing to do what is best for her even though it hurts you so much. You are a very good person!

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