Three cats might be a little too much company
September 16, 2010 1:16 PM Subscribe
I'm usually at the top of the class where cats are concerned, but I'm too emotionally involved and could use some outside opinions.
Summary: found a cat, took it in on behalf of the owner - but it turned out to be a different cat. I would normally only take a cat in if I could look after it, and I'm not sure I can commit to the new cat - but how can I not? tl;dr inside.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit to pets & animals (25 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A lost cat/kitten found my balcony and my heart; I fed it but left it outside yesterday and felt like a terrible horrible person for the rest of the day for leaving it crying in the cold (it stayed for an hour and a half crying at the door, so I don't take it as a curious neighborhood cat). Pictures of the cat online led to a call from the owner, so when it came around for breakfast today I took it in. The owner showed up this afternoon and... it's not her cat.
I can't in conscience put the cat back outside; also, (s)he's the sweetest little puddle of love that ever melted into your lap and fell asleep purring with its legs in the air.
1. I have two rescue cats already. They have a delicate dynamic based on mutual affection and jealous competition for my affection. Interestingly, they haven't reacted to Cutie cat with any hostility, just curiosity and some worry. No flat ears, no raised back hair, no open mouth breathing. Cutie, on the other hand, has growled and hissed the two times I've carried him into view of the homeboy cats, and growled some more when he thought they might be near (otherwise he just radiates sleepy love at humans).
2. When I brought my two rescue cats home several years ago I had an existing older cat. He was very stressed by the new cats and died a few months later. This still fills me with guilt and makes me worry for my now older rescue cats if I were to try to add Cutie to the mix.
3. Further complication: I'm way broke. I have a job but it's had trouble paying me this year, and at the moment I have no reliable income and a credit card bill that's growing by leaps and bounds. I can't responsibly take in a cat without taking on the responsibility of medical care.
Cat is almost certainly owned - clean and massively affectionate, wanted to come in, very hungry and hoarse - usually means lost from home. I have ads online, and will put some posters up in the street soon, but I know that most found cats don't get claimed.
I've scheduled a vet checkup for Cutie tomorrow. I can't afford it but I wouldn't mix in a new cat without getting it checked.
I'm feeling guilt on all sides. I took the cat in, and can't throw it back out into the cold. When I carried it in the door I took responsibility for it. But I also have a responsibility to my existing cats, and don't want to make their lives worse by introducing a stranger that might make them unhappy or worse, sick. And I can't afford three cats. But... there he is in my bathroom, full of love and trust.
I don't know what to do without feeling like a bastard to either the new cat or the old cats.