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Booger (Rocki) is Going to her Permanent Home Tues - Page 2

post #31 of 72
Laurie - how long are you planning to be ataying there?

If it were me, I would drop everything now, and wait for spring. This is an enormous muddle. If there were someone close by, you could check out the new home yourself.

Both Kathy(?) and Debbie seem like good choices, but they are so far away, and you don't really know anything for sure. I would think that Booger needs people around all the time - my worry would be that with an empty house for "home" she may wander off. She is used to having you keep tabs on her, where she is, what she is doing, and that for me would be a priority. And she obviously would like the option of being indoors once in a while.

Why not go back to what you originally looked for.

A home with no other pets. The "cat friendly" dog sounds good for the dog, but you don't know if Booger is "dog friendly" or might take off.

A home with an experienced foster parent. You do need someone who will know how to work with Booger to make her an indoor (mostly) cat, do you not?

And related to that, I would think that you would need someone who is around home at least as much as you and Gary are.

All of these arrangements offered to you sound pretty good on paper, but my question for all of them would be - will Booger just decide to fend for herself as a stray again if she is moved there. There doesn't seem to be much point in sending her all the way across the country if she will just end up on her own again.

And I may be missing the obvious, but if you are sending her all the way across the country, why not send her to Hissy? Then you would be sure that she would be looked after safely.
post #32 of 72
Laurie, Many times I have heard you tell someone to "go with your heart," and that's my suggestion to you. I have been reading the thread, but have experience only with strays, not ferals, so I haven't posted. But I "feel" the fear in your posts. You are the kind of person who should meet the person who would take Rocki, and screen several. That's the way breeders decide whether or not to allow someone to buy one of their babies. Why should you, after all you've been through, accept anything less? I wish you and Rocki (Booger) the best!
post #33 of 72
Thread Starter 
Sammie5 and Jeanie - I think you both hit the nail on the head. I should just drop it for now. Love my Booger - and see what working with the local people turns up.

I have no idea when Gary and I will be on the road again. Certainly not until Spring at the earliest. So if worse comes to worst, IF Gary and I do have to hit the road and we haven't found a home for Boog, then I can talk to hissy about getting Boog to her out there. At least she'll be independent, loved and cared for there. It's really NOT a worst-case scenario!!!!

I appreciate all MCR has done, but in the end, Booger doesn't need to be "rescued." She needs a permanent home, and this isn't a desparate situation.

That is just great, straightfoward, simple advice.

Thank you so much. Somehow I'd gotten all twisted up over this - and it's the long distance and not meeting the people that's fouling it all up inside for me.

Thank you for helping to unlock that door that's been lurking around inside of me!

I feel SO much better already!

post #34 of 72
Thread Starter 
Well, it's been in the single digits here each night for the last few nights. It snowed last week, and we have 8" on the ground now, and it's still snowing. All the outside cats disappeared after feeding them this morning (there was only about 1/2 an inch on the ground then). None have showed up for dinner.

Monday night Booger was scratching on the door to get in. But two of the inside cats are on antibiotics, and the last thing I want is for the cats to get each other sick. So we had to listen to Boog crying to get in. Even after going out to pet her... it was breaking our hearts.

So I wrote Debbie (the lady in Portland) a letter.

Debbie - I'm so sorry I never wrote back. I don't know if you've been contacted by Maine Coon Rescue or what they told you. I was sent into a bit of a shock when I got your e-mail. What I want to do is what's best for Boog. It's hard to let her go because I love her so much. She was my first cat, even though she's never really lived inside.

So here's her story. Right now, she's an outdoor kitty. I would like her to be an indoor cat - much safer for her. But she'll be unhappy at first, I'm sure of it - whether she flies cross country or not. She is Queen of the cats around here, definitely the alpha, and has a HUGE territory in which to run patrol. There are 240 acres here, and I'm pretty sure she sleeps in the barn about a half a mile from here. When she's within hearing distance, she RUNS when called. So I'm nervous about moving her inside. She is not in a desperate situation. We care for her, provide her shelter (which she doesn't use, but the other cats do),
and feed her as often as she wants to eat. It is very rare that she doesn't come by for a day, but it happens. Of course I get nervous...

