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.