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Did I do the right thing?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Please move this if it is better suited elsewhere. I'd rather not put it in Crossing the Bridge, but anywhere else is fine

Warning, this is not a happy story and it does not have a happy ending. It is also rather long. I really appreciate any comments that anyone might have.

There was a grey, one-eyed cat that had been hanging around my apartment complex for as long as I have been there (since April). A few months ago, I began feeding it. A week or so ago, I found out others nearby were feeding it too. I talked to the property manager, who lives on site, and she said that cat had been hanging around for at least year, that he came and went, and that they called him the "beater" cat because he was so bedraggled looking. She also told me that someone had thought about adopting him, but when they moved, they couldn't find him. He turned up later near my end of the apartment complex.

Two days ago, I put up a sign trying to let residents know that I was planning to take the cat to the vet and look for a real home for it. I put the sign on the mailbox. When I go home that night, the sign (and the magnet I put it up with) were gone.

This morning, I took the cat to the vet. In addition to his bad eye, he had a bad tooth and was on the skinny side. He probably had hyperthyroidism. The vet also ran disease tests and found he was positive for FIV. Since he was not a young cat and had multiple issues, the vet and I agreed that he should be put to sleep. I stayed with him until he was gone.

When I got home, I told the landlord what I had done. She said it was for the best. I also gave her some advice on FIV and asked if I could post notices on everyone's door at my end of the complex. I did that this evening around 7pm.

At 9pm, I got a knock on the door. The woman told me I had put her cat to sleep. She was obviously angry and said the cat had thyroid cancer but wasn't bothering anyone. She said she had raised him from the time he was born. She told me he did not have FIV (she said he had been tested a few months ago). She also said she had just moved here from Washington. When I mentioned that the cat had been around for about a year, she said she had moved here a year ago. She told me I did not do enough to find out if had an owner and that I had no right to put her cat to sleep. She also said she wants his body back.

I opted for general cremation on the form. It was long past closing time when she called, so I don't know if the cat had already been taken from the vet's office. Did I not do enough to find out if the cat had an owner? After she left, I called the landlord. The landlord said the cat had been around "forever" and doesn't believe that it belonged to her. I don't know if the woman listed the cat on her lease, since that would mean extra charges. The cat never showed signs of having a collar (she said he always lost them). He always seemed to be near my apartment. The woman lives in a completely different area of the complex. She said she has a cat door and he came and went as he pleased.

I don't know what to think at this point. Did I really put down someone's pet? Did I do enough to find out if the cat had an owner? I had talked to other people who were feeding the cat as well as one of my neighbors, but no one thought he had an owner. If he hadn't had FIV, I wouldn't have put him down to begin with. I already had someone interested in taking him in so he wouldn't have to be out all winter. If he hadn't had FIV, I would have put up my sign one more time (it asked if anyone wanted to claim him before I found him a home). I wish I hadn't included my name and apartment number on the info sheets I handed out. What should I do now?
post #2 of 16
Hey, don't let that lady bother you. She's probably being opportunistic and will try to wrangle money or other forms of compensation for killing "her" cat. I'd say go around verbal evidence from residents who have been staying at your apartments for longer than a year. Also, the landlord would probably be clear as to when this lady actually moved in.

Now that she's pinned her arrival to your apartments to a year ago, all you have to do is get as many people as you can to testify that you have seen this cat around for longer than that. Don't worry about the moral issues. You did what is right for that poor kitty since he was old and sick. He could have passed the FIV to other cats and that would really suck. So, leave the sleepless nights to that lady who insists she owns the poor kitty.
post #3 of 16
You did the right thing! Dont beat yourself up about it the cat was in bad condition and possibly suffering you did everything you should have(- the name and # part lol)If she really cared about the cat she would have kept it indoors!!!!Especially with the thyroid condition and loss of an eye!!! If the lady persists move if at all possible to avoid the wacko. You did a very difficult but good thing for the poor kitty.RIP sweet Beater
post #4 of 16
I believe that you did the right thing, because you did what you thought was best for this cat. You gave him vet care and stayed by his side, which is more than anyone else seemed to be doing. If this really was her cat, why didn't she do more for him? You followed the advice that the vet gave you during the immediate visit. Don't tear yourself up about this. If the woman continues to bother you, speak to the landlord. Maybe considering asking her for some sort of proof of ownership as well. If she claims he was just tested a month ago, she should be able to get a copy of those results from the vet that tested the cat. Go easy on yourself, hon. You did what needed to be done.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you all. My landlord did tell me that if she continues to bother me to send her to talk to the landlord. This morning, I called the vet's office first thing to let them know what happened and to get reassuring from them (since they had seen the cat). I also gave them permission to release his body to her, since she requested his body last night. While I was on the phone with them, she called as well, so hopefully it will all be taken care of. Again, thank you for your kind words. I think I will be able to sleep tonight knowing that I did the best possible thing for that cat to keep him from suffering.
post #6 of 16
The sad part is that the poor kitty was suffering. He is now at peace. I hope the crazy lady gets off your back about the kitty. You did what you thought was best with the knowledge you had at the time. How rude for her to act as if it was a well cared for kitty!
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade
Thank you all. My landlord did tell me that if she continues to bother me to send her to talk to the landlord. This morning, I called the vet's office first thing to let them know what happened and to get reassuring from them (since they had seen the cat). I also gave them permission to release his body to her, since she requested his body last night. While I was on the phone with them, she called as well, so hopefully it will all be taken care of. Again, thank you for your kind words. I think I will be able to sleep tonight knowing that I did the best possible thing for that cat to keep him from suffering.
You did the right thing....she should have had a collar on the cat or had it microchipped so that it wouldn't have been considered a stray. She is blaming you for something that truly wasn't your fault.

