Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So long, good friend


I adopted Boo right around the time I started this blog -- she grabbed my heart while I walked past the cat cages at PetSmart, and I knew she had to come home with me.  We had only one other cat at the time, Kitty, who tolerated Boo, barely.  Boo ran around the house, stealing my floss and stashing it in a pile in the corner under our computer desk.  She waited for me to get out of the shower every morning. She came with me to work for a while (to give poor Kitty a break).  She slept in my hair at night.  And she loved me.


The spring after we adopted Boo, we adopted Ruby.  Then Giblet.  Then Zero and Dottie.  By that time we were fostering kittens who came and went like leaves on the breeze.  With every addition, Boo became more anxious, less sure of herself, and more prone to swiping at the other cats in the house.


We tried pheromone wall plug-ins, Prozac, extra play time, and even visited the vet a few times to make sure she was healthy.  But our vet said some cats really just need to be one-and-only's.  Boo is a smart girl, and that, our vet said, can be a problem.  She just never was used to the idea of sharing a house with lots (and lots...and lots) of other cats and kittens.

So, as much as I love her, I had to let her go this week.  I took her to the shelter for a check-up and surrender, then carried her to PetSmart to look for a new home.  It was hard for me.  It was hard for her.    And although I have tears in my eyes and look around corners at home for her beautiful face, I know that she is on a journey to a new chance at happiness and love and peace and security.  Yes, I posted that she needs to be an only cat.  Yes, I posted that she is smart, and loyal, and that she has been well-loved.

Sometimes when you really love someone, you have to let her go on her own journey.  I hope she is happy, and I hope she knows I love her.


I'll miss you, Boo.  Always.

27 comments:

Barb said...

We had a cat that I think was meant to be a one and only. He took to spraying in the house and yard and nothing we tried helped. He started that after the addition of another cat and then 2 kids. We had to keep him outside and it broke my heart.

Ana said...

We had a cat named Beauty. She was the best little cat. She was weaned too early and so she'd knead on you and try to suckle. We had to get rid of her because our son was allergic. About 2 years after that we went to see her. People told us she wouldn't remember us, but I called her nickname when she ran past me to hide. She stopped jumped right into my lap and loved on me like there was no tomorrow.
=*)

Katrina said...
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Beth said...

What a difficult decision to have to make. So sorry - I hope she finds her "Permanent Home" soon.

Theresa said...

I am the Cat Pals co-ordinator at PetSmart, and know the employees very well over there. They are watching out for a good owner for her for me, and yes, it was a terrible decision to have to make. PetSmart is keeping me updated on her, and I work across the street, so I can check on her often! :)

Theresa

Anonymous said...

I just feel once you have adopted an animal they should be with you for the rest of their life. I don't like the idea of tearing them away from the only family they know and feel safe with, I'm so sad for Boo.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Theresa. I'm sure it was difficult for you both. But you're right; given the current situation in your house, she needs to be in a place that's comfortable for her. Maybe she'll get adopted by someone close by so you can find out how she's doing.

My cats will get an extra hug tonight...

Carol S.

Beth said...

I'm so sorry that you had to make such a difficult decision. You are truly exceptional in your mission to rescue kitties. I'm deeply disappointed that several posts have been critical of your decision.

Theresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa said...

Believe me, I am a firm supporter in "forever homes," as I volunteer many hours a week at our local shelter at in my home by fostering homeless cats and kittens while they get over illnesses and while they grow to surgery weight. My decision was made with a lot of thought, professional help from my veterinarian and shelter staff, online research, and help from my family, too. The way that I saw it, Boo could be miserable in our multi-cat household or I could help her find someone new to love.

Please do not believe I took this decision lightly...it was in her best interest, and she was definitely not a throw-away cat. This was not a case of "mildly annoyed" or "a little anxious." This was tearing around the house with a poofy tail, scratching at the walls (and even on the ceiling), and picking fights with my other cats. I want her to be happy -- she deserves it, because she is a wonderful girl.

