January 2nd, 2008, 02:36 PM
I hate having to make these decisions :sad: The lady who owns the barn where I keep my horse has agreed to take on one of my strays as a barn cat. I have 2 strays right now and I have to decide which one to send. The other one will live (or continue to live) in the shelter under my house. So, here are my issues....
Maurice has been living under my house in the shelter and is already used to it. He's fat and furry and doesn't seem unhappy although he'd clearly be happier in the house. However, he was here first and I feel like he should get priority to go to a better place. I also don't think I'd ever be able to have him in my house because he doesn't get along with my other cats AT ALL, so the barn would probably be better for him. BUT, the little white cat is still a little skinny and not as furry and I'm not sure how happy she'd be under my house. The barn is heated and the cats are fed well. She's also had frostbite on her ears and I'm thinking a heated barn would be better for her. However, I could eventually have her in my house when some of my other pets go (I have a few seniors) so maybe she should live under my house until then. But, she's been in my computer room for the past month recovering from her spay and I'm not sure I'd feel good about putting her out, even with the shelter outside. It just seems kinder to take her to the barn. What should I do? I've been wracking my brain for a week trying to make a decision and one of them is going tomorrow.
January 2nd, 2008, 02:49 PM
Have you made a list ? Pros and cons for each one of the cats ? Try to see which one has more barn cat behavior ? Like the most independant one etc...
January 2nd, 2008, 02:56 PM
I don't understand- why would you want any cat to have a life as a barn cat? Can you take them both or find someone who can give them a good life in a home? No cat should live in a barn. I know that may be the way it is done in some areas but I have to admit your post makes me sad - to know the best a kitty might get is to live in a barn!! Yes, my grandparents had a farm and had barn cats but they soon realized how hard that was on the cats ad little by little, we took almost all of them in or found homes for them and of others came along, we cared for them too. So I have been there but know that every cat, given a chance- and time and patience and love- wants home with a person who loves him or her! Please = as a New Years' good news story or resolution, give these cats a life!
January 2nd, 2008, 02:59 PM
Don't forget also, that if Maurice has to co-exist with other barn-cats, and he's not a cat-friendly cat, he may be unhappy enough to run away... and be a stray and ferral again :sad: without knowing either cat personally, and not having anything to do with your final decision, I'd still let Maurice stay at home in his shelter. He's used to it now, and knows you. But ... you know your cats! Just my :2cents: sice you asked ...
January 2nd, 2008, 08:30 PM
Thats a real dilemma. Knowing how Maurice doesn't like your house cats, do you think theres a chance he could get along in a larger environment (barn) with the cats that exist there? There is usually adequate space in any barn for many cats so that they're not on top of one another, he might be so pre-occupied with mice and the new activities and exercise he'd get in a barn that he'd fit in. Because there are soo many home-less cats and not enough homes I don't think a barn is too bad an option, lots of hunting, warmth from the livestock, daily food and the independence to climb, and play in the straw is far better than living feral on the streets. Its as close to a natural environment with a few bonuses thrown in. If I were a cat I think I'd choose a barn life over being captive 100% of the time in a house. Of course the ideal would be for any cat to have the proximity of a barn but also be able to sleep in the house if desired, but you have to take whats being offered. The cat I'm keeping for the winter doesn't like being in at all, she is so bored and getting pudgy/lazy but in a few months she's going to a barn where there are sheep, lots of activities, daily food and I think she'll relish her freedom. Is there anyway that the little white cat could fit into your home permanently, it seems she's been through so much already in her short life.
