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The feeling that tells you it's right.

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When you went to adopt your cats, to a shelter perhaps, did you just get a feeling that this cat was meant to live with you forever? And if you don't get the feeling that tells you it's right, is it better not to go ahead with an adoption?

My experiences have got me thinking. My experience was very painful and I am very interested in it not ever happening again. I have heard some wisdom here that could spare me the pain. Many people have said to let cats choose you. I think this is true. But sometimes it just feels right, and without that feeling maybe it's better not to.

I am still very confused about whether I should ever adopt a cat again. I still have a lot of guilt and regret, which has resurfaced after a period of numbness. I just know I can't go through that experience again.
post #2 of 16
It just felt right for me to take in Ophelia & look where that's got me!

I honestly believe that if it feels right & if the "cat person" at the adoption agency thinks it will be a good match, then it's meant to be. However, for the standpoint of the "cat person" at the adoption agency, there are sometimes cats who "feel right" to the person but who would be a terrible match. For instance, take the young kitten for an eldery couple. I was eventually able to steer them to an older cat, but man....you should've heard the nasty words that man said to me!
post #3 of 16
I took Rosie when i never even knew what she looked like until the day i brought her home, and Sophie was seen by a picture sent to me via e-mail, but i knew they were meant to be with me no matter what they were like or what their nature was like
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
I took Rosie when i never even knew what she looked like until the day i brought her home, and Sophie was seen by a picture sent to me via e-mail, but i knew they were meant to be with me no matter what they were like or what their nature was like
I look at all the trials & tribulations you went through with your two for a year & cannot imagine it. To me, it seems like you are the luckiest person in the world that the two eventually got along(you don't happen to be a cat whispered, do you? ). But, then again, I didn't know much about any of mine before I took them in.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have never understood why there are pictures of cats on some shelter websites. It shouldn't matter what they look like.

My experience was that I thought I was prepared for the difficulty of taking care of a cat, particularly a cat with an eye deformity and FIV.

Maybe I gave him up selfishly. Maybe I told myself that the pain of losing him would be too much, and I'd rather someone else watch him inevitably diminish. My feelings after bringing him home scared me, and I still can't explain them. I wonder if he had been completely healthy if I would have had these feelings, which makes me feel guilty again, because rejecting cats with FIV is what many people do, and I thought I was above that.

I'm still confused. Was it that one instance, that circumstance, or would this happen if I tried to adopt another cat? It makes me angry because I don't want it to happen again, I didn't even want to to happen once. I love cats. I don't understand why I felt that I was unable to care for him, but I just knew that him staying with me wasn't right. I hate that I say this only now, but when I went to visit him something inside me said "this isn't right." But I ignored that inner voice.

Now, after what's happened, if only I'd listened. I did him a disservice.
post #6 of 16
It did with Jaffa. He was in a pen with 2 siblings and he was the most active one. When he was lifted out of the pen and given to me to hold he just lay over on his back, looked into my eyes and gave me that "come on then, lets go home" look. It was love at first sight and we bonded intstantly. Having said that it wasn't as instant with his brother. It was a case of choosing one of the 2 remaining siblings to come home with him and I chose Magpie as he was being cute climbing up the side of the pen. I might not have bonded with him so quickly but I loved him to bits very soon. So I do believe to a certain extent in letting the cat choose you, but I also believe that if there's a cat at a shelter who fits your requirements and will fit into your home you should give him a chance and not go home empty handed just because you didn't feel an instant bond.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
(you don't happen to be a cat whispered, do you? ) .
No, just a lot of patience, making sure Rosie never felt left out and talking to them softly when they were both in the room together

I've got to do this all again because i'm planning on getting another
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bemyonlyone View Post
Maybe I told myself that the pain of losing him would be too much, and I'd rather someone else watch him inevitably diminish.
I think if that's how you feel then maybe it's best not to get another just incase you can't handle the feeling of losing them, because even if you have a healthy cat, theres going to be a time when it does get ill, and like children we have to be there to take care of them Don't get me wrong i can fill up at the mere thought of losing one of mine, but right now i'm enjoying every day with them because they bring so much happiness into the house
post #9 of 16
With Ophelia, it wasn't a matter of us choosing her or vice versa. It was a matter of saving her life. After that, I felt I owed it to her to care for her and give her the best life possible.

Trent "chose us" as his people in the pet store (bad, I know now!). But he definitely chose us, and it was the perfect thing to do because he helped Ophelia SO much! He helped her understand that people aren't monsters trying to eat her. He socialized her as a scared feral kitten as much as we did.