Anonymous said...

It's quite obvious some of you have never been in a similar situation, or if you have you didn't stop to put the animals needs first. It's also obvious that every accommodation was made with no success. I once had it explained to me like this by someone with degrees in animal behavior: can you imagine the stress and anxiety you would feel if you were forced to live with a group of people you hated? How is it fair to do that to another living creature? The answer is that it's not. Another fact some of you may not be aware of is that cats are adopted extremely quickly at Petsmart. They certainly don't languish there for weeks on end. Average adoption time is a matter of hours, a few days at the most. Boo obviously did not feel safe or happy in her home, if she was then Prozac obviously wouldn't be needed.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Katrina. How rude. I am an employee at the animal shelter, and I have seen all of the giving and the good that Theresa has done for the animals in our community. She has almost single-handedly saved probably a hundred kittens and cats who would have otherwise been euthanized. I don't think any sort of lack of caring went into this decision making process. Sometimes, when you can't give an animal what they need, the best thing you can do is let them go, even if it is into the scary unknown. After a decision like this the last thing that Theresa needs is your condescension. I'm so sorry for your loss, Theresa, but it was the right decision--but you already knew that. I know how hard this is, and I cried for you and for Boo when I read this. Thank you for everything that you do...and give up...for the animals of our community.

Tedra said...

I know Theresa had to consider this so very carefully - she would not give up Boo if Boo could adapt to her other housemates - I have been in a place where I had just one cat that would not accept others, so had to wait until she passed on to add to my household - there are kitties like that that really have to be the only pet.........I know Theresa has done her best and I'm so glad to hear that her Petsmart will take the measures to make sure she gets the proper family to adopt her!

Tedra - Phoenix, AZ

Sharon said...

Theresa, I can't imagine how hard that was for you to do. Boo is very fortunate to have someone love her so much that they rip their own heart out so that she can find her own happiness! I pray that Boo will find a loving family very soon and that you will keep us updated. {{{hugs}}}

P.J. said...

I have tears in my eyes for the heart ache you both must feel at this moment. But you once again have shown the grace of an angel. Your selflessness in knowing what is absolutely in the best interest in Boo. She is blessed to have you as her guardian.

Lynn said...

Im sitting here with tears down my cheeks. Im so sorry you had to make this decision. You are "heaven sent" and I admire all you do for all the furbabies out there. I can only appreciate all the time, love and care you give all these kittens and cats. Don't let anyone tell you different. I wish there were more people in the world just like you.

I too, am going to hug my cat Mabel just a little tighter tonight.

Hugs, Lynn

Marie Smith said...

Theresa I want to say thank you! I truly understand about putting Boo's interests first. You have tried everything. Boo will find a loving home where he has no competition. I am also a cat rescuer and I have 10 cats but they all get along because they are all from the same colony. I rescued these babies right outside my house and tamed them all. Again thank you you are wonderful!!

Sylvia said...

I know this is a sad situation all around, but especially for Boo. Boo has no understanding of what is happening and why. All Boo knows is that everything familiar has been ripped away, and she now is in an even more stressful situation. I hope she finds a home that is better for her very quickly.

BTW Anonymous, its so easy to come out and call Katrina rude without putting your name to it. Katrina stated a very valid opinion. Its so easy to shoot someone down when you are doing it anonymously. If your convictions are that strong, please sign your name.

Theresa made a decision regarding a pet and shared it publicly. Some people will think this was a wonderful & loving thing to do, and some people won't. We all are allowed to state our opinions without resorting to name calling.

Shirlee said...

How very hard this was for you! I hope Boo finds a good "one & only" home.

Lynn said...

I firmly believe in doing what is best for an animal's needs. I know how extremely difficult this decision must have been and my heart goes out to you.
Boo is such a sweetie that I know it won't be long before they find her another home.