January 2nd, 2008, 09:02 PM
I cannot take in either of these cats permanently; I have 5 cats, 2 Greyhounds and a human baby already, and a husband who's at the limit of his tolerance for any more furries around here. Cyberkitten, it's not that I WANT either of these cats to have a life as a barn cat, but as I said I can't adopt either of them right now and I think a heated barn with lots of food and water is better than nothing, and certainly better than either of them had before they came here. I've already had both of them fixed, de-wormed, and all of their shots done, which is way more than I could afford but I did it anyway. I didn't go looking for these cats, they both showed up on my doorstep out of nowhere and needed medical attention which I provided (Maurice needed 3 teeth pulled and antibiotics for a month). I have tried to find them homes in houses, but as most of us realize, it is very difficult to place adult cats. What else can I do? None of the vets or shelters around here will take them.
Thanks to everyone for their input. I have decided that the little white cat will go to the barn tomorrow. Maurice has adapted to life in his shelter under the back porch and I let him in to warm up every evening. I also don't think Maurice will do well in a community of other cats. He's not a big mouser and prefers to lounge around when he can. It still makes me sad to send the little white kitty though, she's such a sweetie, but I can only do what I can do. At least she'll be fed and warm which is better than she had before. I do the best I can.:shrug:
January 2nd, 2008, 09:18 PM
I think you did alot more then the average person would ever do and I think you should feel proud with what you have done. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty with your decision either.
Personally, I think a heated barn is a wonderful solution, I know so many rescue groups who's actively looking for a heated barn to put some of their feral and unadoptable cats.
I am sure the little white cat will have a great home and Maurice sounds like a lucky cat to have you as his angel.
January 2nd, 2008, 09:23 PM
The biggest :grouphug:s to you, vfrohloff. You have done all you can do, and you've done lots! Think of all the unwanted litters you've prevented and the care you've already provided them. We had barn cats when I was growing up; they were the happiest/healthiest I've ever seen. I'm sure little white kitty will be fine.
January 2nd, 2008, 09:36 PM
We all do the best we can with what resources we have. It is just sad that there is no one to help you or no group that can help you find these kitties home. I know all about barn cats and know more than I care to about trying to find homes for cats- and was not suggesting you should feel guilty if anyone assumes that. I am going thru a serious family crisis so possibly things come out more harshly than I would like when I realize and know you are doing your utmost to helping these cats. My regret is that you had to make the decision at all - it just is so unfair for you and for the cats and begs the question where is our caring society? I too have more cats that I prob should and if one showed up on my doorstep with no home, I would not even think twice before taking him or her in or finding a home if say s/he did not get along with mine but I find it usually possible to integrate kitties - it is usually the ones already there that sometimes object to the newcomer to their territory. You know how that goes. I am just stressed to the max right now and the situation of this kind of almost inhumane choice (and yes, I know a barn is better than nothing but I also know all too well that not all barns are equal and things can rapidly change on a farm - I am familiar with that kind of life too so while it sounds good, what will happen down in te future? I do know cat trappers who using their own money and resources do what you do 10 and 12 times a week and some cats go back to barns or to feral colonies and it is the only life they know but she also tries to find homes for all of them and succeeds 90% of the time. It is the 10% that leave an ache in my heart. The villans are whoever allowed the sects to be born - someone who did not bother to spay their animals and left the responsibility up to you - just as so many of us on this forum are always paying the vet (sometimes money ppl do not have) for necessary vet care for pets we then try to find homes for. And the even sadder thin is how some groups treat ferals which is another case in point - or even municipalities. But that as you are well aware I am sure is another topic.
I DO thank you for helping them - I still wish you did not have to make the choice. I will admit it upsets me but I realize it is not your fault - is there no newspaper who say might have taken a picture of the cats and asked for homes or any free publicity like that that might have aided you? Just a thought tho it's late- I did not see your other posts because I have been so engrossed in other things. Sometimes, I just ant to scream at our society!!! And forcing you to make this Faustian bargain is one of them!
January 2nd, 2008, 09:52 PM
vfroloff - From one cat mom to another - THANK YOU :grouphug:
What a hard decision to have to make. PLEASE do not feel guilty about making the one you did. You have done more for these babies than what most people would do, more than your share for sure. You have your hands full already with your resident cats, dogs, and oh, there is a human baby in there as well. :cloud9:
We deal with people judging us on a daily basis. Folks don't understand the love, patience, and caring it takes to do what you do. That is what this site is for. So you can ask for support and guidance when you need it without fear of judgement.
