I went to the animal shelter yesterday to drop off some more donation clothes (they have one of those fundraising dumpsters), and while I was there I went in "just to look" at the cats, "just for fun." My household is a three-cat household with two cats, and so the cat vacuum needs to be filled---but we thought it would be nice to have some two-cat time first, so I haven't been actively looking. On the other hand, it's so tempting---like browsing baby name books when you're not actively trying but you've entered the "it would be fine if it happened" time.
So I went in to look, and I found a great cat. Exactly the cat I was looking for. We'd like to STAGGER our cats a bit more this time, so that we don't have three elderly cats at the same time with all their expenses and problems and stresses and sad dyings, and we have a 2-year-old cat and a 1-year-old cat so we'd like the new cat to be at least 5 years old, and this cat was 7 years old. Which is also pleasing since older cats can be harder to find homes for.
Also, this isn't at all necessary, but I do ENJOY getting different fur colors each time, so it's not crucial but a BONUS would be a new kind of fur, and this cat was patches of orange fur and white fur, which we've never had.
A lot of times, when I look at the cat and then the little descriptions on the cages, the cat sounds perfect until I get to the part where it says the cat doesn't get along with other cats, or doesn't do well with small children---and there are a lot of cats like that at a shelter, because that's one of the big reasons WHY a cat gets brought to a shelter. But THIS cat's description said he's easy-going and gets along great with young children, other cats, and even dogs.
AND, a clincher: it said "He'll want to sleep on your bed, so be prepared!" I LOVE a cat on the bed at night. And this cat is a nice big solid cat.
Furthermore, the cat was working the pity vote: lots of cats seem like they don't mind being at the shelter, but this cat looked, as I described him to my mother, "like he just wants to GO HOME," and my mother agreed completely. (Did I mention she was with me? She was with me, and so was Henry.) He didn't come to the cage door to pick at it or bonk his head against it like some of the other cats do; he had his head toward the far corner and he looked like he'd lost hope. And yet when I put my hand at the cage bars, he came right over and rubbed his jaw/cheek on my fingers.
I think that cat would be here at our house right now, except for one thing: the description said his front paws were declawed and so he should be an indoors-only cat. And we have two indoor/outdoor cats, and they have a cat door so they can come and go freely, and we have children going in and out all the time so we wouldn't be able to reasonably expect to be able to contain a cat that WANTED to go out.
So. I went home, without the cat. But I'm feeling sad about the cat. I KNOW I will like other cats just as well, and that if we don't get THIS cat there will be ANOTHER cat later. And in fact when we get that hypothetical future cat, Hypothetical Future Me will be saying, "Boy, I'm glad we didn't get that OTHER cat, because then imagine: we wouldn't have THIS cat!" But right now I still find my mind turning the problem over and over, trying to find a way we could take the cat. Could we TRY to keep him indoors while letting the other two out? No. Could we keep the other two cats exclusively indoors as well? No. CLAW REATTACHMENT SURGERY? No.
IS there any way this could work? I was thinking I might go to the shelter on Sunday (I take Henry and one of the big kids on an outing on Sunday, and the animal shelter is a popular destination), and if the cat is still there I could talk to one of the people who works there about it. I also thought about calling the vet to ask HER. Because the shelter leans very hard toward keeping cats indoors, and what I thought I remembered was that a front-declawed cat COULD go outside, especially if they have a cat door they can run to, because in a pinch they can climb trees with their back claws and just use their front paws for balance? Like, that you wouldn't declaw an indoor/outdoor cat---but that if the cat were ALREADY declawed, as in this situation, all was not lost on the outdoors thing as long as the back paws still had claws.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...