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Rant: Ex-husband and the predicament

dogmelissa
December 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Background.... I've been divorced for almost 3 years... When I was living with my then-boyfriend-future-husband, we got 3 cats from the Humane Society. 2 of them were very much "my" cats (one followed me around like a puppy, the other was my baby), and the 3rd was "his" cat--she would cuddle with me, but if he was in the room, I might as well have been a shadow for all she noticed me. When we split, my 2 cats came with me, and his went with him. A few months later, I ended up with a tiny kitten, who is now 21 lbs and very much *not* a kitten. He also doesn't get along 100% with "the girls", mostly because he's always had his food restricted and they don't (he's jealous). I also got an abused dog... who chases *all* the cats.

Last night (though I didn't see it until today) I got an email from my ex-husband saying that he has to move to no-pet housing urgently and if I don't take Sierra, he will take her back to the Humane Society. I'm sick. My fiance thinks my house is full.... 4 pets is the limit! (To be fair, he's right; any more and I would probably have trouble effectively taking care of them all) But I can't let Sierra go back to the shelter--she's ~9yrs old now, and though she's spayed, people usually don't want older kitties, they want kittens or young adults. :( I don't want her to die, but I also don't want to help my ex-husband. When we divorced, I moved back in with my parents, and couldn't take the girls because they have a cat who wouldn't tolerate them; they had to go to a kennel for 3 months. He didn't even want to pay for it, and I was a student at the time and had no money. They almost ended up having to be taken to the shelter then, until I begged him to pay for their kennel. Then earlier this year, when I realized that their records at the Humane Society still have his name on them, I asked him to fax them to take his name off and he got really mad and refused to do it. I had to half-threaten to take Sierra away from him (my name is on her record) if she ever showed up there before he agreed to sign and fax a letter I wrote. I don't know if he actually did it, though. I never should have married him, and though I'm happy now, there's a part of me that's very bitter and was until recently very jealous of him--he got remarried within a year of our divorce. Now I'm thinking that probably the only reason he's moving to no-pet housing and being forced to give up Sierra is because he's going through another divorce. That gives me a sick feeling of joy... but I don't want Sierra to suffer!!!

Given the alternative, I want her home with me. But I don't know if it'll work in my house, and the timing couldn't be worse, as he's saying he'll take her in within a few days, and we're going away for Christmas. I can keep her in a bathroom for the time we're gone, but that's just unfair. I'm trying to figure out if I can take her home or if someone else I know is looking for a cat (and would give her a good home!!!), but so far, it's not looking good. I'm pretty sure that if I got her home and she met my fiance, she'd like him and he'd like her, but I don't want to muck up our relationship because of a cat.

I'm so confused.... and upset and .... scared that Sierra will die.
Has anyone gone through anything similar? I know cats aren't kids and I shouldn't be so upset over this, but the other side of it is that what happens in another year when he gets his life back in order--will he ask to have her back?? What if she doesn't "fit" in my house, and I can't find her another home? Will I have to take her to the Humane Society myself? *cry*

Support, hugs, suggestions would be much appreciated... if you're local and know anyone who would take fantastic care of Sierra if I can't keep her (which is obviously my preference), please let me know.

Thanks for reading... if nothing else, please send your best wishes Sierra's way...
Melissa

Frenchy
December 15th, 2006, 03:51 PM
I'm sure there's a rescue who would take the cat (tell your ex they would take a donation too !) Have you search for one ?

chico2
December 15th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Aww Melissa,your ex is a jerk for putting you in this predictament and poor Sierra of course.
I guess he did not love her as much as he thought,there are plenty of places he could buy or rent and still keep the cat:evil:I hope he's beeing dumped by his new wife,just the way he is planning on dumping Sierra.
I have no advice to give,but do hope everything works out ok,both for you and poor Sierra:grouphug: :fingerscr

badger
December 15th, 2006, 03:59 PM
You need to keep your eye on the ball - which is the cat - and forget about the fact that you will be doing your ex a favour, against your better :) nature. Older cats don't do very well in shelters so the next best thing would be to find someone to foster her for a few weeks or months, and then make a concerted effort to find another home. You could call rescue groups in your area and see if they have a foster available, in which case they would take over.
Make sure he signs a paper indicating that he has transferred ownership to you so there's no fun and games in the future.
By the sound of it, the last thing you need is another cat.

