If you saw my Facebook page last week you may have noticed we adopted a cat. After the heartbreaking process of leaving our first kitties--Butterscotch and Maisy--back in Michigan because our landlord wouldn't allow pets, we were starting to feel lonely. We really, really loved those stupid cats--despite their vomit and poo and meowing and climbing all over our heads in the morning.
the hopeful beginning
We missed having a cat around--laying on our bed, enjoying a good tummy rub, "talking" with us occasionally. A cat brings us company, something to take care of, to enjoy playing with. So after 6 months of renting, we decided to ask permission to have a cat in the house. Shockingly...he said yes.
So we purchased all the supplies--cage, food, litter, litter box, scooper. And we looked around in the local shelters for a fixed, declawed cat who need a home. We found one! But she was gone by the time we were able to adopt her. We found a second one! But he was adopted that morning. We found a third! And we went to pick him up.
His name was Sammy. He was dropped off at the shelter a few months ago and was very very shy, but generally friendly. Kevin snuggled with him for a while and we decided to take him home with us.
Sammy ran and hid from us the instant he arrived in his new home. We were used to timid cats--Butterscotch didn't come out from under the couch for 2 whole weeks. We gave Sammy his space, petting him a few times a day, but never forcing anything. He had thoroughly enjoyed our petting encounters, but would just as quickly run away from us at our next visit. Weird.
the saga continues
On the second day home, I noticed the crusties around his eye had started leaking. He had a little puddle of fluid under his face. It was clear, so we weren't too concerned; maybe it was just a cold. (He sounded congested too.)
I was gone for the weekend and when I returned his eyes had made an extreme turn for the worse. The fluid was practically streaming down his face, his eyes were nearly swollen shut, the mucous was yellow-ish, his nose was running. GREAT. Now we had to take our cat to the vet--not something we like to do. (We like low maintenance, low cost pets.)
We made a vet appointment, but soon realized we had been deceived by the shelter--they had told us the vaccine/healthcare paperwork would be attached to our documents, but they weren't. They had acted like Sammy had been up to date on every medication, treatment, and exam. But he wasn't. There was no proof for anything.
As much as it pained us, we decided we needed to try to return him to the shelter. I spent much of the morning in tears, sobbing really--thinking about the poor cat being sick and in pain, thinking about how we had been lied to and ended up with the wrong cat (for us), thinking about the awfulness of sending that cat back to a shelter of 75 cats. It was all heartbreaking to me.
the tramatic end
At 3pm it was time to load the cat up for the trip. He refused to be put in the cage. He must have remembered how the experience ended up for him last time. I waited for Kevin to get home. Kevin forced the cat into the cage and the subsequent events were very, very disconcerting. The cat thrashed around in the cage and when I leaned down to try to soothe him, he barred his teeth in the most frightening way, and hissed like I've never heard a cat hiss. I lost it. I fell into a mess of tears--full of fear, worry, sadness, just plain stupid emotions.
Kevin quickly decided I needed to stay home from this trip. I was thankful. My knight in shining armor. He called me on the ride home and said things went smoothly. They had accepted him back and promised a refund. Sammy seemed comfortable and glad to be "home." The workers were taking him to his private room where he could get treatment and feel better soon.
And now I feel better. We just have to wait for the right cat. Right?