7 years pass and we bought our own place, so I wanted to get another kitty. As much as we went to Petsmart and looked at the cats for adoption, none of them felt right. None of them reached out. The one who did reach out ended up being in Ohio, a rescue of one of the members here. So Ginger came home.

Mojo chose us, much like Trent did. But she was right to add to our family too. She completed our family, as now there are 2 with kittenish energy so poor Trent isn't hounded by Ginger to play.
post #10 of 16
Maybe you should consider becoming a foster mom for a nearby shelter. It allows you to take in a kitty who is either too young or too ill to be put up for adoption... and you can help socialize him, plump him up, get him over an infection, whatever he needs.

In the course of doing this, you may fall in love... and if you do, you have the advantage of already knowing what it's like to live with this kitty.

We already had five cats in the house and had sworn never, never, never to fall in love again -- which was why we felt safe in fostering! -- but when a certain little orange fluffball needed some TLC after being thrown out of a car (!!!), we fell completely in love and just couldn't give him back. Cat number six, for heaven's sake! But we knew it would work, because it had already been working for several weeks. Even our other cats liked him!

You might try fostering... it could be good for you, and good for the shelter kitties, too.
post #11 of 16
Unfortunately, when you take on an animal, you have to be open to and at peace with the fact that odds are, you'll outlive them. As a former adoptions counselor, I'd have to say that it would be best if you did a lot of soul searching before taking on another cat...you really have to be in a position where you can sort of "rise above" and be the responsible party when your kitty is in pain or sick without getting too stressed or breaking down....these incredible little guys pick up on that sort of thing! You have a big heart and are a compassionate person, so it seems to me that once you find that place within yourself where you can be really strong in that regard, you'd make a good cat mommy...but I would wait for a while and learn and grow from this.

As a counselor, my opinion is that you should be 100% sure you can provide excellent care for the rest of the cat's life, and while having a big heart is INCREDIBY important, you must be strong and willing for those day-to-day things. I want to see an adopter who is willing to really go through heck and high water to keep this cat for the rest of its life. I also don't recommend that people who are the primary owner/caretaker of a cat for the first time adopt special needs kitties. It takes a lot of work and heart to care for a healthy one, and recognizing that a special needs kitty might not be the best choice right now does NOT make you a bad person at all! In fact, it makes you intelligent and realistic!

Perhaps fostering for a shelter or even pet-sitting for a friend or family member would help you prepare for the committment of owning a kitty

As to your origina question, I "just knew" with Lola (RB..due to FeLV) and Leo...with the others it was more of an "acquired taste", especially with Raphael who just totally grew on me over time. With Gracie, I actually made a very rational decision with weighed pros and cons in her case...it had a lot to do with my situations at the times of their adoptions. But all have ultimately worked out and I love them all tremendously. I didn't feel "chosen" by anyone but Raphael in terms of them giving me more attention than anyone else, although I felt very connected with all of them.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure that was the exact reason, I'm still not sure of the reasons why. But watching him die painfully is something I didn't give enough thought to. I knew about his disease. I don't think the real reason I gave him up was his disease. I think it was because, deep down, I felt that I was not capable of giving him a happy life.

If not making this mistake again means I won't adopt again, good. No cat deserves what I did. The only saving grace is that Thurston has someone who will look out for him no matter what and make sure nothing happens to him.

This situation has really caused me to lose faith in myself. The best I can say is well "at least" I'm not one of those monsters who would dump a cat by the side of the road or leave them alone to die in an apartment. But compared to a normal person, I'm a sack of crap. And I've accepted that. And I accept that most cat-loving people think that about me.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bemyonlyone View Post
I'm not sure that was the exact reason, I'm still not sure of the reasons why. But watching him die painfully is something I didn't give enough thought to. I knew about his disease. I don't think the real reason I gave him up was his disease. I think it was because, deep down, I felt that I was not capable of giving him a happy life.

If not making this mistake again means I won't adopt again, good. No cat deserves what I did. The only saving grace is that Thurston has someone who will look out for him no matter what and make sure nothing happens to him.

This situation has really caused me to lose faith in myself. The best I can say is well "at least" I'm not one of those monsters who would dump a cat by the side of the road or leave them alone to die in an apartment. But compared to a normal person, I'm a sack of crap. And I've accepted that. And I accept that most cat-loving people think that about me.

