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Big decision - need input, please

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I need some advice about my foster girl, Maggie. In case you aren't already familiar with her situation, she and her brother Sylvester, were abandoned by their owner, who lives next door to me. I was fostering a kitten at the time and didn't have the space to take either one of them in, but did put out food and water for them.

The weekend before last a local no-kill shelter/rescue offered to take Sylvester, the more outgoing of the two, and he has settled in just fine. Maggie was much more traumatized by being put out than her brother and wouldn't come near me, so I had to trap her. Since my foster kitten has been adopted, I now have the space for Maggie in my spare bedroom.

Since the shelter director indicated they didn't currently have the space to take Maggie too, I had pretty much resigned myself to foster her and find her a home on my own. She's much more shy than her brother and I was also concerned about how she'd do in a shelter environment, even though it's cageless and a really nice place. She and her brother aren't closely bonded, so it's fine that they've been separated.

I just got an email from the director that they've had a couple of adoptions and now have the space to take Maggie by the end of the week. Here's where I'm torn. I'm perfectly capable of fostering Maggie now and hate to take a space at the shelter away from a cat that's truly in need. There's also the fact that she's still pretty traumatized, although very sweet, by everything she's been through and another change might make it worse. On the other hand, you guys know I've been fostering one kitty or another for the past sixth months, with only about two weeks that there wasn't a foster kitty in the house and am really feeling like I need a break to devote more time to my own kitties.

Those of you who have come to know me can probably guess which direction I'm leaning. Like I said, I'm really torn about this. Please let me know what you think. I need to make a decision sooner rather than later and let the shelter know.

Thanks.
post #2 of 22
If you can handel it then I'd foster her just so they can have space for another cat.


The question becomes is it going to be a foster or a "foster"? (Meaning will she become another kitty in your home)
post #3 of 22
I would be inclined to say keep her - I think she would warm up faster to people in a quieter environment and then you could find a great home for her in less time than if she were in the shelter. But then again, if you lived near me, I just might take her off your hands, she's such a lovely girl!
post #4 of 22
Well, I think you're in a situation here that it's going to take time and work on your part with her, and the thing is... if you have success with her, then probably you're going to be bonded to her. If she goes to a clinic, she may never be adopted out. It also may traumatize her more. Perhaps you could engage in trying to clicker train her (and your others) and it would be a bonding experience?
post #5 of 22

oh sorry, I'm probably not supposed to laugh

I think you should foster her yourself, like you said, if the shelter has room then they can take in a cat who is truly desperate. I think Maggie will do much better inyour care
post #6 of 22
"There's also the fact that she's still pretty traumatized, although very sweet, by everything she's been through and another change might make it worse."

I think that pretty much says it all. IMO, I think I would give her the chance to settle down alittle more before making another change!! She probably would do much better in your care since she is already familiar with you!!
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
But then again, if you lived near me, I just might take her off your hands, she's such a lovely girl!
Be careful what you say to the Kitty Fairy - she has a way of making wishes like this come true. All I said was that I would love to have a dilute calico and Ginger flew over 1000 miles to come home.

Eileen, you didn't answer the most important question in this - how are Katie, Gracie, Peter and Claire doing with Miss Maggie?
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
If you can handel it then I'd foster her just so they can have space for another cat.


The question becomes is it going to be a foster or a "foster"? (Meaning will she become another kitty in your home)
She'll be a foster, meaning I'll find her a home. Four's my limit, as much as I'd love to keep her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Be careful what you say to the Kitty Fairy - she has a way of making wishes like this come true. All I said was that I would love to have a dilute calico and Ginger flew over 1000 miles to come home.

Eileen, you didn't answer the most important question in this - how are Katie, Gracie, Peter and Claire doing with Miss Maggie?
Heidi's absolutely right. I like making those kinds of things happen.

My kitties haven't had any contact with Maggie yet. They know there's another kitty in that room, but are used to that.

I do have to consider them in the decision to continue to foster her, though. Whenever I foster, it takes time away from them and they need meowmy too. They've been so good with all the kitties that have come and gone over the past six months and so patient with the fact that meowmy has given time to other kitties.

I'll be honest, guys. I hate the thought of turning Maggie over to the shelter and of her being scared, but I also have some other kitty responsibilities still brewing in the background, so that's something else to consider. Still have one more feral male to trap at the site where I've been doing TNR and I want to get him before cold weather arrives. I'm also helping a friend with a mom and two feral kittens, so Maggie going to the shelter frees up space, if need be, for them.

I just want to do what's best for Maggie, my own kitties and the others I've committed to helping. It's a tough decision. I hope you guys can understand. I really do appreciate your thoughts on this.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilcon View Post
I hate the thought of turning Maggie over to the shelter and of her being scared, but I also have some other kitty responsibilities still brewing in the background, so that's something else to consider. Still have one more feral male to trap at the site where I've been doing TNR and I want to get him before cold weather arrives. I'm also helping a friend with a mom and two feral kittens, so Maggie going to the shelter frees up space, if need be, for them.
You have your answer Eileen....
You got Maggie, named, cleaned up, you got her vet business started...
If the shelter a no kill----
then my humble feedback is-----
let Maggie go there.
Then spend some quality with your fur kids...
they need you and it sounds like you need them.

I know that whatever you decide will not be easy Eileen.
Please keep us updated.
post #10 of 22
Maybe a compromise: let her go to the shelter, but make a special effort to visit as often as possible and spend time socializing her. The continuity between being in your home and seeing you at the shelter would make it a little easier for her, I'm sure...
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Maybe a compromise: let her go to the shelter, but make a special effort to visit as often as possible and spend time socializing her. The continuity between being in your home and seeing you at the shelter would make it a little easier for her, I'm sure...
I like this idea if the shelter is near by and seeing Maggie will not tear at your heart strings and make you miserable Eileen.
She is such a beauty...
don't you think that she will soon be adopted from the shelter into a forever home?

