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I want this cat back

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
This weekend the rescue group I volunteer with finally adopted out the last from a litter of feral kittens I helped to socialize in the fall. Claire, as we called her, is a beautiful, almost solid white, little girl, very sweet, but a little shy, about nine months old now. I adopted her brother, Peter, at the end of Jan. and have been feeling terribly guilty about not taking her too, but thought it wouldn't be practical, since I already have two adult cats. I knew we'd fine Claire a good home eventually. I just don't have a good feeling about this adoption. It's a family with small children and the father didn't seem too thrilled with the idea of getting a cat. There are a few other things that make me uncomfortable too. We're planning to follow up after a week to see how things are going and will definitely take Claire back if things aren't working out, but I'm ready to just go and get her now. I'm even thinking about doubling her adoption fee to get her back. Is this crazy, or what?
I just can't stand the thought of her not having a safe, loving forever home.
post #2 of 22
I'd say give it a week. You never know what the father's mood was that day. When we got Marsh, the breeder was not happy with us, because we told her and and of couse we knew that my father was not a cat-person. BUT i tell you, within a few weeks he loved Marsh as much as we do. He now constantly carries him in his arms around a house like a baby

People change, and don't judge them just yet. BUT, i would be scared of a young kid around a cat, that's another case in itself.
post #3 of 22
I agree. Give it time and see what happens. I agree that this adoption doesn't sound like the best match (shy cat + small children + father who doesn't really want a cat = not the best possibility for success), but stranger things have happened and it's very possible that Dad could fall in love with her and Claire could be the kind of cat who loves little kids.

If things aren't working out, and of course if you think Claire is at risk, of course you should get her back. But otherwise, it is very important that you give things a chance. Remember, too, that if this family has a bad experience with this adoption, they are very likely to avoid adopting from shelters and rescues in the future and are more likely to go to breeders and pet stores in the future. That is not a good outcome for anyone.
post #4 of 22
Well I know for me, I now go with my gut.Years ago, I had a lady stop here to look at some kittens I had for adoption. She arrived in a classy clean car, was well-dressed and quite polite and nice. She took a liking to one of my older adult cats Karma a dilute tortie. She wanted her really bad, and usually I check out the home first, but this lady snowed me completely. Thankfully, she did not have a cat carrier so I let her borrow one of mine and got her address. I told her I needed it back in two days. She promised she would return it.When she left, I couldn't shake that something felt "wrong." I had asked her if I could follow her out and just get my carrier back immediately, but she said she was expecting out of town company and this wasn't feasible. But all day something was wrong inside of me, and I told myself I was being foolish, that I was to attached to Karma. But after two days and no word, I went to the home and knocked on the door. The door opened to a dark living room and six kids sitting on the couch in the dark watching television. I said who I was and I was told to come in. As I walked into the room, my foot stepped on something squishy and I smelled poop I continue walking...squish, thud- there was junk everywhere on the floor and I mean everywhere. Piles of poop, urine stains- it was nasty! I walked through the kitchen asking thekid if she knew where Karma was? She said she didn't. I kept walking and in the kitchen was this huge great dane in a cage not even big enough that he could lie down in! Poop was everywhere! I struggled to keep my composure and again asked about Karma. Some kid said she was in the back room under the bed, so I made my way through the mess to the room that was pointed out to me. In this room was a mattress on the floor supported by bricks! I bent down to peer underneath and all I could see was junk. I called to Karma and I heard her crying. I reached down and flipped the mattress over, and Karma was stuck in the very end corner trembling. The carrier was nearby. I snatched her up, hugged her told I was sorry and put her in the carrier. I then demanded to speak to the mom- who it turns out was in bed at 2:00 in the afternoon. I barged into her bedroom and told her I was taking the cat and I split. As I was loading Karma into the van, a little girl came running out asking if she could say goodbye. Turns out she was a neighbor's kid. I told her i was taking this cat home and she looked at me, and in her 12 year old wisdom said "Good!" I just wish I had listened to my gut. I have no idea what Karma had to endure in those 48 hours.
post #5 of 22
Hissy, you've just illustrated why I always deliver my foster cats to their adoptive home personally (after checking vet references, etc). This way, if I don't like what I see, I walk straight out the door and the cat comes with me.

