Not Engaged Yet

What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)

CN - I rescued a stray cat after trying to help her for several hours. She's cute and sweet, but I'm not sure if I should keep her.

Here's the back story:

I'm an RN case manager and see patients in their home. Today I went to see a patient in an apartment complex. When I got there, there was a white-ish/tan cat that looked really underweight and had cuts by it's ears. I think it was a feral cat, because it was very unsure of me and unfriendly. I went into my patient's apartment and asked if she knew if it was someone's pet. Her son was there and said they have a lot of cats in the area, but said, "If you're talking about the black and white one, I think that's someone's pet, because it ran in the hall earlier when I opened the main door".

So after my visit, I get ready to go back to my car and sure enough, there's the black and white cat. I go over to see if it's friendly and she's super dirty and disheveled looking. I pet it for a while and gave it some water (it wouldn't eat my granola bar). Anyway, after several minutes, a girl comes by and I ask her if she knows whose pet it is. She said, "That was someone's cat here and someone in the family was allergic to it. They didn't know what to do with it, so they just let it go outside, because they didn't want it anymore. It keeps running back in the apartment when someone opens the door, because it's trying to go back to it's home".

So at this point, I'm furious. Who the hell kicks an animal outside, because they claim they didn't know what to do with it? Ummm, how about you take it to a shelter you lazy fuucck?? It's supposed to be around 100 degrees and all sun the next several days. There was no way I was leaving that cat behind.

The mailman comes and gives me this crate to confine it since the animal control center won't come get an animal unless it's confined. So I cover the cat with the crate and place a 5 pound dumbbell on top to keep it there so I have time to call animal control. That plan failed. It managed to get the weight off and was so frightened that it climbed into the bottom of a car where the engine is. I spent the next 2 hours trying to coax it out with a granola bar until I decided she'd probably stay there til I ran to Target to get a animal carrier and cat food.

That worked. I got her out and took her with me to the vet. They think she's about a year old. No fleas or ear mites, but they gave me a topical medicine just in case. Other than being dirty, scared, unspayed, and a bit underweight, she seems healthy. She had no microchip, which doesn't surprise me. She's soo friendly and cute.

I already have two cats and I'm not sure if I should keep her. I live in a 1200 sq ft apartment and I'm not sure if this is enough room for three cats. I'm doing what the vet said and keeping her in a separate, closed room for a week to slowly introduce her to Dexter and Murphy. If the cats don't adjust and appear stressed after a while (I know it can take time), I will obviously rehome her.

Basically, I'm not sure what to do. Do you guys think my other cats would be jealous of a new cat getting some of our attention? Dex and Murph are big AWs. Do you think the apartment size is big enough for 3? What would you do?

(I'm not taking her to a shelter. I'm either keeping her for good or keeping her til I can find her a nice home).

Thanks for reading all this! Here's a pic:



image

Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)

  • Aww, she looks sweet! 

    I'd keep her, but I absolutely adore kitehs, so that's just my opinion.
  • What a cutie!  How good of you to take her.

    I would pretty much definitely keep her if I were in your position.  H and I live in a house that's about the size of your apartment, and we introduced a new kitty to our older boys last fall after she followed us home one day.  There was definitely an adjustment period, but it didn't take long to re-establish harmony in our home.

    If you aren't ready or willing to take care of another cat, that's a different matter.  However, I wouldn't throw out the idea out of concern for your older cats.  They'll adjust.
  • Awww, good for you for spending all that time to do that, as well as the money for the vet. How does your BF feel about keeping her? Is it going to be a hardship for you guys financially to pay for the extra food and vet bills?

    If none of that is going to be a problem, I would definitely slowly introduce her to the other cats and see how it goes. I think it's really dependant on that, as well as the stuff above as to whether it's a good fit for her to stay with you.
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  • adfoster - she's so cuddly. I was surprised when the vet said she was a female, cause sometimes they can be so much more aloof than males. Not the case with her.

