|Purred: Sun Apr 13, '14 10:00pm PST |
|My parents lost their dog of 14 years in November. They took it hard, all their kids are grown now and gone. In January I renovated a small house I bought and my mom asked if both my cats (8yr male and 2yr rescue female) could stay with her for a couple weeks while we worked. She just missed the activity of having a pet, I agreed.
We live down south and this was Jan during a string of 12 straight sub freezing nights. I came home from work the 2nd day they were gone and this cute little black kitten (4 months old) was at my front door. I let her in and fed her. She was so adorable, friendly and trusting. I could tell she was malnourished and her hair a bit matted and dirty. I could not in good faith send her back out the door so I decided to find her a home.
One vet visit turned into two turned into three. She had worms, fleas, ear mites, malnourished and needed all her usual tests and vaccinations. Once done, she went into heat. I figured it would be hard to find her a home not spayed, so I waited another 10 days until she was done and got an appointment to be spayed. After this, was another 10 days or so of healing with the Elizabeth Collar on her. During this time my mom decided it was time for a pet because she enjoyed mine so much. She decided to take the new one when she was healed up.
My parents live in a house 3x the size of mine. I have a screened in tiny back porch. Over there they had an entire pool area, screened in to freely roam.
When we made the swap, I was unexpectedly sad to see the newest cat I found, leave. I really bonded with her in the two months I had her, way more than I thought. My mom likewise has fallen in love with both of them.
Since returning to my house they are miserable. They hiss at me, seem to realize they went from a palace to a small house and hate it and don't have the area to roam outside they loved so much. I'm really struggling with what to do now.
Is it possible my 2 cats are mad at me that I left them there that long? I mean they were loved, spoiled and had a big house, but they seem like they hate me now. I want what's best for them, not me. I don't want to selfishly keep them here if they are miserable because I miss them. I realize in retrospect I was away from them too long and it's caused them stress to be uprooted back here again.
My mom is so in love with them she offered to take them and give me the new one back. The fact that I would consider this because I loved her so much and bonded with her is making me feel guilty, like I gave up on my two. I realize this sounds silly to most people but I really love my animals and know that people here would understand the guilt I feel. But what to do?
I realize if we are going to switch back, we have to do it fast and make it decisive and final. I'm struggling with giving away my 2 cats even though it's a family member who adores them and in theory I'll still see them all the time. What made it really hard is my mom said the new one seems depressed because she misses me. So when I tried to do the right thing I feel like all I did was end up making 3 cats miserable, and think I abandoned them. Do cats feel anger or hold resentment for being left that long? Or are they just anxious and stressed? Maybe they were just happier having all that area to roam at their house and just want to be back in their big house?
Like I said I want to do what's best for them, and at this very moment, I just want them to be happy and feel like they would be happier in a huge house, with a screened in patio area with loving owners (my parents) who are retired and always home unlike me who works all week. The new one didn't know anything different so she was totally content, plus she's a kitten (6 months now) so she's more easy going anyway. I feel like the right thing to do is to send these two back to their paradise with my parents, and take the one I've bonded with and misses me back here. But the guilt I feel about all 3 being unhappy right now or the prospect that I somehow gave away my 2 best friends if I do decide to do that, is really eating at me. Perhaps it should? Or is the right thing to do to send them back and stop being so hard on myself about it, they will be loved and were happy there. And the new one was happy here.
I realize this sounds silly but I assume everyone here is an animal person like me so you get the guilt thing and the struggle about what's right for us (selfish) vs. what's right for them.
Any input would be appreciated.
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