Prin
December 15th, 2006, 04:42 PM
So this was your cat before? I'm just not following the story right... If it was a cat that I had lost in a settlement, I'd be doing whatever was possible to get her back, regardless of the man's feelings about it.:shrug: Sorry, I just don't understand how you can turn your own pet away- or even wonder about it.:shrug: :o

But I do understand the pain and crap of a break up though. :grouphug:

heidiho
December 15th, 2006, 05:04 PM
"I don't want her to die, but I also don't want to help my ex-husband." I wouldnt even look at it like that,you are helping her,and if that is an issue how you look to your ex act like "hey i dont care sure i willtake her"dont let him know it bothers you.

SARAH
December 15th, 2006, 05:38 PM
Agree with heidiho on that one, your ex is either too absorbed with himself to realize he might be putting you out - in which case any sarcasm would be lost on him anyway - or if he thinks you'll be upset and have a dilemma, don't give him that satisfaction! :evil:

Be stronger than him, and save Sierra :cat: (Like the name btw)

dogmelissa
December 15th, 2006, 05:48 PM
Geez men are stupid!! First he says he doesn't have time to look for a new home for her and wants to take her to the Humane Society within a few days, now he's saying that he doesn't want me to have her and he will "press further to find her a place before I consider the SPCA". Seriously don't understand this.

Prin: Sierra was not technically *my* cat, though my name is on her adoption papers (with his). She was always more his companion than mine, which is why when we split, she went with him (I would have taken all 3, but he wanted her). As for a "settlement"... it wasn't really an issue then. I could barely afford the 2 cats I had at the time, and he wanted her, so he took her. As for doing everything in my power to get her back; I'm trying, but times have changed and my home isn't really suited to another cat, even if I did live with her before. I'm willing to make adjustments, but I don't want one cat to ruin my relationship with the man I love. :confused: This is very messed up.

Sarah: Thank you. I had originally replied to this most recent message that he should let me know... I re-replied saying that I am part-owner (even though that word makes me shudder) and I want her. I asked him to make arrangements to get her to me or tell me where she is so I can pick her up.

Thanks for the support all... I will keep you informed.

rainbow
December 15th, 2006, 06:35 PM
If it were me, I would be taking her back. Good luck. :grouphug:

joeysmama
December 15th, 2006, 09:55 PM
My two cents, for what it's worth.

Your feelings for your ex should have nothing to do with this. This is about a living creature, not a piece of property. It will be difficult enough for her to be rehomed if she's attached to the ex. At least you are a known entity and so are your cats. That seems to be the best solution for poor Sierra.

And my perspective is that, if a cat can wreck a relationship, then that's not a guy who is going to handle what life throws at him. Believe me, after enough years together life has thrown us a lot more than the unexpected pet. You want a man who can handle that, and more !


Let's assume your fiance is a decent guy and will understand. :thumbs up

dogmelissa
December 16th, 2006, 11:27 AM
Apparently me telling my ex that I am part-owner of Sierra and he is to make arrangements for me to pick her up (or to get her to me) was "not respectful". That felt good, actually! He has no intentions of ever meeting me again (probably too ashamed of his 2nd divorce, ha ha), so is going to drop her off at a vet clinic where he knows the manager.

I've asked him tons of questions, like what does she eat, is she in good health, blah blah blah... but I feel so relieved that she is coming back to me. The timing isn't good, and I think that's mostly what's upsetting Adam (fiance), but I know we'll get through it.

I'm actually really mad at my ex now, as he had her front claw tendons clipped so she can't extend her claws. One of the other cats we had together, Rusty, is a polydactyl and has 28 claws--and I *never* considered having her declawed or tendons cut. And she scratches on the stairs and furniture!!!!!!! :mad: :mad: :yell: :mad: Grrrr do I hate it when ppl do un-necessary mean things to animals. Sierra is such a good girl, she didn't deserve to have that done to her! Well I guess I can spend the next 10 (hopefully) years trying to make it up to her. Apparently she's been lonely without Rusty & Aubrie, so I'm hoping that she'll be happy to be with them again.

So happy ending. :) Thanks for all your support and well-wishes. I'll post pictures of her soon (she's such a cool-looking cat).

