Something else I forgot to mention that I’ve been doing lately is kitty rescue, again. I don’t volunteer with any groups or anything, the little ones just find me. Maybe 1-5/year is probably my norm. I’m convinced my front porch has some version of feline hobo code on it, declaring, “Nice lady, plenty of food and affection. She will find you a family, if you want one. Understands body language and telepathy.”
Well, right before I left to visit my family for the holidays, I found a young black kittyboy and a six month old palepalepale sandy-orange kitten with striking orange eyes. They needed shots and neutering, so I set them up with appointments right away. Chance, as I was to call the boy, ended up needing hernia surgery and a second complications-related surgery as well. Everything went smoothly, the cats were extraordinarily sweet and cuddly, and my very generous friend, C., offered to foster them and finish up their appointments and meds while I was away.
I was a little stressed out—okay, more than a little—when I got back in late December, due to the situation with my mom and other stuff. I was also concerned about being able to find a family or two for Chance and Butterscotch (the girl kitten). I didn’t want to have to keep them in my basement bathroom for too long. It’s a pretty big bathroom, and is one of the only spaces in my house that can be shut off from the rest of it, but it gets cramped with TWO kitties in there. (I usually only find/rescue one at a time!)
Imagine my shock when I see a carbon copy of Butterscotch on my porch one afternoon. “How did you get outside?” I wondered, then realized this one had *greenish* eyes. Yep, there was no other explanation than that this was Butterscotch’s twin sister.
Now imagine my surprise again when my rarely-seen next door neighbor comes up my steps, as I’m picking lil kitty up, and says, “Hi! That’s my cat. And I have two others that I haven’t seen in a few weeks… have you seen them?”
Um, yes. I just racked up an approximately $600 vet bill for them. Nonetheless, I was happy they DID have a home and were now neutered and had gotten their shots and hernia taken care of. She offered to split the bill with me, and I accepted.
My neighbor’s household is complicated, possibly poorer than even I was for the past few years, and carless. They’ve also never really had cats. I did not know this at the time. I returned Chance and Butters to her, with the provision that I be allowed to take them to finish up their shots series. I also offered to get the second palepalepale sandy-orange kitten fixed up, too. She agreed. She calls them Sylvester, Dixie, and Trixie. They also have a dog (now two dogs).
Everything’s fine. We finish up Dixie/Butterscotch’s round of shots and Sylvester/Chance the Nuzzler passes his check up with flying colors. Trixie (now Tahini) gets spayed and begins her shots. She has a bad ear infection (strange for a cat), so she recupes in my basement bathroom for two weeks while I administer the meds for it. I don’t like that they continue to let Chance outside and that Butters seems unhappy now, continually hiding under furniture and not coming out. But overall, everything seems fine.
This morning, my neighbor came to my house, crying and asking for a shovel; her boyfriend had found Chance dead by the side of the house. And Butterscotch had apparently gotten out and run away two weeks ago.
In the meantime, I have fallen in love with poor Butters’ twin, Tahini. I am still open to placing her with one of my animal-loving friends or another truly worthy home. But if not, I’m going to keep her. Her ear meds are almost done, and next week, she’ll get her last shot. Originally, they wanted her back to “test out” her personality post-spay; they thought her pre-op personality was sour. Did I mention that little Tahini purred herself to sleep on my lap the other day, after a marathon cuddling session? No sourness there at all. Some people just don’t understand cats and shouldn’t have them.
This morning, after finding Chance, M. said, “No more cats.” I hope they stick to this. They’ve not acted maliciously towards these kitties, not at all, just cluelessly. But in any case, they’re not getting back Ms. Tahini Pterodactyl.
I feel like I should never have told her I had her missing cats and just found them good homes at the beginning, like I’d planned on doing. It’s true, Chance might have passed anyway, because of an aftereffect of his hernia or whatever caused his sudden death. Or he could’ve lived a lot longer. Butters surely would have been tended to much more lovingly and carefully.
So I ask you this: is it better to be honest and have something horrible happen subsequently, or to lie and have possibly saved one or both of these kitties (Chance and Butterscotch) from death and/or a life of misery? I feel like a complete and utter FAILURE.
- How to adopt a great cat (cnn.com)