Last Winter we had a bed for her inside, and she was welcome to come in. She would often sleep 10 - 14 hours, then she'd want to leave. She was far too independent for us to deal with turning her into an indoor cat - neither of us ever having had a cat before, and my husband having been a cat hater. And we live in a very small space, and I'm allergic to cats. (We live in an R.V. I included the link to the R.V. story for her).

BTW - our Vet says Boog is a Maine Coon pure bred. Now that I've learned so much about cats, she seems kind of small
to me to be pure bred - but she was definitely a stray, not a feral. When we took her to get spayed, the Vet said she had already HAD a "very expensive" spay job. Actually, the way he put it was "Someone didn't want this cat to get fat and lazy." When we asked what that meant, he explained that her whole reproductive system was removed as opposed to just her ovaries.????? Something like that. I think she was a pet that got out the door of someone staying here for a weekend or a
week (this is an R.V. Resort after all!), and they had to leave - and somehow she made it on her own that first Winter. We brought her in to the Vet last January, and they thought she was about 1 1/2 years old. But you're not allowed to have pets here - so how could they leave an "If found, please contact..." ?

Anyway, as soon as Spring came around, she was out the door. Actually she disappeared for a week (I freaked, of course), and came around irregularly. So she's a cat and she's got her things to do. She didn't want to be inside full time. Late summer, fall she started coming around every day again, and of course now she wants back in... but we just can't. We've rescued three other kittens who live inside with us full time. Our Booger/Rocki rescue story is here: Booger's Story . (In the story I had to say we got her spayed because I was limited to 500 words... the TCS people know the truth, as I"ve written about it in the actual forums (as opposed to in the essay contest - it's just more succinct and there wasn't room to expand!).

This summer a batch of kittens turned up in our yard. I joined TCS ( www.thecatsite.com/forums ), and was "talked into" feeding them, etc. We now essentially run a trap-neuter-release program here. I think we've had 17 adult cats spayed/neutered, and we've had all eight kittens spayed/neutered. The people who own this property think there are "100s" of wild cats living in the woods. At least we've made a small dent in the ongoing reproduction problem.

Anyway, Gary's had a lot of health problems the last year. But those are mostly behind us... so come Spring, we'll probably be hitting the road again. Which means I've got to find homes for all the kittens (which we've been working on anyway). We adopted three ourselves, and I take Zyrtec-D twice a day and have a steroid cream on had for when I break out in hives.
But having adopted these three means we can't adopt Booger. She's big, she's got long hair - and we just can't fit four. !!!!!

There was someone from Maine Coon rescue who joined The Cat Site, which is how I thought to contact MCR. Kathy was
assigned as the co-ordinator to help me place Booger. Kathy was great - and really worked hard. Since Booger isn't in a desparate rescue situation - she's warm and well cared for despite living primarily outside, I can afford to be choosey about where she goes. And I specifically said I wanted to find a home where she was either a lone cat or one of two cats, although we never even discussed the dog situation. It didn't really occur to me. Kathy came up with places in upstate NY, Alabama and TN - but she always gave me very little info about the situation. Then along comes Debbie. Who sounds wonderful! And we had communication problems on the shipping issue, so I asked Kathy just to put us directly in touch. And I get this wonderful e-mail from you! But you have so many other cats and a dog! The people who own this park have dogs (which is probably why they ban any visitors from having any pets) - but they let them run wild. And they terrorize the cats. So I wasn't worried about the dog being good with cats - I was worried about Boog not ever being comfortable with a dog around. And I'm still concerned about that.

So Debbie - I don't know what to do. You sound so wonderful and warm and loving - which is what I want for Booger. I really love her to pieces. But I'm really worried about her - both from a standpoint of fitting in with so many other cats - and about the dog. Here she is the Queen. She did NOT like the other kittens hanging around outside. It took her months to adjust to having them around. But now that she's the boss she's cool - but she is NOT friendly with them, does not hang out with them, and merely tolerates them.

So you see, when I received your e-mail, I was in quite a bit of a quandry. It wasn't the situation I'd expected, and I felt really weird about sending her 3,000 miles away to a home with so many other cats and a dog ---- and if she's not happy, then what? It's not like it's a three - four hour drive, and I can roll up there to pick her up and bring her back. And it's not
like she doesn't have a happy life here. And I'm not sure that even if we have to leave this Spring that she wouldn't be happier having a short life in her own territory than having a long life in a home where she's not the Queen.