    Elle - I guess I'm just nervous. I feel like it'll be an adjustment period for me and BF, too. If I keep her, I want to make sure it's enough space so they all have room to roam and be alone if they feel like it. It sounds like your similar amount of space is working for your 3, so that's reassuring. It would be slightly less than 1200 sq feet since we keep our bedroom door closed. They have access to the 2nd bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and long hallway.

    jorja - BF said it was up to me if we keep her or not. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other at this point (I called him bawling when I couldn't get her out at first). Financially, we can afford it. I need to create a small emergency fund in case one or all happened to get sick or injured, but the normal exams/vaccines shouldn't be an issue. I'll have to get her spayed, which I think is a couple hundred dollars. I'll just put a little money aside for that. My other cats are already neutered.

    Thanks for all the feedback!
    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:0e0b88b6-0c89-4a64-82bd-81bef3a9aa51">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]adfoster - she's so cuddly. I was surprised when the vet said she was a female, cause sometimes they can be so much more aloof than males. Not the case with her. Elle - I guess I'm just nervous. I feel like it'll be an adjustment period for me and BF, too. If I keep her, I want to make sure it's enough space so they all have room to roam and be alone if they feel like it.<strong> It sounds like your similar amount of space is working for your 3, so that's reassuring. It would be slightly less than 1200 sq feet since we keep our bedroom door closed. They have access to the 2nd bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and long hallway.</strong> jorja - BF said it was up to me if we keep her or not. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other at this point (I called him bawling when I couldn't get her out at first). Financially, we can afford it. I need to create a small emergency fund in case one or all happened to get sick or injured, but the normal exams/vaccines shouldn't be an issue. I'll have to get her spayed, which I think is a couple hundred dollars. I'll just put a little money aside for that. My other cats are already neutered. Thanks for all the feedback!
    Posted by melmac86[/QUOTE]

    We actually have 4 if you count our dog.  :)  We keep one of our bedrooms and the office closed off, too, so it sounds like our furkids have about the same amount of usable space as yours.
  • That's a bitter-sweet story. If your bf is ok with it, and going along with Elle's advise, I'd say see if the other two get along with her first.
    Smile
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:06c8a5af-fbcd-417b-9acf-dd53dec85133">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware) : We actually have 4 if you count our dog.  :)  We keep one of our bedrooms and the office closed off, too, so it sounds like our furkids have about the same amount of usable space as yours.
    Posted by Elle1036[/QUOTE]

    This makes me feel a lot better about the space. I feel less concerned. Thank you!!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:c15fd7c0-06d9-4407-9cca-03b9898b478d">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]That's a bitter-sweet story. If your bf is ok with it, and going along with Elle's advise, I'd say see if the other two get along with her first.
    Posted by Lilyrose4242[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, definitely. I would give them time to adjust and if it didn't work out, I'd find a good home for her. I could not bring myself to take her to the humane society or other shelter. She's been through too much already :(
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:1c36b093-6b01-405c-8b30-db4f7681bc04">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]If financially you can keep her, BF is on board, and you'd ENJOY having another pet, barring some crazy unforseen circumstance where your other cats can't possibly adjust, I'd certainly be keeping her if I were in your position. Kudos to you for rescuing the kitty! Working at a shelter, we see all kinds of terrible things happen to animals, and not enough people doing what you did!
    Posted by LivLeighton[/QUOTE]

    Thanks Liv! I'm going to be keeping an extra carrier in my car and some canned food just in case this happens again (although, I wouldn't be able to have 4 cats, so I'd have to take it to a shelter). I'm just so thankful I found her before tomorrow's heat wave starts. I know there are tons of homeless animals that have to deal with harsh conditions, but she still deserved to be saved!
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  • SpartanCatSpartanCat member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2012
    Did she get any vaccinations while at the vet? I don't know how people feel about vaccines here but if she's unspayed, it's unlikely that the family vaccinated her. Feline lukemia is highly communicable and if there are a lot of feral cats in the area, she could have picked something up and could pass it to your resident cats. Just be careful
    : /
    Thank you for taking care of the little baby!!

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  • edited June 2012
    So, while I think it would be great if you can keep her, I was thinking of some alternatives if you can't (read: your kitties just don't like her). You could always volunteer to foster her. I'm not sure what all goes into getting approved to foster, but I always see my local shelter asking for people to volunteer foster animals. That way, you can provide for her long enough to find a good home.  However, I'd still like to see that precious baby stay with you, if at all possible. It was such a sweet thing you did for her!
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  • Melmac, you are a good and kind-hearted person. This made me a little misty.

