Monday, July 13, 2009

Heartbreak...


This is a sad story. I feel I should warn you up front that this is a sad story about a cat.

I have always loved animals and have a had at least one cat or another in my life for the past 27 years. There was George, then Marmalade, Shadow, Rambo, Poopie Kitty, Thing One, Thing Two, Boneless Kitty, Ezra, Penny, Phineas, Tibbles, Tulip, and Stanley.

Our current cats are Phineas, Tibbles, Tulip and Stanley. Last year we added two pugs to the mix and everything was fine until recently. The trouble is dear, sweet Tibbles.

Tibbles has been an indoor/outdoor cat for about two years. She had started peeing on all the beds and after treating her for a UTI, doing x-rays, and bloodwork we determined that her problem was behavioral. We bought more litter boxes and cleaned them daily. When that didn't work we tried anti-depressants and then tranquilizers. Nothing helped. Finally the vet suggested letting her outside. His thinking was that she needed more territory. He was right. Once we started letting her out the problem ceased. Hallelujah!

Everything has been going really well for the past two years until about eight weeks ago. I was laying on the bed when Tibbles jumped up and peed on it. Off to the vet we went for urine tests, blood tests and more x-rays. She had a UTI which we treated. The infection went away, but the peeing on the beds did not. I began to have a very bad feeling about what was happening. We began trying steroids and pain medication but it was becoming increasingly clear that Tibbles was letting us know how unhappy she was. She spent more and more time in the attic and basement- the only places off limits to the dogs.

Her distress became most apparent when we went on vacation and took the dogs with us. The cat sitter reported that Tibbles was sweet and happy and most importantly, had no accidents. We were away for a week and when we came home Tibbles seemed relaxed and content. Then the dogs came in. Tibbles ran to the attic to hide and within a few days was back to piddling.

Every morning I would wake up to find a wet stinky spot on each bed. It became impossible to do regular laundry because I needed to wash and dry three comforters every day. Something had to change.

We started having family discussions about Tibbles, about her unhappiness and the sad truth that the peeing all over the house has to stop. There were lots of tears, because Tibbles at her best is a very sweet and loving cat. Rebecca has been crying for days because she knows that there is no good solution to this problem.

Today I brought Tibbles to a cat boarder. I am calling around at no-kill shelters, trying to find one that will be able to find a good home for a good cat who has a lot of love to give to a family with no dogs.

Dropping her off felt rotten and calling around to shelters feels worse. I've never had to give up an animal before. I've nursed sick cats and cared for elderly cats. This is just so heartbreaking.

We are all feeling a bit shattered around here. I usually do a giveaway on Monday, but I hope that you will understand if it waits a few days. Thanks.

12 comments:

Lisa said...

Oh Sara, I'm so sorry! I do so hope that you find a good home for your sweet kitty! My sweet 13 yr old dog has to have her meds readjusted so I too don't have to wash my bed sheets daily! I so understand. And behavior is the worst. I will pray Tibbles finds a great home and that you and your sweet family can be at peace with your decision!
Hugs and prayers, Lisa

Ginger said...

I completely understand your sadness in finding Tibbles a new home. It's like giving a child away (well sort of). But you can only take so much of peeing everywhere. We had a dog much the same way. He kept marking his territory in the house after we got a female lab. It was either get rid of him, or make him an outside dog. I couldn't get rid of him, so he became our outside dog, and actually did very well outside.
I hope it all works out.

TwoBusy said...

Sorry about Tibbles — that must be very trying, especially for your kids.

That said... "Poopie Kitty?" Was that in lieu of taping a "Kick Me" sign to his/her back every day?

~~Carol~~ said...

First off, let me say that I admire you so much for really trying to work it all out with Tibbles. I am an animal lover too, and I detest people who treat their pets as disposable. Our former next-door neighbor lived there for 14 years, and they went through at least one pet a year. It sounds like you tried everything you could, and I'm sure Tibbles is going to make another family very happy.
Our 13 year-old cat had started doing all of her business on the floor. She is very fat, so we thought maybe if we take the lid off of her box she will be able to turn around better. It worked, but we have to make sure and clean up the urine, as she will only pee in there once. She still poops on the floor, and we can live with that. We have talked about what we will do if she starts urinating upstairs (box is in the basement). We agreed that she will then have to be locked in the basement. If she would start peeing all over down there, I guess after exhausting all medical issues, she would have to be put down. There is only so much that a person can take, or put their family through.
I'm sorry this had to happen to you. Our pets are family, aren't they? They give us so much unconditional love. Know that you did all you could, and the best that you could, for Tibbles and your family.
Take care,
Carol

marie said...

Sorry to hear about Tibbles ~ we've gone thorough our own kitty adventures too, and often there's been difficult decisions to make.

I hope Tibbles gets a wonderful, new, dog-free home!

Amy said...

I'm sorry, honey. Sounds like you thought it all through and really figured out what's going on. Hope you find a place for her soon and resolve it quickly. xo

Jean said...

Sara, My heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is to give up a pet. We had to do the same thing many, many years ago and even though your head knows you did what was best for the pet and your family, your heart just doesn't listen. You did do everything you could possibly do.
Jean in Virginia

mgster said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this. It definitely sounds like she wants to be away from the dogs, and what other choice do you have. You have to put your family first. And I say this as an animal lover and from a house that has two cats we love like family. You gave it every chance with all the tests, medications, etc. She was not happy and hopefully she will find peace in the shelter. I'm sure there are amazing people working there so you need not worry. But I know you are all sad at this situation. Take care.

jen said...

Oh Sara, I feel so bad for you and your family. We have 3 cats, 2 dogs and a fishtank of fish, it is a zoo over here. When I was pregnant with Julia my lil' female cat became very jealous. She peed on the baby things we brought into the house and once Julia was born she began pooping. I was about to take her to the pound, I had enough coupled with a nice case of PPD, and my vet put her on kitty prozac. She remained on them for 2 years and now is fine without them. If it didn't work, I would have done the same as you. I'm hoping that she finds a dog free family soon!

Elizabeth said...

Sara,
Hope you find a wonderful home for your kitty.
Try not to be too hard on your self. I have discovered that things always work out.

Janet said...

This makes me so sad. Is she OK with other cats? I have four cats at the moment, although we have had as many as 7 in the past and I know the horror of walking into a room and knowing that there is cat pee somewhere. Mine are good most of the time, but can "act out" when we go away and leave them home with a sitter. Just like kids, huh?

Janet @ Housepeepers

Dolly said...

Oh Sara, we had the same problems with our cat.....years ago!
After many surguries we decided it best to put her to sleep since we didn't want her to go to another home and miss us and possibly do the same thing and that owner may not be so understanding!
It was a very very hard decision and often times I regret it but have to be at peace knowing she is in kitty heaven.

Good luck sweetpea....
I am so sorry you and your family are going thru this!

Hugz,
Dolly