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To not love my new cat as much?

35 replies

MilkandWine · 12/05/2011 13:14

This is going to make me sound awful Sad

Basically I had a beautiful 2 year old British short hair cat called Esme. She was the first pet myself and DP got when we set up home together and I absolutely adored her.

A year ago I found her in our garden with her back broken. The vet said she must have fallen and snapped her spine. There was nothing they could do and we had to have her put to sleep. I was absolutely devestated and I still miss her dreadfully now.

After a few months I bought another BSH kitten as I couldn't stand having no cat in the house and named her Lola. She is lovely as well but no matter how hard I try I can't love her as much as I did Esme. I feel really guilty that I don't care about her as much and like I'm a bad owner and she deserves better. She is not as 'snuggly' as Esme was, doesn't like to sit on your knee, sleep on the bed etc and that makes it much harder to bond with her. Plus she is incredibly naughty and I feel like I spend half my time shouting at her and telling her off.

I'm seriously thinking about rehoming her for her own good as I just don't think I am the right owner for her. Then I feel awful for even thinking it. Am I being unreasonable/a total cowbag?

OP posts:
clitorisorclitoraint · 12/05/2011 13:19

Aw, so sorry to hear about your poor cat.

It is still very early days for Lola you know. Give it another couple of years and you'll adore her I bet. Cats do relax over time. I've had my gorgeous boy for about 3 years now and in the lat year he has become very much more snuggly and cuddly and I love him to bits Smile

stoatie · 12/05/2011 13:23

Give it time. I had my beloved Oscar for 19 years and never though I would love another cat as much. The children missed him so much that after 4 months I gave in and we got 2 cats (brother and sister) who were 2 years old from Cats Protection League - I liked them but it wasn't the same. However fast forward 3 years and I realised that whilst they are not Oscar and are very different, I do love them and would be heartbroken if anything happened to them. As I type this one is curled up next to me and the other one is curled up on the other settee

AgentZigzag · 12/05/2011 13:31

Try not to compare her to your other cat, or feel guilty you're somehow betraying her with a 'replacement'.

Is she being naughty because she's a kitten?

Lugsie · 12/05/2011 13:32

Hi milk

Firstly I'm sorry for your loss. I know how it feels to mourn the loss of a pet - your pet is part of your family, you get to know them and their own little personality and they are a massive part of your life. I was devastated when my dog died and it took ages to get used to him not being there. I got a new dog after a while as myself and DH are massive dog lovers and it was so weird not having one in the house. Like you it took some time to love her because I felt like I just wanted my old dog back, and my new one was just completely different to him. However I gave it some time, and I began to love my new dog just for being her, and I love her in a completely different way than I did my old dog, but that is because she is not him IYSWIM.

I don't think you are BU at all. You obviously still miss Esme a lot, but I think that you need to see Lola as being a different cat with different needs, instead of being a replacement for Esme. Lola is probably still settling into her new home, and hopefully her behaviour will improve once she has done so. I don't know anything about training cats so I can't offer any advice in this area, but just keep in mind that whatever worked for Esme won't necessarily work for Lola too.

In short, don't try to love Lola as much as Esme, but try to love her in her different way. I hope that things improve for you soon.

HTH and good luck x

flyingspaghettimonster · 12/05/2011 13:35

YANBU - I handreared some kittens last summer and chose two for myself to keep, but my in laws fell in love with them when they stayed over, and since I knew they wouldn't go adopt cats of their own, I gave up my two to them. Missing having my own cat, I asked my husband for one for Christmas/Birthday, and duly went and adopted one that looks exactly how I always wanted a cat to look - a Norwegian Forest style thing.

I don't like him. He doesn't like me. I would rehome him except that the kids love him and he likes my husband. It was disappointing, but I think sometimes it is hard to bond with a pet. If your partner likes the cat, keep it. otherwise, find a great new home, but don't dump on an animal shelter as they will be inundated with kittens right now.

mrsravelstein · 12/05/2011 13:39

i had an oscar too, stoatie, he was from a cat rescue place and was (at risk of sounding like a mad cat lady) a real friend to me and ds1 for many years especially after my exh left and it was just us and the cat.

then i got together with dh and we for some bizarre reason decided to get another cat to keep oscar company. so we got soren lorenson, who was semi feral and is very pretty but turned out to have a really horrible temperament. then oscar died, got runover outside our house 2 years ago, and there's a part of me and dh that guiltily wishes it had been her if it had to be one of them...

so i do sort of know how you feel... but soren has her rare moments of being loving, and even if she didn't, i do feel that we made a commitment to her, and i would never take her to be rehomed knowing how many cats there already are needing a home. i think if i got rid of her then i wouldn't feel i could ever get another cat again, which would be very sad.

vajazzhands · 12/05/2011 13:40

Please don't rehome your new cat!

Cats are like people, they have their own personalities and their own way and it would be unrealistic to assume you will get on very well with all of them. I have had a few cats who I think were extra special and will always have a place in my heart.

Currently I have 2 cats who I rescued and they are effectivly lodgers! They are happy for the warm safe home I give them and the bowls of food I leave them. We are very polite to each other but not overly affectinate. Aquaintences if you will! They both much prefer my husband so I don't worry too much though.