Don't be so hard on yourself. The thing about cats or any other living creature is that they will love you even when you might hate yourself. They show a surprising amount of devotion to their caretaker, especially when shown plenty of love.
The fact that you realized that you could not care for him and wanted to provide him a better life that you were not clearly ready for makes you totally selfless. I have told you that before. You are not a sack of crap. I think you are caring and thoughtful of humanity in general. You must never, ever, compare yourself to "those monsters" because they would not ever have the intelligence and heart to comprehend in their pea size brain that cats(animals) do feel pain and can show compassion through their actions and behavior. To them, they are just a thorn in their side and will never be equal to themselves.
I think you should try volunteering at a shelter or fostering so that you can be around many different cats, but not have to know that it is a permanent fixture in your life at this time. I also think you should really address some of the guilt and feelings you have so that you can learn and hopefully move forward with your life in a positive way. Remember, what does not kill you will only make you stronger. I still think their is a special furball out there for you that really needs the kind of love you have to offer.
As far as your question, I think that a lot has to do with how a cat responds to you, but also you may have this feeling. If your gut instinct tells you no, then I would listen. Your instincts are all too often correct.
With Lexi it was easy. She was a stray who may have belonged to someone or not. I will never know because she had no collar or ID. She was starving, skinny, and her neck was oozing. Even though she was so neglected she trusted my mom and myself and was the sweetest girl I could ever ask for. She would even lay down with me on our swing chair outside and showed ultimate trust by letting me rub her belly. I knew that she was special and I wanted her to have the best life possible.
post #14 of 16
stimpy is my only shelter kitty. it was a different adoption because i worked at the shelter at the time. i got to know him, and honestly he picked my from day one. the reality was, he was an adult neutered male with urinary tract problems at the start of kitten season. plus i was wrapped around his little paw-fingers already (he's front declawed).

raven and nabu were adopted through a co-worker (though, if i hadn't taken them they were destined for a shelter). i think their adoption was harder because i heard about them and just said i would take them. the getting to know each other part was tough. i think i had a week of barely any sleep while the 1.5 yr old kitties tore around the apartment all night.

i don't know what the details of your previous adoption were, but don't feel bad that it didn't work. my experience working at the shelter taught me that sometimes a kitten really is the best adoption choice for people. and that's not a bad thing, the kitten still needs a home. so when you're ready, i'm sure there is a kitty out there for you.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
I see all the problems people go through here--sickness, tearing up furniture, litter box problems, and people here still care for their cats and won't give up on them for anything. And I feel like I failed. I still can't let go of the feeling that I failed.

Part of it was that I feared he might be getting sicker and I wouldn't know what to do. It was foolish of me to take on a cat with special needs knowing a)that he was sick and b) that I don't have enough money to get him vet care that he will inevitably need. Now that I think of it, I should have known it was wrong when I didn't even take him to his preliminary checkup.

I also felt that he could sense my ambivalence and that it was affecting him in a negative way.

The last I heard he was in a foster home until the end of November. After that, I don't know where he went, but I believe nothing bad will happen to him as long as he has his guardian angel. She reassured me and told me not to feel bad, but I ruined her hopes as well as his.

I just wonder what all this says about me and my future. Not every cat will be protected. Which means that if I somehow decide to give up again, a cat would end up at the shelter, and possibly be euthanized. And I couldn't live with myself if I knew I was responsible for that.

I just don't get it. I love cats. I took care of my sister's cats for years. I took care of my sister's rabbit, guinea pigs, and betta fish. Perhaps I should admit to myself that it was Thurston's illness that led me to believe I would be no good to him. Then I go into these strange things where I think about getting him back, but I realize it's impossible. He needed constant veterinary care. He needed an eye operation that would have cost hundreds of dollars. I was such a fool to think I had what he needed.
post #16 of 16
Here's how I see it:

A few years ago, my mother and I went to a vet hospital to meet a beautiful little orange kitten who needed a home. He was about four months old, and he had a birth defect of some kind -- his back legs seemed not to have developed fully, and he walked 'way up on his toes back there. The bones of his back legs were very weak and had only stopped bending when he walked (!) a couple of weeks earlier.

He was a lovely little guy, all fluffy and sweet... we adored him. But in thinking it over, we realized that a kitten with so many obvious problems might also have some problems that were not obvious. And if he turned out to be sick in some deeper way, we would not have the kind of resources it would take to cover extensive vet bills.

The kitten belonged to a vet tech who was working at that hospital, and he was getting taken care of there for free... so we thought he was in the best possible place already. We felt we would be wrong to take him away unless we could absolutely guarantee that we could handle anything he might need. So we had to let him stay there.

We felt awful about it... but I think we did the right thing. The difference between you and us is that you tried to take care of your little guy. Your heart was in the right place!
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