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I couldn't be without a cat, when we had a gap from previous one we needed it because she had been a lot of work (overactive thyroid & then kidney failure). A sweet cat but always difficult, soiling issues for the whole of her 15 or so years <groan>
She was the reason I chose a rescue cat over a kitten, I felt that with a rescue cat you'll get a bit of a heads-up on what they are like.
Pleased you changed your mind about the toys/blankets mignonette, when I got my old cats ones out for the new cat & they still smelt of the old cat (wee & all) it made me smile because it was 'her' smell (never thought I'd feel that way about cat wee!) and reminded me of her.
I have 2 black rescue cats-the first one was rehomed as part of a pair but sadly his brother died about 2 years later from an illness. To keep him company we then adopted a 6 month old who is completely crazy!!! He's now 2 years old and still mad. Note to self- in future do not get the asbo cat climbing up the sides of the cage!! I was very glad not to have to litter train either of them as the younger one keeps us all on our toes even as an adult cat (jumps out at the kids and karate kicks us for fun!
Go for it- black cats show up their hair nearly so much on furniture too!
Am awaiting photographs of your new feline family member. So pleased you have taken the plunge. I took so much pride in the fact that I had given a stray cat a good home and that Thomas became the Princeling of the house.
I am finding it very hard first thing in the morning especially, coming down to an empty space on the chair, no cat sitting patiently by his bowl, emitting the tiniest of meows if I did not proceed directly to his food cupboard. I keep waking in the night, painfully aware that my feet are not being pinned down by the weight of a very heavy cat and aware that I can now move my feet and legs with impunity because there will be no more 'gentle' nips if I dare to move when he has made himself so comfortable....
I cannot bring myself to wipe away his little muddy paw prints from my back door nor clean the kitchen window which he used to climb in and out of and left little tufts of white fur gathered around the window fastening-his fur got everywhere.....
The pain I feel has shocked me. I really really loved my cat.
Oh mignonette, I am so so sorry. It has been clear all the way through the thread how much you loved Thomas and how very very special he was to you. The hole he has left must be enormous. I am truly sorry. As a fellow animal lover who has felt the sheer raw grief of losing an adored pet, I am sat here with tears in my eyes for you. Thomas's story will always stay with me, somehow he has become part of the story of the cat I am about to adopt. I will treasure him all the more, having had the reminder of how very fragile life is and how we never know what might be waiting for us around the corner. Thinking of you.
Having others recognise Thomas's importance to us really helps. Knowing that our devastation is recognised and not belittled really helps. Too many people would say "It's just a cat".
They are never 'just' cats, or any other pet for that matter. we had an amazing Hamster called Rocky who's cage could barely contain the sheer size of his 'personality'. I still think of him 8 years later....
Thomas was such a comfort to me when my father died this Summer and the first time he deigned to sit on my lap was the day of Dad's death. I came home after being awake for 34 hours, sank into the chair and Thomas leapt up and wrapped himself around me. He was company in a way that Humans cannot be, much as I love my DH and children! He was funny, and mad as a fish and so totally his 'own man-cat'. Such a funny mixture of swaggering braveness and timidity.
Enjoy your new cat, Zonedout and thank you for taking in a rescue pet. The pride I felt in providing a princely life to Thomas will hopefully provide some comfort to me over the coming months...
I collected him yesterday and he spent the rest of the day hiding under the bed of his allocated 'safe' room (as per Cats Protection's instructions).
He came straight out to see me this morning when I came in with his breakfast (he likes his food, is apparently massively overweight so I have to have him on a strict diet, poor baby ) and he came to me for some very purry cuddles . He is still hiding a fair bit but coming out for some lovely strokes and tummy rubs too.
Will gradually introduce him to the rest of the house this week and then to my dear old dog (fingers crossed for that one!)
How exciting . Food will be a very useful familiarisation tool seeing as he is obviously food-led! Am looking forward to continued updates.
Still having unpredictable outbursts of tears alongside the more predictable times such as seeing the bare space by the door where his bowl and mat used to be. Trying to stop myself dwelling on fact that he was laying undiscovered all afternoon and night; nothing I can do about that now. The cat shelter were lovely when I took an enormous bag stuffed full of his cat treats, mat and bowl, scratch posts, food and flea treatments as I'd cried the whole journey there and looked pretty blotchy upon arrival. Have kept his fleece, blanket and toys.
oh Mignonette. How wonderful that you are being so kind and helping other cats even during your own grief. I know it's very easy to say but please try not to beat yourself up. There was nothing you could have done. You gave Thomas everything, you gave him so much love and I have absolutely no doubt he knew that.
Thank you. I'm considering going to the shelter for a few hours each week. They want people to sit with cats to help maintain their socialisation-you sit with them and read a book, play with them etc.
I'm not considering getting another cat yet as it would not be fair and DH is adamant that he cannot countenance the anxiety it would generate regarding it's well being for now. But I do need to do something and having taken sick leave from work as I'm not doing so good at the moment, it would maybe help.
Think Thomas had a vestigial memory of being hungry and stray because he would get quite distressed when he was hungry-in the middle of the night he'd clump about trying to get our attention even though he'd been fed properly earlier. I usually left a little dry food out for him but sometimes he just seemed to panic. He never stayed outside for more than 45 minutes or so before coming back in to 'check' all was well. He always came running when I called. That is why I knew he was gone after only an hour and a half of no sign of him.
That sounds like a wonderful thing to do . I do find that sometimes to do something very 'giving' when times are crap can almost provide a little relief from one's own pain (if that makes any sense at all ), not to mention provide some much needed attention for the cats. I'm sorry you are struggling so much. it sounds as though you have had such an awful lot to deal with
The more I hear about Thomas, the more wonderful he sounded. I will be very lucky if my new boy turns out half as lovely.
Yes you have hit the nail on the head; helping does help relieve the pain and will hopefully help what I know is unwarranted guilt to dissipate. The shelter are cool about it, they know I am not using them as personal therapy and that any commitment will be a long term one. I may end up fostering older cats one day. Maybe Spring time.
It has shocked me how much this has dragged me down to the bottom of what I think I can cope with. I didn't wail like this when my Father died but in a funny way I find it hard to miss him because we were never close and with him living most of the year abroad, you cannot miss what you did not have. I guess I grieve over his suffering, his early death and the loss my stepm/ his wife has to endure. With my cat, he was ssuch a companion, such a funny contradictory fellow (like most cats are) and he was present, you know?
I'm sure your new cat will be a wonderful unique little fellow- they are all so different in their 'cat-ness'.....