Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saying Goodbye to my Kitties

We found a new home for our kitties. It was very, very bittersweet.

I've never chosen to lose a pet like that. And I cried. But it was for their own good. I haven't been a very attentive pet owner the last few years. They just need so much more attention than I'm giving them, Zay has never liked cats and has just tolerated them, and we've struggled trying to find places to live in this area that allow pets.

I've mostly felt relief since then. We can find a nicer apartment now. It's one less responsibility for me (I'm trying to simplify and de-stress and focus on the most important things, and the cats were not a high priority for me). I worried Kal would miss them, but he got to say goodbye and he's been fine.

When we first moved to Utah, I had a really hard time adjusting to not having cats. We always had cats growing up. Zay came home one day and surprised me with a cat who had been abandoned at a vet. He already had a name - Felix. So I gave him a middle name. He became Felix Bojangles. Ha ha. I loved that cat SO MUCH. He was my buddy. He slept on my chest. He purred loudly. Loved, loved, loved that cat. We had him for a year when Zay surprised me again. He got him a brother from a neighbor's new litter. I named him Zeus because I was reading a lot of Greek mythology at the time and he was so teeny tiny that I wanted to give him a big strong name that he could grow into. Zeus Shenanigans. Zeus and Felix were awesome companion kitties. They loved each other as much as I loved Felix. They were attached at the hip.

Then we brought Kal home. Felix had been with us for 6 years. Kal was sleeping on my chest and Felix didn't have the same place with me. Then my brother moved in with us and he teased the cat and had him hissing all the time. I hated that. Leave my cat alone!! And then... somebody left the window open. He got out. And we never saw him again. I cried so hard for my Felix. I put up missing cat posters all over the complex. He had a microchip and I reported him missing. No word. I was devastated. I still think about him 3 years later, hoping he was found and taken care of. We've moved twice since then, so I know he couldn't just find his way home. I had to let go.

I never bonded quite the same to Zeus. He was quiet and timid. He hid a lot. He liked to sleep under the bed rather than with me. I'm sure he was so sad to have lost his best buddy. So we got a "replacement Felix." A guy at my job had a litter of kittens he was trying to find homes for. He had one named Moo Moo. So, in came Moo Moo Ragamuffin to heal my heart from losing Felix. Moo Moo became Kal's cat, because they were born about the same time and were sort of "growing up" together. That was the hardest part about letting Moo Moo go. Kal used to give each of the kitties a kiss every night before bed. Not so much anymore, but still - that sweet memory made it such a hard decision to let them go. Moo Moo and Zeus got to know each other and became brothers just like Felix and Zeus had. They would curl up into one big cat poof together all the time.

The day came when I just knew I couldn't take care of them anymore. I've been apartment-hunting for a couple months and trying to find a place that allows pets and isn't a dump or crazy expensive is just impossible. Zay's allergies are always acting up. Cat hair was everywhere all the time. I still missed Felix. And these two cats had become a part of the background. They were best friends with each other. Kal played with them every once in awhile. But they became a burden to me. That made me so sad. Believe me, I'm one of those animal activist types who wants to save all the strays. And here I was trying to decide if I could even take care of the ones I have anymore. I felt so guilty as I looked into shelters nearby. The thought of taking them to a shelter made me sick. I posted an ad on craigslist, hoping against hope that someone would want them both so they wouldn't be separated. But who wants 2 adult cats? Seriously?

I don't think it was more than a couple days later when someone excitedly responded to my post. A family who was looking for two adult cats. They had just bought a house and was in the market for pets. Wife didn't like kittens, but was good with older cats. Husband was a big cat lover. They had two little girls who were excited to show new kitties attention. They came over that night to meet them. I could've sworn they were going to hide and be grumpy, but they came out and played with the family and were so cute. They loved the attention. The family loved them. I told them I was taking the kitties to the vet to get updated on all their shots and then I could bring them over with my whole big trunk-load of 6-month's worth of food and litter (seriously, I had a lot).

Kal and I spent those last few days with them paying them lots of attention. Brushing them. I let Kal know over and over that they were going to go to a new house and were going bye bye. He kissed them lots and said, "Goodbye kitties! Goodbye Zeus! Goodbye Moo Moo!" I brought him with me when I took them to the vet. I told him all about the "cat doctor" and how they were getting "medicine" before they go to their new home. He came with me to take them to their new family and he giggled and ran around with the two girls. The kitties sniffed the new place and I dragged myself away from there before I cried too hard. I came home and vacuumed every little bit of cat hair that I could find. I found their cat bed that I had forgotten about and cried about that and wondered if I should bring it to them. I threw it away instead.
Zeus Shenanigans

Helping me usher the kitties into the carrier

Moo Moo Ragamuffin

Giving me his best "sad face"

At the vet. Zeus has always been the shy one.

Moo Moo, checking out the vet's office

At their new home, hiding under a crib.

And this is where I left them. :(

Ugh. That was tough. But I'm so happy they're where they needed to be and now I can focus on other things. We're going to be pet-free for awhile and I'm okay with that. It was the right thing to do. *deep breaths*

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