I thin if your new cat is not overly affectionate it is just her way..she probably won't be overly affectinate with anyone so rehoming her would only cause distress. If you are desperate for a cuddler I would go to an animal sanctuary and ask for an older cat who for whatever reason (usually because someone has passed away) has need a of a new home. They will know the snuggly ones and you can take her home to be a friend for your current cat. Two cats are always better than one!

vajazzhands · 12/05/2011 13:45

Oh forgot to say that kittens are usually naughty at first and I find them quite annoying so usually skip that stage but if you keep snuggling her you may find she turns in to a more loving cat.

Very sorry about Esme!

Stropzilla · 12/05/2011 13:45

Just wanted to say I completely understand where you're coming from. I had a very special pet in my life, we had this amazing bond and he even saved my life (from a fire). No pet since has come close. Like you I had more because I couldn't bear to be in a house with no animals, but noone else has come close. Not to say I don't love them, but it's difficult not to compare the 2. I wondered about rehoming the other pets, but decided not to and I'm glad, because as Lugsie says you do grow to love them in different ways. Even now years on I still get choked up thinking about my special guy. I'll always be glad I had him and I will always love him the most. It doesn't mean I can't still give a good home and lots of love to other animals.

Try not to say "Esme wouldn't have done that" or "Why can't you be more like her?". In time you will love her for who she is, and Esme will become a treasured chapter in your life. It's only been a few months for you, it took me 2 years to come around to another pet. I know they're not human, but it's still grief and loss. Be more gentle on yourself, and you don't sound horrible - honestly!

MilkandWine · 12/05/2011 13:59

Thank you for all the kind replies Smile
I feel like a bit less of a cowbag now, It was making me feel awful as I am such a natural animal lover that such feelings are alien to me.

Oh and just to reassure people I wouldn't dream of re homing Lola really. She is mine and I made a commitment to care for her which I intend to see through.

I think she is affectionate in her own way as she follows you from room to room, sits on side of bath when you are in it etc. She just isin't the sort of cat to sit on your lap or lie purring on your chest of a morning like Esme and that's what I miss. I will concentrate on her good points and try to remember Esme was a little sod for the first year of her life as well.

Oh and I would love another cat but DP has put his foot down. Apparantly one cat, dog and horse is enough! How very unreasonable of him Wink

OP posts:
colditz · 12/05/2011 14:06

I had a beautiful affectionate black and white tom, who died in my arms 4 years ago. 6 months later, I adopted a 9 month old brown tabby, who I vaguely like, but do not, to anything like the same extent, love. I still cry if I come across a photo of Tom. She hasn't filled that gap at all.

But i think she is creating her own gap. When she dies, i'll have two gaps Sad

Selks · 12/05/2011 14:09

You mentioned that you shout at her if she is 'naughty'. While I can understand why this might happen, it will not make your new puss feel confident arund you and may cause her to be quite anxious of you and keep her distance. Plus shouting at her will not solve the behaviour that you don't like anyway.
How about trying hard to bond with her - cut out the shouting, let her learn to trust you and not be scared, and offer her tempting titbits e.g little corner of cheese if she is sat near you, build up the amount of time you are affectionate with her, stroke her more etc.
You may find that with a different approach to her like this, she may become much more affectionate and enjoy spending time with you.
Just give it time. You'll come to lover her for the cat she is.

LucretiaInShadows · 12/05/2011 14:10

MilkandWine, I sympathise. I've had cats I've loved beyond all reason, and cats that I've been fairly indifferent to. The latest, I took in from an acquaintance who couldn't keep him, and for the first few months, I felt similarly to you. He got on my nerves because he was a playful kitten, and I didn't have the bond that I'd had with the last one.

Then he was ill. All of a sudden I realised that I did love him, and would be desperately upset if I lost him. It just took what felt like a crisis, although after a trip to the vet he quickly recovered, to make me realise. It had crept up on me without me noticing.

Give Lola time, and you'll gradually get used to each other. She won't replace Esme, but there are plenty of cat-shaped holes in a person's heart, in my experience.

vajazzhands · 12/05/2011 14:13

If you have room for a cat, horse and a dog... You have room for another cat!

Tell Dh the new one found its way in to the house.. I have no idea how it got here..hmmm but doesn't she look hungry

Dh put his foot down over the two cats I rescued too. They've been living with us for nearly 2 years now Grin although the bugger is they adore Dh!


MilkandWine · 12/05/2011 14:21

Selks- Believe you me this cat is not scared of me in any way shape or form. She is literally the most thick skinned and dense cat I have ever had. For example she will jump up on the work bench in kitchen which she is not allowed up on. I will say no and put her back on floor, she jumps back up and I can honestly repeat this 20 times and she will still jump straight back up. This is usually the point where I will shout the next time she does it but she STILL won't get down. I will have to get up and go right upto her before she jumps down.
Even getting a squirty water bottle and spraying her doesn't work. You can do it and 3 minutes she will be back up again.