I actually learned this after I placed a kitten who was still semi-feral with an adopter who had plenty of experience and great references from people I happened to know personally. I didn't see any reason to check out the home myself. But the kitten escaped from her 3rd floor apartment because it was the middle of summer and one of the windows was covered with chicken wire instead of a screen. Fortunately, we were able to re-trap the cat and she was fine. But that was the last time I let a cat go to a home without checking it out first, no matter how good the adopter is or seems.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just read these responses and don't know whether to be reassured or more concerned. Part of me wants to give this family the benefit of the doubt and give it a week as a couple of people suggested. But, I just can't bear the thought of Claire not being treated right. I should mention this is the second home she's been in. She and her brother were adopted right before Christmas, but returned in early Jan. We're not sure what happened, but they
were pretty traumatized and had terrible infections in their eyes. It's really not my place to interfere with this adoption, but I feel like I need to do something!
post #7 of 22
It is not crazy at all. I agree with hissy that you should go with your gut. I waded into a Rottweiller cage to rescue a kitten awhile back, adopted him out to a vet tech, who I thought would give him a good home. I had occasion to visit the vet's office a few weeks later, only to find out that he had been declawed, something I was very adamant about her not doing, and she had returned to live with her parents and a bunch of little kids. I had made it very clear that if her situation changed, or there were any problems, that I wanted her to return him to me. Something in the back of my mind said I should not let this young woman have this kitten, but I thought I was just becoming too attatched. I still feel absolutely horrible about this, and when I said I wanted the cat back, she refused, and I had no recourse. She was fired by the vet a few weeks later.
post #8 of 22
IMO, it is not appropriate to have you in the background lamenting how you personally could have given this cat a better home. You had your chance and passed. Are you wanting to visit right now as a penalty for them not bonding fast enough with her? Of course experienced pet owners can do better than novices, and can get quicker results and make progress faster, but that does not mean the less-experienced pet owners are not trying and won't eventually figure it out? What gives you the right to go rip her away from the new owners who have opened up their home and hearts to learning how to take care of a cat?

Rather than second-guess yourself, accept that you granted them this adoption and move forward. Channel all of your energy into writing up some protocols for how you conduct future adoptions. What questions do you ask? Do you require a home visit? Do you ask for the name of their vet and three references? Do you ask to see receipts that they have purchased rudimentary supplies? Most importantly, what are your criteria for saying it isn't working and under what conditions do you reclaim the cat?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Nano,
While I appreciate the suggestions regarding our protocol for future adoptions, I don't think feel it's your place to say that it's inappropriate
for me to lament this adoption. I was the first person to ever hold Claire and watched her grow from a feral kitten into a sweet, albeit still shy, young cat. I'd miss her and be concerned about she is adjusting no matter what kind of home she went to.

Perhaps I am being too quick to rush to judgement of the situation. This does not mean I'm intending to, as you stated, rip the cat from her new family's arms. I was an inexperienced cat person once myself and certainly believe they deserve the same chance. However, I trust my instincts and believe it is in the best interest of the cat and her new family to follow up soon.
post #10 of 22
OMG... Hissy, your story made me cringe
post #11 of 22
I truly believe you should trust your instincts. There's obviously something there that's got your guard up. Since you're planning a followup anyway, the sooner you do it, the sooner you'll know! Good luck!
post #12 of 22
I say... check it out! You are better off safe than sorry! I'll also bet that the kids are disappointed with such a shy kitty. They will probably hand Claire back no problem. I just adopted Puppy and she is VERY shy. She wouldn't have been happy in that type of environment. I hope you get her back ... for her AND you!