Katie
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
You did the right thing....she should have had a collar on the cat or had it microchipped so that it wouldn't have been considered a stray. She is blaming you for something that truly wasn't your fault.
my thoughts exactly.

you did what you thought was best for this kitty - bless you
post #9 of 16
I'd ask to see her vet records or verify what vet he went to if it was only a few months ago..... that is if she stirs anymore trouble.....

I personally think you did the right thing!!!! No cat should be left outside to fend on its on!

YOu probably showed that cat more compassion in the few moments he had with you than her anyways...

I don't know I don't feel she is the owner I feel she is just jumping on a opportunity...
post #10 of 16
Personally I would have called the Humane Society on her. A cat that sick shouldn't have been wondering around outside for all that time. You certainly did the right thing! Poor little guy, he's in a better place thanks to you.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitby
Personally I would have called the Humane Society on her. A cat that sick shouldn't have been wondering around outside for all that time. You certainly did the right thing! Poor little guy, he's in a better place thanks to you.
If I had any idea he had an owner before I put him to sleep, I probably would have called the humane society, or at least talked to her about the lack of care the cat was receiving.
post #12 of 16
Bless you for caring for this poor cat - he is finally out of a miserable life and in a much better place.
In case this woman wants to "play tough" I would get a file folder & start collecting documents about this incident. A statement from the vet who PTS the cat would be great, in addition to your receipts. Also, get as many written statements from the neighbors regarding their observations on the cat's behavior & health and whether or not anyone had inquired about the owner of the cat, and what they found out. Ditto for the landlord. And Whitby has an excellent suggestion about contacting the Humane Society, although they might have said that you should have called them first, to deal with the situation themselves (they might have wanted you to post a little longer, to find the owner of the cat, or put ads in the papaer). You probably should ask the District Attorney's office what you can do to prevent anymore direct contact with the other woman; perhaps you can talk to your landlord, and use the complex's contact information instead.
To think that the poor kitty was considered to be her pet, IMO, is synonymous with a cheating husband who abuses his wife & tells the rest of the world that "his wife is the princess of his life". I don't know what a good term for such possessiveness is, but "love" isn't anywhere near it....
post #13 of 16
You absolutely did the right thing. I am not sure I would even
have ADVERTISED about the cat tho. I might have just made it
disappear and let no one be the wiser - since it was so clearly
neglected and in need of assistance... it probably had an owner
who either could not or would not help it.

I can tell you hair raising stories about my next door neighbor who completely neglected her pets ... a nice woman and all that but completely unwilling to do the right thing vis a vis medical care etc. for her "pets".

She let her old ex's cat die of a tumor, had to be shamed into getting her 15 year old dashund meds to help with its peeing problems, and kept her large Doberman mix confined in kennel all day!!! Oh, and her blind cat? She moved and when the cat started missing its box (unfamilar w/ new house etc.) she put it out on the deck to live - in cold weather!!

We just got her to give
the cat away to a nice woman who as experience with blind animals - she has a blind horse. We know the new owner - she'll be gentle with the cat and let her slowly learn her environment so that she knows where her box is and everthing else...And of course my ex neighbor is now in the market for
"a nice affectionate cat for my daughter". I wouldn't even give her mouse!!!

Knowing what i know about
how nutty people are about "their" animals that they don't even
proceed to care about. Sort of like a disposable "lifestyle" accessory.
I think I'd have just like I said, cared for the cat and then moved on.
Made it "disappear" and known if anyone was looking he/she could NOT
have been all that great a person if they left the pet in the condition it
was in!!