But since you seem like a very thoughtful person, I just decided to follow the advice I give so many others on The Cat Site. Follow your heart. So here's my heart, I've poured it out to you... and I wonder what you think? I'm not opposed to sending Boog out to you.... I'm just worried as to whether or not she'd be happy. But I don't know you, your other cats or your dog.

So I hope my description of Booger and her life here help you. My goal is for you to help me make this decision. What's best for Booger? I'd love to see her in a permanent home. She LOVES being loved, and she is a lap kitty. Because we never clipped her claws (as she lives outside), I always kept a thick blanket around for when she came in. She'd always eat, then clean, then leap up onto my lap, where she could spend hours. She kneads (BIG -OUCH do those claws hurt - thus the big blanket) - and she drools, too. A lot. Another reason for the blanket. When I call her, she comes running, and leaps into my arms. I'm really at a loss for what to do, and I was hoping you'd both understand and help.

Thanks for all,

post #35 of 72
Thread Starter 
...and this is Debbie's reply:

First let me apologize for taking all day to get back to you but I wanted to answer you when I had time to sit down and answer your questions and hopefully calm your fears and doubts.

I understand how frustrating it must be to have so much going on and the story not getting sent correctly.

Please know that I completely understand the depth of your love for Booger. These wonderful creatures come into our lives and fill them with love, laughter and fill a void that can't be filled by anything else. They give us humans the one thing we seem unable to give to each other and that is unconditional love and
ask for so little in return.

As for my home here let me share with you what the situation is. I do have a dog who is almost 11 yrs old. He probably won't be around much longer so each day with him is a gift from God. Bubba is a very layed back dog and very loving of his cats. He has raised my puppies and kittens and has more patience than any dog I have ever known. He was a good uncle to my puppies when I was breeding/showing/competing with my dogs. He now lives a life of quiet and
relaxation as he has earned by his many years of faithful companionship. He goes to work with me everyday when the weather permits and is very happy
just to be with me. Please believe me when I tell you he isn't the type of dog to terrorize a cat. It isn't in his nature. He usually sleeps most of the time now and does allow the cats to sleep on him, near him and gives them their space. If he weren't he wouldn't be living in the house.

As for the other cats they are fosters that I am trying to place in homes. I do have 2 cats that belong to me but they are older and sleep most of the
day and don't force themselves on the foster babies. If the cats for some reason don't get along my home is
big enough that I can seperate them and they still have plenty room to be themselves. I live on 20 acres on top of a mountain. There is no traffic here unless you are coming to my home as the
only way to get here is up my driveway with is 3/4 of a mile long. So if you come here you are either coming to see me or you are very lost because I am 5
miles from the closest road to get you somewhere aside from the mountain I live on. There is a large barn and lots of trees and it is very quiet here. That is one of the things I love the most is coming home from work to peace and quiet and watching the deer run and play in my pasture.

As for Booger, she will be allowed to come and go as she pleases with the exception that at night she must
come in. But in the winter she won't want to sleep out in the cold OR nights. She will have her choice of where she wants to sleep and I am sure with a
little help will get used to being inside during the night. She will have all the food she wants to eat, a
warm home to sleep in day or night and all the love she could ever hope for. I believe in letting them be themselves so she will be the boss of what she gets
and wants from me.

If for some strange reason and I really doubt that she would be unhappy here I would be glad to contact your friend and let her go live on her farm. My utmost
concern is that Booger is happy and well loved and cared for. In the end that is what really matters and there is more love than she could ever hope to have
here in my home.

I do need to ask if you can keep her for a couple of more weeks as I believe I will be traveling back to the East Coast on a business trip and would prefer to
have you ship her to me so that she can come home with me. I would feel much better if she was traveling inside the cabin of the plane with me than in baggage. I would like to lessen her stress of coming to a new home and at least let her know that she is safe and
with someone who cares for her as she is making the trip across country. The trip has yet to shape up completely so I am not sure where I will be for more
than a couple of days to have you ship her but will let you know as the trip gets finalized if this is acceptable with you.

Hopefully we can do this so that she comes to me at the airport when I am on the way home and can be with her all the way. I think this would lessen your
stress also as well as hers and mine.

I hope that I have been able to assure you that my home is the right place for her and that she will be well cared for and well loved. Please let me know if
you have any other questions or if I can help in any other way.