Good luck...let us know what happens!
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilcon
Nano,
While I appreciate the suggestions regarding our protocol for future adoptions, I don't think feel it's your place to say that it's inappropriate
for me to lament this adoption. I was the first person to ever hold Claire and watched her grow from a feral kitten into a sweet, albeit still shy, young cat. I'd miss her and be concerned about she is adjusting no matter what kind of home she went to.

Perhaps I am being too quick to rush to judgement of the situation. This does not mean I'm intending to, as you stated, rip the cat from her new family's arms. I was an inexperienced cat person once myself and certainly believe they deserve the same chance. However, I trust my instincts and believe it is in the best interest of the cat and her new family to follow up soon.
I stand by what I said but I don't come here looking for fights or arguments. It was just my honest reaction. I hope the cat found (or finds) a good home. Best wishes!
post #14 of 22
Oh Hissy that's very sad. Isn't it strange to have that gut feeling I am also that way, Thank God you got her.
post #15 of 22
I also have learned over the years to trust my gut instincts. How wonderful you got that beautiful cat out of that situation Hissy.

I hope things turn out for this other scenario and that the follow-up is better than anticipated.
post #16 of 22
Go with your gut feeling, I say! Here's MY near-horror story.

Not long ago, our rescue had a pair of 20+ lb cats for adoption - one of them a purebred Maine coon male, the other a female. Both had been found crammed into a cardboard box and left in a park.

At an adoption event, a lovely, sweet and well spoken older women was very excited and wanted them. She told us she lived in a heritage home in a prestigious neighbourhood, and had just lost her 18 yr old cat. Sounded perfect, right?

We decided to really check her out, since these cats were 6 years old and had horrible lives, so we went to her place without the cats. The "heritage home" was actually a converted stable (poorly converted) and it was cramped, dark, dank, damp and a firetrap loaded with junk.

This lady said she would isolate the cats for awhile from her cat - in an tiny, shabby horrible added on bathroom.

THEN we saw her other cat, a very tiny girl and asked if this cat would not be troubled by the new arrrivals. The answer "Oh she's 19 and will die soon so it's okay."

THEN we found out her last cat did not die of natural causes, but was run over because she was still letting her roam outside at that age.

This lady was furious when we denied her the cats. We were very shaken up that these cats may have ended up with her.
post #17 of 22
Hissy were you able to call someone about that Dane with the "poop" lady? What a horrible situation to have animals and kids living in!
post #18 of 22
I think it's perfectly ok for you to check in on the cat. When I adopted a rabbit the rescue made it very clear that they would keep in contact with me to make sure everything turned out alright. This is pretty common around here at least. I wouldn't be offended if a shelter contacted me or wanted to visit to see how things were going. Go with your gut and check things out.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
I finally broke down and just called Claire's new family. The wife seemed grateful to get the call. Said they're a little frustrated that the kitten has been in hiding and they haven't been able to pet her yet. She is eating and using her litter box. They're trying to give her some time and space and want to give it a couple more weeks. Told her to call me anytime if any questions/concerns.

Please send good thoughts that this works out and thanks for putting up
with my display of emotions. I got way to attached to Claire!
Will keep you posted. Thanks again for all the support.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just spoke to Claire's adoptive mom. She has started to sleep on their bed at night. Still won't let them pet her, but comes close and will play with her toys. She's been very calm around the one-year-old. They're very happy with her and want to keep working with her.

Please keep sending good thoughts that this continues to go well. We'll keep in contact for the time being. Looks like I misjudged this family. I just got way to attached to Claire!

Thanks!
post #21 of 22
I'm so glad things seem to be looking good. Hopefully Claire gets used to her new family and lives a long, happy life
post #22 of 22
I think the fact that she is sleeping in bed with them is a great sign. We had a very shy foster, and her first sign of being lovey-dovey was sleeping with my daughter. Although I love my cats, it is the kids who made them what they are by spending hours loving on them. Although it takes care to keep a pet safe from a baby, overall children are a huge plus to any pet, IMHO.

I am glad they are giving her time. I hope it works out for all concerned.
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