Need advice - having crisis over keeping stray

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Member Since
Purred: Sat Jan 11, '14 11:46am PST 
Sorry this is long - so I need advice.

So back in mid december, on the coldest day of the year in AZ (near freezing actually), my sister-in-law and I heard a cat calling in distress. We looked and couldn't find her - I had to leave with my niece and my sister-in-law eventually found a sweet cat who just crawled into her arms. My brother and SIL had two older cats, so couldn't take her in, but they started feeding her, provided her a box with blankets for warmth, and started letting her sleep in the garage. This kitty was clearly very special and very sweet. We posted signs to find the owner, to no avail. All the no kill shelters were full. Finally, I felt so bad I took her in, provisionally - with the idea that I wasn't sure that I wanted to be her forever home, but my house was better than the alternative (the street/my brother's backyard). So I kept posting signs and ads looking for owners, and also posted ads to get her adopted. I took her to the vet, who said she was well cared for and a year old and already spayed. I had her treated for a respiratory infection and tested for diseases (she tested healthy).

Well I found someone who would like her - she would make an excellent home. She lives in a big house, she is home all day, and has another one year old cat. I am somewhat in love with Sadie, so now can't decide if I want to keep this cat forever or give her to this wonderful home. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros to keeping her: I've grown attached (and maybe a bit in love) with this cat. Her company is nice. She is sweet. She really is a special cat. I didn't want a cat but she won be over. Also, if I keep this cat, this other girl will probably get another cat - so one more cat will have a home.

Cons to keeping the cat: I am finishing up a PhD program. I know cats are cheap but food and litter aren't free. I had to borrow money to take her to the vet and get her infection treated. Money is a stressful situation for me - so a cat adds to that (and I already have a stressful life). I also will probably move within the year and to who knows where (wherever I get a job). I may be moving a few times in the next few years- potentially all over the country. I know I can move the cat- but she will limit my ability to find apartments, get roommates etc. I always thought I would wait to get a cat til I was more settled.

I live in a small apartment now, I hate the litter box - I hate cleaning it and have no where to put it but next to the dining room table (or in the living room). I also like being able to come and go as I please - and she is too social to be left home alone for hours on end. I know some people do it - but I don't feel comfortable being out for a 15 hour day now that I have a cat. Its not fair to her. I think her new home would be a better home for a cat.

Anyway, advice on making this tough decision? Please know if I do decide to keep her, I will be very committed with no going back.


Go Gently Into- the Night

Purred: Mon Jan 13, '14 9:41pm PST 
First, it is wonderful that you have taken this kitty into your home, cared for her and tried everything to find her owners.

Everyone who has a pet, whether it be a cat, dog or even a smaller pet has made the decision that the pet’s welfare comes before his or her own. This means not staying away from home very long. A caregiver needs to get home to feed and care for her cat. Dogs have even more necessities of needing to be let outside to relieve themselves. No long partying or overnight stays at another house. If your cat becomes ill, you need the finances to be able to take her to the vet and you need to get home from work/school as quickly as possible to check on her. All these things need to be done – lovingly and without hesitating. If you resent doing this or blame the pet for infringing on your life style, then owning a pet is not for you. For many people there is no hesitation. For them, being a caregiver to their pet, they always find a way and an answer to every situation.

You said you would be committed. You said the other home would also be forever. The bottom line is what is best for the cat.