    I don't think the space is an issue. Your place is as big as my parents' house, and we had two cats and a large dog. You might want one more litter box (not sure how many you have now). I would give it some time, and if for some reason it really isn't working out, you could look into finding her a new home.
  • Spartan - she got one vaccine. Distemper, I think. They said to bring her back in a week for the feline leukemia test/vaccine, because if she just picked it up, it would take about that long for it to show up on the test. I'm also supposed to watch for signs of any respiratory infection, which was the 2nd reason the vet recommended to keep her in a separate room for 7-10 days. You're welcome!

    Texas - I was thinking along those lines also. If it doesn't work out, I wouldn't just put her on craigslist or something. I'd give her to a friend or a friend of a friend to ensure she gets a good home. I'm warming up to the idea that it wouldn't be bad to have a 3rd. I definitely have enough love to give - just want to make sure the other cats feel the same way. I really hope they do!

    Leia - that is so sweet. Thank you! As I was lying on the ground trying to help her, I was getting made fun of by the people inside. They kept saying - "What are you, Catwoman?" I said, "No, I'm trying to help a cat and I don't know why you think that's funny". Then I said a silent prayer that I wouldn't get shot, because I was in a pretty sketchy part of town. Frown
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  • that was so sweet what did you did for that cat.  If your BF is on board and you can afford the new cat why not keep it. 

    When BF moves in we will be merging 4 cats in about 1000 sq. feet.

    Anniversary

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:e8fcfded-6c85-4945-a267-59b8c4ce3390">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think the space will be an issue.  If you want tips for introducing stranger cats (even ones who don't like each other at first), I did it over a week with our cats.  I'd be happy to walk you through it.  First off, I'd get her spayed and make sure (if you didn't already) that she's vaccinated and FL/FHIV free.  If she's got a clean bill of health then you can integrate her into the pack.
    Posted by hellotarra[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for the offer...whatever tips you have would be appreciated. The vet said I could leave a blanket or tshirt with her to get her scent on it and before introducing them face to face I should see how the other two react to her scent. He said if they growl/hiss that they need more time. What other tips do you recommend? I don't think it's feasible that I'll be able to get her spayed within a week. I can try, but I guess it depends on the vet's available appointments and how much it'll cost (I do get paid on Thurs, which is helpful). Do you suggest waiting to introduce them face to face until she's spayed?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:b2d2af6a-5a03-4933-9a66-4e3b5160e1b0">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]that was so sweet what did you did for that cat.  If your BF is on board and you can afford the new cat why not keep it.  When BF moves in we will be merging 4 cats in about 1000 sq. feet.
    Posted by danser55[/QUOTE]

    Thank you. Glad to hear that other people have several animals in a similar space.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:0e0b88b6-0c89-4a64-82bd-81bef3a9aa51">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]adfoster - she's so cuddly. I was surprised when the vet said she was a female, cause sometimes they can be so much more aloof than males. Not the case with her. Elle - I guess I'm just nervous. I feel like it'll be an adjustment period for me and BF, too. If I keep her, I want to make sure it's enough space so they all have room to roam and be alone if they feel like it. It sounds like your similar amount of space is working for your 3, so that's reassuring. It would be slightly less than 1200 sq feet since we keep our bedroom door closed. They have access to the 2nd bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and long hallway. jorja - BF said it was up to me if we keep her or not. He doesn't feel strongly one way or the other at this point (I called him bawling when I couldn't get her out at first). Financially, we can afford it. I need to create a small emergency fund in case one or all happened to get sick or injured, but the normal exams/vaccines shouldn't be an issue. <strong>I'll have to get her spayed, which I think is a couple hundred dollars. </strong>I'll just put a little money aside for that. My other cats are already neutered. Thanks for all the feedback!
    Posted by melmac86[/QUOTE]


    Regarding the bolded part, you can try to see if there are any low cost clinics in your area. A lot of large cities have low cost, non-profit organizations that are able to provide general wellness services such as shots, spay and neuter services, and Feline Leukemia and FIV testing. It's typically under $100 to get a cat fixed at one of those clinics, which means more money saved for later, in case one of them gets sick.