That's just an example of course but shes like that with everything. I've never had a cat like her, I'm not sure if she is really thick or just totally not bothered. Then 2 seconds afterwards she will come up to you purring as if to say "I didn't mean to do that honest mam".

Any suggestions as to how to deal with it much appreciated. I try to distract her with toys etc but once she gets obsessed with something (I'e jumping on mantlepiece and knocking plants over) You can't stop her until shes done it. You can say "No" 500 times but she takes no notice.

Last week she knocked the entire sound system over whilst I was in the shower. I heard the crash and then she came into bathroom and looked at me and just went "meow". I swear she was saying "That was an accident honest". And on Monday she set herself on fire with a candle and didn't even realise. She has scorched all her fur down one side, thank god the breed have thick fur or she would have roasted herself!

OP posts:
Browncoats · 12/05/2011 15:03

MilkandWine see these are the stories you're going to tell in fondness about your new cat in the years to come.

I do know exactly how you feel, we have 2 cats. We've had cat1 from a kitten and inherited cat2 4 years later (the cats are both the same age). Cat1 is superaffectionate, always wants cuddles and to sit on your lap etc.. When cat2 came along I couldn't help comparing him unfavourably to cat1 Sad

Fast forward 5 years and cat2 is my best friend. He follows me everywhere and is the most clumsy cat I've ever met, he makes me laugh every day with his antics - sounds very like your new cat. He is also the most chilled out cat I've ever met in my life he's fantastic with my DS and sleeps in his bed every night and lets DS cuddle him etc.

Honestly, just give it a few years and you'll be just as smitten with your new cat Smile

AgentZigzag · 12/05/2011 15:13

If our cat2 had a human stereotype, she'd be blonde Grin

Bit airy fairy and not one to take a hint, but she's the gentlest, most beautiful egyptian looking cat I've ever come across and we love her more for being a bit vulnerable.

vajazzhands · 12/05/2011 15:15

double side tape on the works tops. the only thing that works

Isntitironic · 12/05/2011 15:16

MilkandWine I really feel for you. I honestly think the best approach in your situation is to try and learn to laugh at her. I love my cats in different ways, and I think that's natural - there will always be those whose absence you notice more because they like to be with you all the time, whereas others like to keep to themselves a bit more. Your story reminded me of my own cats - with one, I could go into a room to investigate a crash and she'd be sitting there in the midst of an avalanche of stuff she'd knocked over, in her best innocent-kitty pose, giving me her wide-eyed "it wasn't me, Mummy, honest!" look. With her sister I go to see what she's knocked down and as soon as she spots me she'll start shouting at me like "what's all this crap and why is it in my way?" They're all so completely different that I don't think you can expect to love them in the same way. I think if you can learn to laugh at your Lola's antics, it'll make bonding with her easier.

HansieMom · 12/05/2011 15:27

we use a spray bottle of water to give a quick squirt of water when they leap onto the table. It's even better if they don't know where it came from. You do not need to get emotional (frustrated, pissed) in any way. They learn so quickly. We too have a Lola, also a Rosie and Oliver as indoor cats.

gotolder · 12/05/2011 15:30

"Milk and wine"

You have our Alice, except that Alice is nearly 4 and in addition to being the most curious and determined to get into mischief cat we've ever had , she is now OVER loving and "bullies" me into doing what SHE wants.

BUT she is still not our "Best Beloved" cat who got run over when only 3 and whom I know is irreplaceable and inimitable and we've had maybe 20 or more cats over the years - none like him.

I really, really sympathise.

sprinkles77 · 12/05/2011 15:36

I quite like the sound of your new cat, but she's clearly a different character from Esme. My 2 old cats were very very cuddly lap cats (one would sleep across DH's neck like a scarf all night). They were adult rescue cats who never begged for food, never jumped on a work top. Roll on my new cheeky kitten who lives on the work top, takes food off my plate, licks food off the baby's face and will fish anything un- flushed out of the toilet (she snuck in behind me once and ran off with a tampon). She is a pain the arse, but I adore her, and DH has come to terms with our little delinquent.

Cosmosis · 12/05/2011 15:37

I feel exactly the same. We had a much loved cat who had been with us for 11 years and was put down for Lymphoma just after our ds was born last year. To make sure our other cat didn?t get lonely, 6 months later we got a new cat. I just haven?t bonded with him at all, and I feel really guilty about it. I keep telling myself we?ve only had him a few months and I?m still not really over the loss of the boss of the house, and it will come in time. I?m sure it will be the same for you.

furryfury · 12/05/2011 15:50

I have 4 cats, we've had them all from kittens. Kittens are gorgeous and cute and irresistable for a very good reason - if they weren't you'd remember how much they piss you off and you'd never have another one. Each time we've brought one home I've ended up wishing we'd never got it and 'why can't it be like the others', then they grow up and I adore them all as much as DS and DH each other. I've never lost one, but I'm sure it would be 1000 times worse if the beloved older 'better' one wasn't around any more. Give it time hon, I'm sure you'll grow to love your new one just as much.

furryfury · 12/05/2011 15:52

Also defo go for the spray bottle. It's never failed me yet.

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