I have a similar problem to your right now, on a lesser scale. There's a cat on the bike path that always hangs out there and looooves on people. He's the nicest cat ever, so affection etc. All he wants to do is curl in your lap or arms and purr and cuddle!!

However, he appears under weight and full of ticks (I just had one bite me yesterday and I'm in for a round of doxycycline to head off possible Lymes ) I plulled 3 ticks off him today.

Any way this cat (named Toby) has a tag and a studded leather collar (with studs no less!!).

But as I said, he's on the painfully thin side, and is full of ticks (- maybe the owners don't know about Frontline?? GRRR.
Simple solution to a year round problem!! And not all that costly.

I absolutely do NOT think he is getting good care.

Last fall while walking I met the neighbors of the cat owner - they told
me poor Toby was sadly neglected and always coming over THEIR
house for love and attention!!! I ask you!!! Probably coming for food too.

So I saw him today as it was getting dark - I sat on the bike path and
looved him in my lap for a while, and he purred his little heart out for me.
Then I had to move on. I thought - I have Frontline, I'll bring some back
tomorrow!! And also, some treats or food. I am SOOO upset when I think
on a nice old little cat like that, affectionate etc. Being so badly neglected!!



Why is it that the people who don't deserve such love and
kindess from animals get an animal that IS so nice??

Okay, end of rant. I feel much better now having gotten that
off my chest.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme
Bless you for caring for this poor cat - he is finally out of a miserable life and in a much better place.
In case this woman wants to "play tough" I would get a file folder & start collecting documents about this incident. A statement from the vet who PTS the cat would be great, in addition to your receipts. Also, get as many written statements from the neighbors regarding their observations on the cat's behavior & health and whether or not anyone had inquired about the owner of the cat, and what they found out. Ditto for the landlord. And Whitby has an excellent suggestion about contacting the Humane Society, although they might have said that you should have called them first, to deal with the situation themselves (they might have wanted you to post a little longer, to find the owner of the cat, or put ads in the papaer). You probably should ask the District Attorney's office what you can do to prevent anymore direct contact with the other woman; perhaps you can talk to your landlord, and use the complex's contact information instead.
To think that the poor kitty was considered to be her pet, IMO, is synonymous with a cheating husband who abuses his wife & tells the rest of the world that "his wife is the princess of his life". I don't know what a good term for such possessiveness is, but "love" isn't anywhere near it....

My vets' office has been very supportive. When the woman came in and began making a scene, they took notes as soon as she left. She proceeded to call and yell at them and hang up after she left the office. She also called me and left a message claiming that this is considered theft and that she is going to have me arrested. (The vet left a message immediately after that warning me about her visit to them.) I have notified my landlord who said she will look into it. I have also called the police. They told me they "dealt with it" last night, which I assume means that they aren't going to be knocking on my door. I've asked my boyfriend to bring over a tape recorder so I can keep a copy of the answering machine messages. The vet's opinion is that this "lady" isn't all there or she wouldn't have treated her cat that way.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by opilot
You absolutely did the right thing. I am not sure I would even
have ADVERTISED about the cat tho. I might have just made it
disappear and let no one be the wiser - since it was so clearly
neglected and in need of assistance... it probably had an owner
who either could not or would not help it.
My intial poster was written asking if any one in the complex wanted the cat. From my talk with the landlord, I believed the cat to be a stray, but since I knew others were feeding him, I wanted to give them the opportunity to take him in. The second message was specifically to warn people that their outdoor cats may have been exposed to FIV. If I could have done something differently, I wouldn't have put my apartment number on that one. I would have just signed it "concerned pet owner."
post #16 of 16
Some years ago, I made friends with a terribly scrawny little cat who was wandering my apartment complex, and after a few days, began to worry that he might be homeless. To find out, I wrote a note explaining that I was worried about the kitty's health and asking his owner, if he had one, to call me. I rolled it into a little scroll and slipped it into a baggie. Then I bought a cheap collar and wrapped the baggie around the collar with clear packing tape. The next time I saw the kitty, I persuaded him to let me put the collar on him.

Sadly, I never saw him again. I hope that he did have an owner, and the owner was too embarrassed to call me... but perhaps saw the light and started keeping the little fella inside and feeding him properly.

On the other hand, the kitty may have just decided to stop visiting that nasty lady who made him wear the collar.

My point is: I know your decision was made in good faith and with the kitty's well-being at heart...but I always worry that even a sick critter might still be enjoying his life, y'know? So I thought I'd just mention this story as an example of something else that can be tried in this kind of situation.

Bless poor Beater...
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