    It's great that you rescued her! I rescued a little kitty last year who was also abandoned by his owners.
  • melmac86melmac86 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:58c48734-78a7-4070-ace4-0c90b8afde1e">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware) : Regarding the bolded part, you can try to see if there are any low cost clinics in your area. A lot of large cities have low cost, non-profit organizations that are able to provide general wellness services such as shots, spay and neuter services, and Feline Leukemia and FIV testing. It's typically under $100 to get a cat fixed at one of those clinics, which means more money saved for later, in case one of them gets sick. It's great that you rescued her! I rescued a little kitty last year who was also abandoned by his owners.
    Posted by sparkles88[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the tip! I will check into this. I'm glad you saved a kitty too!
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:c87fc28a-9d76-44fe-88af-b9dffdce977a">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Scent cross training (putting tshirts you wore overnight in the beds and then switching them nightly so everyone smells like everyone else)  is key, feeding them on opposite sides of the door is good.  Bring the other cats into the kitten's room and hold the big kitty while your BF is holding the kitten.  The house cat will probably hiss and sniff and tell you how much they are unhappy with you.  Try playing separately with each cat.  Just subject them to a little 10 minute meeting in the morning and at night and gradually up the time.  Put the cats in the kittens room and play with the kitten in the open areas.  Rinse, repeat for a week.  Then we let them play together and they've been playfully wrestling ever since.  A week after full integretion they were sleeping together peacefully.
    Posted by hellotarra[/QUOTE]

    Awesome, thanks so much for the details!
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  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    As I was reading the first thing that came to mind was whether or not she was tested for Feline Leukemia.  My FI and I rescued a stray last year & when we took him to the low-cost clinic for shots we were told how incredibly contagious that is (as in you can transfer it to your own cats just by petting them). Luckily, he tested negative for FL but positive for FIV (which can be transferred to other cats via a deep bite). Just something to keep in mind since you have other cats.  

    Good for you for saving her, she's really adorable! And ditto PP who said to look for a low-cost clinic. The one here charges $75 for a spay vs whatever obscene price a regular vet would charge. Good luck with her!



  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:06666176-7f9b-4c90-8089-30e4032479a9">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]As I was reading the first thing that came to mind was whether or not she was tested for Feline Leukemia.  <strong>My FI and I rescued a stray last year & when we took him to the low-cost clinic for shots we were told how incredibly contagious that is (as in you can transfer it to your own cats just by petting them).</strong> Luckily, he tested negative for FL but positive for FIV (which can be transferred to other cats via a deep bite). Just something to keep in mind since you have other cats.   Good for you for saving her, she's really adorable! And ditto PP who said to look for a low-cost clinic. The one here charges $75 for a spay vs whatever obscene price a regular vet would charge. Good luck with her!
    Posted by rdr716[/QUOTE]

    This really freaks me out. The vet failed to mention it was <em>that</em> contagious. I pet the new kitty last night and didn't wash my hands in between playing with my other two. They were both vaccinated when I got them about a year ago, so I really hope they are protected from it. I'll be researching some low-cost clinics today. Thanks!
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  • She is adorable!!! I am so happy you decided to take her and make sure she is okay. I understand your concern about space but trust me my apartment is smaller than yours with three cats and I am doing perfectly fine! I think with your obvious huge heart toward animals (I respect you for that) you will be perfectly happy. :D
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_what-should-i-do-long-and-kinda-sad-so-beware?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:9a291b67-746b-4d5a-a11e-26cd0a3b01a1Post:ab3625b2-b1d0-49ca-b61a-9d7f885916f9">Re: What should I do? (Long and kinda sad so beware)</a>:
    [QUOTE]She is adorable!!! I am so happy you decided to take her and make sure she is okay. I understand your concern about space but trust me my apartment is smaller than yours with three cats and I am doing perfectly fine! I think with your obvious huge heart toward animals (I respect you for that) you will be perfectly happy. :D
    Posted by Kyrie7878[/QUOTE]

    Thanks!
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