Natalia said...

Theresa, I know this was probably a very hard decision for you to make, and I am trying to understand, but I must admit I am having a hard time. I know I could not let a dear pet go after so many years, no matter what. Maybe you could have stopped fostering/adopting cats when you realized that Boo was not handling that very well??? Since you are so involved in the adoption process, I think you could still have continued to find them good homes without fostering them and certainly without having to let Boo go. Just my opinion. I have a lot of respect for your efforts to save these cats, but I question your decision to let Boo go.

As for Anonymous, how easy it is to criticize somebody without giving your name. If you have such strong opinion about the matter, why don't you have the guts to sign your name?????

Also for the other Anonymous who says we don't put the animal needs first, you don't even know what you are talking about. To those of us who don't agree with Theresa's decision, this is all about putting the animal's needs first. Boo was in the house first and not for just a few days. Her needs should have been put first even if that meant not fostering other cats. Yeah, Boo hated that situation and that's why she should not had been put through it. And yeah, if you have such a strong opinion, be brave to give your name.

Theresa said...

Checked in on Boo yesterday, and she's doing well -- very calm and looking around the store! The employees at PetSmart said they will keep me posted and help her find a great owner. I appreciate ALL comments, and y'all know how much I love animals.

I know, because of my three or four weekly visits to our shelter, all of the fostering we do, and our cat ownership that it is important to keep pets when at all possible. Boo was here first, but even if we stopped fostering kittens all together, we still are a multi-cat house, which means Boo would still be stressed (we had a time this year with no fosters at home, and it is the multi-cat household that makes her stressed out.)

We ended up in a no-win situation, because we have adopted a number of cats...so, either Boo had to go, or we had to find homes for all of our other cats. I know, because many of our fosters have been adopted through PetSmart, that the adoption wait is brief, that the owners are typically great, and that the proceeds of her sale go to the shelter.

Thanks so much for everyone's comments -- I knew I'd catch some flack and get support. Pet owners love their pets, and we only want what's best for them.

lisa said...

I agree it is in Boo's best interest to find a new home, but I know for myself I could never leave her at a shelter even if I could check on her all the time. I would need to have a home lined up with someone I know and trust before I could ever let her go. I hope she gets adopted quickly- maybe even buy one of the fabulous ladies here who read your story. Best wishes to Boo.

Carmen Sutton said...

I'm not sure what your store time is, but would Boo have liked it there no other cats, but some lots of humans to fawn over her? Most stichers love cats!!!
Good luck to Boo where ever she ends up hope she gets all she needs if I did not have two spoiled cats I would have loved to have her. Your decesion was a hard one, but after all you have done for CATS I'm sure it was not taken lightly. Have some understanding ladies.

Theresa said...

I did think about having Boo be a store cat, actually, but some people are allergic to animals, so I didn't want my customers to suffer. And also, I didn't want Boo to spend her nights alone in a dark store in a busy part of town (Wal-Mart and Sam's Club are right out my front window.) Good thought, though, Carmen!

Mary said...

Theresa I know this had to be one of the hardest decisions you had to make. I am sitting here with tears, knowing Boo will find a great home soon. I once had to make a similar decision about a dog, who loved only me, he would growl at everyone who came near me...when he was put out I know he was just sad. We returned him to the rescue to find an elderly gentleman was just in looking for a similar size dog, they called him and it was "love at first sight', Boo will find a new love soon.

Debbie said...

What a tough decision you had to make, Theresa! We had to let a kitty go once too...he started being very naughty (spraying, especially) when I was suddenly gone from home much longer than usual. He went to a lovely retired couple who had more time at home.
I can't imagine a better place for Boo to find her "new people". There are only pet lovers who shop in that store, so it shouldn't be long.
You were very brave to post about this, considering the criticism. I'm sure you realized before you posted this could happen. Just think of the people and kitties you have helped who might be in similar situations!

Debbie in Kansas