Thanks again!
Melissa & Sierra :cat:

chico2
December 16th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Melissa,that's great to hear,I hope Sierra will not cause too much trouble with your other animals and your DH.
I don't suppose she knows little Cube???

rainbow
December 16th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Glad to hear that Sierra is coming back home to you. :thumbs up Good luck and looking forward to some pics. :)

joeysmama
December 16th, 2006, 01:26 PM
I'm relieved that she's coming home again. I can't wait to see pics !!

dogmelissa
December 16th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Chico: no, Sierra has never met Cube, or the other cat, Taz. I'm hoping that things will go well, but if not, at least I tried. I know of at least 2 no-kill rescues near Calgary, so if I can't find her a good home, I can take her there.

Pics soon...

Thanks again,
Melissa

SARAH
December 18th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Great news for Sierra :) waiting for the pics!

dogmelissa
December 30th, 2006, 03:01 PM
Well, Sierra has been here almost 2 weeks (tomorrow). She has been loose in the house since the 27th, as we were away for Xmas. We've had lots of growling, a few swats, and some general absences of the other cats when she's in the room (they feel a little neglected as a result), but things seem to be going ok, and we haven't had any major problems. I don't expect anything to go wrong at this point.

Update on Sierra's progress: she was quite neglected. Other than being fed & watered, I don't think she got any attention for quite awhile. Her front claw tendons were clipped, and as a result, she can't scratch things, so her claws need to be trimmed. Of the 8 toes she has (+ 2 "dew claws"), 3 of them were overgrown to the point of being in contact with her pads. We managed to get 2 of them trimmed (one pad got pinched and bled a little), but haven't yet tackled the third. That's a job for later this afternoon. Her coat was also pretty scraggy, but she loves to be brushed, so that is improving greatly. Lots of fur has come out of her! Today I started a transition from her crappy vet food to the DVP Natural Balance that I have the other cats on. She weighs just over 8.5 lbs, which I don't think is overweight for her frame, but I am putting her on the "Reduced" formula for now. Will see how she does on that, and if I can switch her to the same as the other girls are on (Venison & Green Pea), then I will, as it would make feeding easier with my hoover (aka Taz) in the house. One of Sierra's favorite places is the very top tier of the cat tree I bought last Christmas. It's sort of a cloth pouch, and the other kitties don't like it (too high, not enough support?), but Sierra has always loved heights, and so I'm happy she has found that spot--safe from the others!

Now, on to the pictures.

Here is a link to photos I took on December 20 of all my kitties. They are not the best pictures (especially of Sierra as she was still living in the bathroom at the time), but they are fairly good.
Enjoy!

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/dogmelissa/album/576460762379739117

Melissa and the furry circus: :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat: :dog:

cpietra16
December 30th, 2006, 03:45 PM
Glad to hear it all worked out. They all look so beautiful...very happy looking kitties

chico2
December 30th, 2006, 03:50 PM
DM,aww Sierra is a beauty,I am glad she is with you,is she staying???
Is Taz the only male?,if he is...poor Taz:D

glasslass
December 30th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Sierra is a beauty! Love the markings on her face. She and Rusty look like they came from the same litter!

Frenchy
December 30th, 2006, 05:17 PM
I can't see the pics because my computer is too slow :( But I'm glad everything is working out :thumbs up

rainbow
December 30th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Very pretty kitties. :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:

dogmelissa
January 4th, 2007, 11:41 AM
It's hard to not smile when ppl are complimenting my kitties. :D

To answer the questions;
Unless something drastic changes (like one of them having an absolute freak fit), Sierra will be staying. She's such a good kitty, and it didn't take long for her to get Adam to like her--she *loves* to cuddle and be brushed and is a big talker with a small, squeaky voice, so he says as long as I'm taking care of them (physically and emotionally, and with his help), then they can all stay. Horray!!!

Taz is the only boy cat, but Cube (dog) is also a boy, if that counts. I don't think Taz lets it bother him that he's the only boy kitty... he's a bigger suck than Rusty is, and does his best to terrorize everyone in the house (including Cube & Adam!).

Sierra and Rusty are very similar looking, but they are built totally differently. It's a little hard to tell from the pictures, but Sierra is more of a tortoiseshell coat, and Rusty is more calico coloured... plus Rusty is a polydactyl. :)
Sierra had a kitten when she was in the Humane Society who was almost a perfect little mirror image of her... and I mean that literally. Kitten had the same split-coloured face (and feet), but was exactly the opposite of her momma. Sitting side by side their faces went orange-black, black-orange and their feet the opposite. SO CUTE!!! I would have loved to take them both, but the kitten was already adopted, so no luck.

Well, I guess that's about all I have to say... thanks for all the compliments and support!

Melissa