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Dilema - help me please!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. Yesterday I got a cat (Felix) from a local rescue centre. Felix's owner could no longer care for him as he was working 12 hour shifts. Also, his wife recently died.

We brought him home, and had a bit of a stressful time introducing him to our resident cat, Gillan. However, since yesterday - they seem much happier and settled (Gillan even let Felix eat from his dish this morning).

A few minutes ago, the rescue centre called. Felix's owner wants him back - his circumstances have changed, as his boss has now offered him work at home. He is also missing the cat. The lady from the rescue was very fair, and said it was our decision - that we were withing our rights to say no.

I really don't know what to do? I really feel for the man - but at the same time, I don't know how good this will be for Gillan? Also, if I get another cat - I don't know whether Gillan will accept him or not.....

post #2 of 11
Oh, that's rough You've kinda already opened your home/heart to Felix, and now this... Since it's only been a day, I'm tempted to say, give the cat back. The guy lost his wife, and he loved his cat. If I were him, I'd want my cat back, too. But I'm not in your shoes or his shoes .

Good Luck with your decision.

Maybe Gillan will just think of Felix as a one day visitor, and will still be happy to meet another cat -- a more permanent buddy. Hopefully, the TCS-ers who foster a lot can tell you about the impact of coming/going cats on the resident cat(s).
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your reply, I kinda feel the same way. Felix was in the rescue centre since Monday, and we picked him up on Wednesday - he sure has had a lot of trauma in the last few days, the poor wee guy.
post #4 of 11
Yeah I would also suggest giving little Felix back. I feel sad for the man who lost his wife. Losing someone so close can make you think and do crazy things - like giving up your cat w/out rationalizing or thinking about it first. He realized that he needs his kitty, and I think that is nice. It may be different if Felix had been there for a few weeks or so, but only a day or so isn't a big deal....doesn't it usually take a good couple of weeks to a month for most cats to get along and accept each other anyways?

Also look at it like this, Felix is still getting a home, and you can save another cats life by giving it a new home!
post #5 of 11
Yeah, I'd vote for giving him back as well. Poor man probably needs his kitty right now. You can get another kitty (just think you will be rescuing another kitty) for Gillan. Bless you for taking in the kitty in the first place.

BTW Gillan is really handsome.
post #6 of 11
I agree with everyone above. It hasn't been that long and considering all the grief the man has been through, his poor sweet cat might be the only link he had left with his wife and realized he doesn't want to lose that either.
Bless you for giving Felix a home, but now you have a chance to bless two cats by letting Felix go back home and finding another cat who is wanting to find a home.
post #7 of 11
Originally Posted by sazza View Post
but at the same time, I don't know how good this will be for Gillan? Also, if I get another cat - I don't know whether Gillan will accept him or not.....

Nothing much. Felix is as yet a visitor over a couple of days. He is no long-term friend. Gillan wont lack him much.

But you DID get a knowledge from that. She accepted Felix and they get pals in less than 24 hours. That is quick, better than average.
So now you know Gillan is cat-friendly, and as long the newcomer is a non-hostile cat, she will probably accept the new one quick and rather easily. (there is of course some individuality, you can never be 100% sure - but 99% - yes.)

A tip though, to make sure Gillan wont lack Felix:

Make sure Gillan sees when you take out Felix and him leaving. And after it, try to clean as much as possible after Felix, so Gillan wont be reminded of him and seek him.
I did learned this lesson with our friendly Sire who get pal with the visiting ladies... He was alone cat, so he did lacked his new pals (they were in our home almost one week each).

Next tip. You will cooperate with this shelter? Excellent! You and your Gillan are worth your weight in gold for a good shelter (and they seem to be).
A variation for you is to specialize in shy semiferals. A shy semiferal isnt THAT difficult to foster into a homecat, if you know how to and have time and patience. But it is much easier if you already do have a friendly homecat.
They get usually pals very easy (the shy semiferal submitting to the homecat) - and thus the good example of the pal = the friendly homecat makes everything a lot easier....
post #8 of 11
I think it is best to give Felix back too, the man probably did what he thought was best at the time.

He evidently loved Felix enough to want the best for him at the time.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to eveyone for responding to my dilema. It has sure been a stressful 2 days! I decided this morning to give Felix back, and called the woman at the shelter. I didn't think it was right for me to have Felix given the circumstances. However, I have just had a call from the re-homing officer - who has talked with the man regarding Felix. She does not think his owner is in the right frame of mind at the moment (he seemed different today regarding having Felix back) and is concerned as he is talking of moving away. She has asked me to keep Felix, and I am happy to have him. All I want is for him to be settled in a secure, loving home.
post #10 of 11
Ah, now development.... Lets see how it will end. Good luck!

But. If you want to proceed a cooperation with the shelter/rescue-group, you can do so whatever Felix is with you or not. It may even be better if he is with you and Gilian. Thus the temporary foster will not abandon Gilian alone when heshe is ripe to move on. Give of course Felix and Gilian time to settle down! Time for Felix to get a new confidence and the feel of safety in his new home and his new Dad.

Gilian accepted Felix in less than 24 hours. But so did Felix also. Thus there will probably not be any big problems with accepting a temporary newcomer, a foster cat.

Felix was a home-cat, surely with all usual shots and no worms or parasites. Thus it wasnt necessary with any elaborated quarantene.
If you are helping homeless strays/semiferals, you must have some form of a quarantene-room. Even if the new kitten hopefully comes to you first after a veterinary check up etcetera. (arranged and paid by the rescue-group).
And yourself? You wrote several times it was stressful to you. Try to learn more how it is to help strays, so it wont be stressful to you! If you cant take it more easy - concentrate on tame homecats who went astray. Or on kittens who need fostering by grown up cats... Dont take grown up semiferals or long time strays even if the shy ones arent so very difficult...
Not in the beginning. Get used to this work by easy cases, and take on the more advanced first when you are more "warm in the clothes".
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your interest Stefan. I don't plan to have any more cats - 2 is my limit! Thankfully Felix has settled in great, Gillan has taken to him very well and they are great friends. He is a lovely boy, he was a house cat, and yes he had his vacinations - and had been vet checked. I have checked his coat, teeth and ears and everything looks just fine. I now have the task of cutting his claws!
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