So there you have it. She sounds wonderful, and so does her home.


Of course - the morning I wrote the note to Debbie I was contacted by someone who'd read about Booger here... so we'll see what happens.

I owe Debbie an answer, but I'll give it another day or so.

post #36 of 72
I would say that you got your answered prayer Laurie. If you like, and she approves, send me her address and Mike and I will go on a scenic drive and check her place out for you? Would you like us to do that? To me, this home sounds like a feral's dream come true.
post #37 of 72
Laurie she sounds like a dream for Boog. That would be great if you could have Boog fly back with her in the cabin instead of as a shipment.
post #38 of 72
Laurie, it sounds as though Rocki will be queen of the hill. I'm sure Debbie knows to keep her in for 2 or three weeks so that she knows that is home. You know how cats are; they like to go home when moved! This sounds great, and so does Debbie.
post #39 of 72
Thread Starter 
I'm so glad you agree! I thought it sounded wonderful for her. !

And Mary Anne - that is so kind. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the offer. But just knowing you're within driving distance is enough. If I need an emergency rescue (if Boog's not happy or something) - then I'll impose. But for now, like I said, just knowing you're only a few hours away is comfort enough.


post #40 of 72
Thread Starter 
Well, it's been a long time since November 10th, when I started this thread!

But many emotions later, Booger is just about on her way. Keep your fingers crossed!

She's at the Vet and boarded, health certificate waiting. With one day's notice, it turns out a friend of Debbie's (Booger's new mum) is flying from DC to Portland.

Thanks to TCS and the TCS Board Magic, Booger turned up at our door this evening.

We'll pick her up in the morning and drive her to Philly, where we are meeting Debbie's friend, who is catching a "red-eye" flight out. Hopefully the storm won't delay her flight. Things are already bad up here, and it was a tough drive just to make it to the Vet's. But we'll be on highways most of the time (once we pick Boog up and make it to the highway).

The next project is Munchkin, who we drive to Brooklyn on Saturday. She's going to our assitant, who rescued a declawed 2-year old kitty several months ago.

post #41 of 72

If you can, pick up a package of pipe cleaners and attach them inside the carrier to the slits, so they stick out (inside the carrier). If she gets stressed, she has something to bat at and relieve her anxiety. And once she arrives in Oregon, if you want me to visit her, just say the word and it is done. So glad she came home!
post #42 of 72
Thread Starter 
You're so wonderful! I took your advice already! You might not remember, you've already given it to me when we thought she was going before!

We've got pet nutri-drops, pipe cleaners, and some kind of shredded newspaper (to put in front of the cage door - it'll help her "hide" but "see.") I've got a cat-nip toy to put inside the crate, and a big bag of her food, so that her new mum has enough to "switch" her over a several day period to whatever she's using....

Should be OK, I hope. THanks, so much, again, for all.

I'm going to miss my Booger girl. She's the one who started it all.....
post #43 of 72
If you secure them tight enough, they will be fine. She will be anxious on the flight and they will help her relieve her anxiety. You put them up as high as they will go, so it takes some effort on her part to get them, thus taking more concentration.
post #44 of 72
Thread Starter 
Well, I didn't get to go. Gary is the better driver, and in this weather I don't feel comfortale.

There is a sheet of ice under the snow, and now it's sleeting again.

I forgot only one of us could go. There's still a bit too much tension around here with Spooky here less than a week. There's no separate room in which to keep her. The bedroom does have a door, but it closes in such a way that SHelly or Lazlo can crash it open. It's only if you're on the INSIDE of the bedroom that you can jam the door shut so the boys can't get in.

I'm so glad I said "good-bye" to Booger last night "just in case." I HATE that I don't get to go today, but I guess we're "parents" now, and that comes with certain responsibilities....

I normally enjoy having some time to myself. But not under these circumstances. The weather is so bad and the driving is so dangerous. I'll end up sitting here, worrying all day.

post #45 of 72
Just give us an update when Gary returns. Try not to worry!
post #46 of 72
I'm so glad Booger cam home and she is on her way to her forever home.

I told you that this board can do some magical stuff!!

I'm sure she'll make the trip just fine, its harder on you than her I bet! Let us know how she does, and when she is safe in Oregon!
post #47 of 72

I'll keep Gary and Booger in my thoughts today for a safe journey. And I'll be keeping you in my thoughts today for peace of mind. Boog will be very happy at Debbie's house. I'm glad she came home last night, and that you were able to say goodbye to her. You are and always will be her angel.

From Booger for being so kind to her when no one else was.
post #48 of 72
It snowed here all night and we're expected to get more later today. I heard the Niagara region will be the worst hit with up to 30 cm!

I'm sure Gary will have a safe drive and Booger will be on the way. She's just a beautiful soul and now your the one who helped her make her life complete at her new home.

Excellent job Laurie.

P.S. : Go drink some liquids!! I'm sure your dehydrated after all the emotions! That's an order!

post #49 of 72
Thread Starter 
My Goodness, what an emotional few days. Kassandra, I'm drinking! I haven't cried this much in such a long time! First Spooky, the Julius, then Booger, then Gary driving through such dangerous stuff, and now Munchkin.

Gary got home yesterday around 6:00pm. It was a long, long day for all of us. It should be a 3 - 3 1/2 hour drive to Philly. He left early in the morning and got there around 1:00pm. He got lost along the way (I'm usually the navigator. I wrote VERY precise instructions, but he missed one of his exits anyway. It is a tough one to see to begin with, and it was probably covered with snow or something).

Booger did NOT want to go. When he took her out of our crate to put in her plane travel crate, she crawled - where else? into his coat. Gary said it was too much for him, and that he started "kind of" crying.

He waded his way home in the snow. It didn't stop all day, and started sleeting again about an hour before he came home, so there was a nice sheet of ice waiting for him on these treacherous roads.

But he made it home safe and sound, and we both had a good cry together.

I can't believe I won't ever hear her little "palunk" of jumping onto the outside step again.

post #50 of 72
Thread Starter 
Oh - If the plane left on time, she should land in Portland at 11:00am. I'll call Debbie later this afternoon to make sure Boog is safe and sound in her new home.
post #51 of 72
I'm glad everyone's journey was safe. Have you heard from Debbie yet that Boog is safely ensconced in her new home?

It has been a rough week for all of you. Things do seem to be looking up, though. Booger's at her new furrever home, and Munchie's going to a good home today. Sad for you and Gary, but better for the kitties.
post #52 of 72
Thread Starter 
Oops! I should have said 11:00am Oregon time, so the plane lands around 2:00 East Coast time. If it was on time.
post #53 of 72
Laurie, I'm sorry that Gary was so sad, but I imagine you're very grateful to have a husband that loving and sensitive! God bless his heart; that really touched my heart. It's so hard to let the "children" leave the nest, but you know that it's impossible to keep all the cats you take care of. Your heart's bigger than your house, or anyone's pocketbook! (We---ll, maybe not Donald Trump's!) We'll look forward to hearing what Rocki's new mom has to say.
post #54 of 72
Thread Starter 
Jeanie, I'm the luckiest woman in the world. I have an incredible husband, I'm surrounded by cats, and I "have" TCS.

post #55 of 72
I'm so glad everything went well! I was going to PM you to find out what happened!

Glad to hear your hydrating yourself! Don't want you to get sick now, do we?

post #56 of 72
Laurie I am so glad that things have worked out for Boog and Munch too. You really have the biggest heart (it comes through so clearly in your posts!) and a wonderful husband and family of kitties in your home! Like someone else said, it IS suppossed to be a happy time!
post #57 of 72
Thread Starter 
Well, I couldn't get Debbie on the phone yesterday. It was just busy all the time. Turns out she was on line (with one line at home) and fell asleep.

I received this e-mail this morning:

I got online to check email and then fell asleep! I was exhausted it has been a busy couple of days.

She is great! Chloe said she handled the trip like an experienced traveler. She is calm, cool and acts like this has been no big thing, just another day in the park.

She will be very well loved. She's a beauty. What a sweet girl. She loves to be held.
There was more to the e-mail, but that's the relevent part!

Booger DOES love to be held. Debbie's going to keep me up from time to time.

I'm so glad it sounds like things are going well!

I'm FINALLY smiling again!
post #58 of 72
post #59 of 72
Laurie, I am so happy that this is working out. I am still teary eyed thinking about everything you went through this week, but I am so happy that two of the kits have homes.
post #60 of 72
Laurie, That's just great !
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