It is a no kill shelter right?
Is Sylvester still there?
Maybe they can put them together.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Maybe a compromise: let her go to the shelter, but make a special effort to visit as often as possible and spend time socializing her. The continuity between being in your home and seeing you at the shelter would make it a little easier for her, I'm sure...
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
I like this idea if the shelter is near by and seeing Maggie will not tear at your heart strings and make you miserable Eileen.
She is such a beauty...
don't you think that she will soon be adopted from the shelter into a forever home?

It is a no kill shelter right?
Is Sylvester still there?
Maybe they can put them together.

I really like that idea. Thanks. The shelter's about a half hour a way, so not too bad. I was planning to go and visit Sylvester this weekend anyway. In terms of her socialization, it may even be better for Maggie to be at the shelter. They have many wonderful volunteers, so she'll have contact with a lot more people.

You know me, Lei. Of course seeing Maggie and Sylvester will tear at my heartstrings, but every kitty does. This shelter has an excellent reputation and does many successful adoptions. They specialize in taking in abandoned, abused, and neglected kitties, so it's good place for Maggie and Sly.

It's completely no kill, so no worries there. I wouldn't have taken Sly there if that wasn't the case. I got the cutest email about him today. Apparently, he has a "girlfriend" in his kitty room. Her name is Mokie and she's always been a very shy and withdrawn kitty. It seems Sly has really brought her out of her shell and they've become very close in the short time he's been there. How cute is that?

The shelter director said she can arrange it for Sly and Maggie to be in the same room, which will help. They're not that closely bonded but, even so, a familiar face may help Maggie adjust.

I'm going to sleep on it and let the shelter know in the morning. Another option I've thought of is offering to take Maggie back to foster if she doesn't adjust.

She and Sly are such sweet, gorgeous kitties I think they have great chance of getting adopted quickly. Maybe even together!

Thanks for the input, guys, and, especially, for your support and understanding.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
After sleeping on it (more like tossing and turning on it) I've decided to let Maggie go to the shelter. I'll be dropping her off on Sunday and combine it with a visit with Sylvester.

This wasn't an easy decision and I know some of you may disagee with it, but please try to understand and trust my judgement. Maggie is shy and was traumatized by recent experiences, but she doesn't need socialization like a feral cat would. She thrives on attention and will get a lot more at the shelter than I can give her.

Granted, the shelter isn't the same as a real home, but it's warm, friendly place with a very caring staff and volunteers. I'll visit Maggie as often as I can until she gets adopted and will take her back if it doesn't work.

Since the original plan, if I'd been able to get a hold of Maggie sooner, was to take both her and Sly anyway, I feel good about this decision.

Thanks, guys!
post #14 of 22
If you feel it's the right thing, I'm sure it is!
post #15 of 22
Good luck and vibes sent your way!
post #16 of 22
I am so happy that you came to that conclusion Eileen....
I think that it is the best for all concerned---
you, your kitties, Maggie and handsome lover, Sly.

Let's all send out powerful vibes that Syl & Maggie are adopted together.
That would be just the best outcome possible.
Let us know how it goes on Sunday Eileen.
Maggie
Sylvester
Mokie
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update you guys on Maggie and Sly. I took Maggie to the shelter yesterday. She was scared, but seemed to be settling in okay when I left. I also had the chance to visit with Sly, who seems very happy to be in a safe place with other kitties to play with, lots of toys, cat trees, windows to look out of and plenty of food. He looks great and his paws have healed nicely. What a sweet, handsome boy. I met the shelter director too and she seems very optimistic that Sly and Maggie will be adopted quickly. They're both such gorgeous long-haired cats. I also met Sly's shy friend Mokie, also a very sweet, pretty kitty.

I was really impressed with the director and the other volunteers I met. The shelter itself is very nice and homey and all the animals seem happy and well cared for. I truly feel it's the best place for Maggie and Sly and plan on visiting them as often as I can until they get adopted. Please send lots of adoption vibes their way. Thanks guys!
post #18 of 22
Maggie, Sly & Mokie...
truck loads of adoption vibes into forever loving homes on the way.


I think that you made the right decision Eileen.
Fingers crossed for those precious kitties.
post #19 of 22
Mega adoption for all 3 babies!! I know it was a hard decision, but honestly....there was no wrong decision. There were 2 right ones.

Now trap that tom, love your babies, & help those feral mom/kittens!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to give you guys a quick update on Maggie and Sly. I visited them at the shelter last week and they are thriving under the wonderful care they're receiving. The shelter volunteers seem optimistic that they, along with many of the adult cats, will have a better chance of being adopted now that kitten season is winding down a bit. For now, the main thing is that these sweeties are getting the TLC that they're former idiot owner didn't give them.

I'm committed to continue visiting them regularly (and spreading the word about them among family and friends). Please keep those adoption vibes coming. Thanks guys!
post #21 of 22
More adoption vibes heading their way!
post #22 of 22
So glad to hear they are doing well! I really think you really made the right decision for you. I'm so glad you're getting to spend time with your own babies. I have always believed that rescue work is a great great thing but you can't continue putting yourself out to the point where you burn yourself out. As much as we want to save the world and every kitty in it sometimes we just need a break and a breather! Rejuvenating ourselves emotionally (and our relationships with our pets) is a huge part of being a good rescuer, I think. We need that time to keep up our spirits and find our balance again....

Ahhhh I am totally rambling! Anyways. I know it was a tough decision but it seems like they're both benefiting from the shelter AND getting tons of love too.
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