And wow, a heated barn!! Heaven on earth for a kitty who has been fending for herself. She will love it and will quickly find her own spot. :lovestruck:
You have made your decision, rest easy with it. :angel:
January 2nd, 2008, 09:52 PM
Thanks. I do feel guilty though, because I have cats in the house and Maurice must wonder why he can't stay inside like the others. The lady who owns the barn is a real cat lover and is in similar situation to my own; she has too many in the house and can't take any more. Life at her barn is not bad, she loves them and feeds them. The barn is heated and though it's not terribly warm it's better than being outside. Maurice is ok too, the shelter under my house is made of styrofoam and lined with mylar; he comes out of there with warm paws and ears every morning. The whole back porch is surrounded with bales of straw to keep the wind out. I know it's not ideal, but it's what I can do for now.
I may try to keep the little kitty for another week and put an ad in the newspaper. I'm just so afraid of freaks who want free cats to do god know what with, know what I mean? I've spread the word around but have had no luck so far. I also think Maurice is a sprayer which will make him hard to place in a home but the white kitty is so sweet, I wish someone would want her. :sad:
January 2nd, 2008, 10:00 PM
Hi 14+kitties! You and I must have been posting at the same time. Thanks, I thought a heated barn wasn't so bad either. It's certainly more than she's had before, and at least now she's spayed and won't have to deal with being pregnant and having kittens. However, at the moment she's sitting on my lap and purring and I feel terrible that I'm about to oust her in the morning. Also, Maurice is in the house warming up and just picked a fight with one of my other cats which makes me think maybe he should go to the barn tomorrow. :wall: AAARRRRGGGGHHHH! I still don't know what to do. I suppose if little white cat goes to the barn and doesn't do well there I could bring her back here. Nothing's permanent, I can always change my mind. :cat:
January 2nd, 2008, 10:11 PM
Yes, that's a good thing about being a woman. :rolleyes: We can ALWAYS change our minds. :laughing::laughing:
I said in my latest thread that I couldn't give up ANY of mine and there is 16 of them so I know the quandry you are going through. Don't feel bad about any decision you make. You are a special, special person to do what you do. Either decision is a good one.
Maurice sounds like a real spitfire!! Little dickens. :evil: but I love spitfires.
:thumbs up to your good work.
January 3rd, 2008, 06:15 PM
Thanks. Yes, Maurice is a spitfire :evil: At the moment he's downstairs sprawled out in the dog bed; meanwhile the Greyhounds are squished together for lack of space because Maurice is so long and fat :rolleyes: DH hasn't noticed him yet, but even he would concede that it's too cold out, even with the super duper shelter under the back porch. I'm starting a new thread about what happened with little white minew today....
January 3rd, 2008, 06:31 PM
At least you are trying to help them. You have provided them with medical help, which is more than most people would do. I understand that there is only so much room you can have in a home.
The important thing is you aren't going to let them be abandoned.
January 3rd, 2008, 06:39 PM
No, I would never let them be abandoned. I have to draw the line somewhere and DH has put his foot down at 5 cats and 2 dogs. I can't really blame him since our house isn't huge and he's not really a cat person. And Maurice seems happy enough. I have to keep reminding myself that he has it way better now than he did before he landed on my doorstep, even though the situation is by no means ideal. At least he has a good shelter, food and water, and he comes inside when it gets really cold out. :shrug: I'd still like to find him a forever home though because he's such a sweetie.
January 3rd, 2008, 06:49 PM
I'm sure you'll find him a home just like you just found that little sweetie one.
You are doing more than most people so be happy with yourself on that count.
And yes, he's no doubt better off than just fending for himself. You are giving him shelter, food, water and a warm home when the weather is too bad. :grouphug: