We put our sweet dog Ginger down two weeks ago as cancer was quickly starting to take over her body. We had to put down my beloved cat Inigo in August, after 14 years together, as his body was no longer able to digest food properly and he was slowly starving to death. The medication he'd been on worked for two years--then nothing did.
Last week, I had two days off that my kids and husband did not. I went to the barn, rode my boy, enjoyed my horsey time, then came home to a very empty, lonely, quiet house. Oh, sure, we still have Mija the anti-social nutball kitty, but she completely ignores me and isn't a companion (except a bit for my husband). Ginger was not there wagging her tail and bringing me a shoe (or anything else she could grab--she always felt like she had to bring us a gift when we got home) as I opened the door, and Inigo didn't come hop in my lap while I watched TV. Used to be I'd watch TV with a cat curled up with me and a dog at my feet. Now...just me and the couch.
I've been to adoption events at Petco and PetSmart and saw some sweet animals, but I'm--we're--not ready yet. This one really got to me--he's practically a clone of Inigo, except about half the size. The color and the personality--amazingly similar, eerily so. I teared up holding him. Son adored him. But, I decided he was a little too much like Inigo--it would feel too much like bringing the same cat home, like we were trying to find a replacement.
Animals tend to find me, rather than I them, so that may be how it goes. We'll see. Right now, I'm just allowing myself to feel the grief work through it.
My 7yro son wants a new pet, but I'm trying to teach him to wait. He went with me to the pet adoption fairs at the stores and had next to no interest in the dogs--he wanted to see just the cats, which showed me that that's probably the direction we'll go when we're ready. Honestly, it's the direction I lean, too.
Although, heh, I did buy a new pet--a (hopefully, we think, aren't sure) albino adult male corn snake that will hopefully be a good boyfriend for my 12yro girl Cleo, who lives in my classroom 10mos a year. This fellow, after a weekend with the lady (wink wink, nod nod), will then move into my husband's science classroom.
Funny, when I brought him home, both of my boys were very excited and wanted, as the 3yro said, "Snake sit next to me!" Older son felt the same way. Heh. (Incidentally, that's the temporary housing the snake came home in--he now has a luxurious 60gal aquarium hubby has been converting into a luxury snake suite.) I'll probably bring Cleo home from my classroom today to move in with her man--briefly. I so want baby snakes!
Meanwhile I'll go to the adoption events this weekend again, too, and see what happens. I do miss my furry friends.
Son wants to adopt two kitties--siblings, or a mother and a baby. I am not opposed to the idea, but would that make it harder on crabby old Mija who'll have to adjust to TWO new cats in the house? I know how to introduce one cat at a time, but have never introduced two new cats to the resident cat. Is it done the same way?
The problem with bringing in two cats that "know" each other is they may gang up on her. Ours definitely did this, and had we had any idea it would happen we would've got them from completely different sources. They've basically been together their entire lives, and never, even after 10 years of living with her, got along with the original kitty. It may not have helped that they are 2 males and she was a female. It got to the point where they even tried to kick her out of the house (they were indoor/outdoor kitties) and my Dad had to break up cat fights in the middle of the night. Eventually the original kitty pretty much lived upstairs/stayed out of their way....It was sad though because it meant she wouldn't be in the same room as the rest of the family when the other two were there. She did grow out of that in the last few years of her life.
Maybe others have different experiences to share, but based on ours I would strongly advise not to get two kitties from the same place to introduce to your original cat, especially given the issues you've already described regarding her.
I'm so sorry about your recent losses, and would definitely take your time in introducing a new animal to your family.
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
I'm so sorry for your losses! I think bringing in multiple cats may depend on the personalities involved. I waited about 6 months before I got new "barn" cats after I lost my last one. I got the two siblings who were lowest on the pecking order and least likely to explore much away from the porch they lived on. One is male and one is female. When the temperatures reach over 100 last summer, the male had trouble breathing and was diagnosed with asthma. So, both cats moved into the house. I was surprised by how easy it was but 1) the were used to being ordered around and 2) my older cats smelled the younger cats on me for several months before they moved in. The younger cats have never challenged my older, in frail health, antisocial female and the two females now actually share my lap. Good luck with whatever you decide!
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe
I'm sorry for your losses - I hate watching tv without my furiends. Go get the clone - don't rule him out - it isn't his fault that he looks like Inigo. He will have his own personality & your love for him won't replace Inigo. Go get him - he needs you & you need him. He's sitting in that cage waiting.....
I think you are over-thinking the "cat-shaped hole" in your life. Just fill 'er in!
Why do you want kiddo to learn to wait on this? No opinion, just curious. Do you worry that he'll think of animals as disposable? Or that he's not getting a new cat so much as a ressurrected dead cat-dog combination? If he has an opinion about just looking at cats, I think he cares about particular animals.
I forget how No-Touch Cat lives in your house. Is she everywhere but bringin' the hate? Or does she live off by herself? Was she there when other animals were introduced in the past? If she had that experience, how did it go? That might help you decide about which cat(s) would make a smooth new addition.
Part of my slow step is letting hubby have the time he needs. He's a bit put off by all we've been through emotion-wise with our pets and hasn't gone to the adoption events with me because he doesn't even want to be tempted (and he knows himself well enough to know he will be). I went promising I wasn't going to take anything home that day. But this weekend, who knows.
No-touch cat is in one of two places 95% of the time: our bed or the top of the cat tree in hubby's office. She hasn't been around for the introduction of new cats (though she growls and spits the hate at the neighborhood ferals that get too close to the window), and she hated both of the dogs. She seemed to tolerate our sheltie Angel (who loved cats like they were her babies--she loved my dad's cat from the white ball of fluff kitten stage on), as in, she didn't actively attack her but just growled and hissed. Ginger, however, was utterly despised. A few times, they got into it, but always, always Mija struck first, and Ginger more had her feelings hurt than anything. Even though the 75lb girl could have easily ripped Mija to shreds, it was Ginger who'd end up injured from snout scratches!
I've thought maybe we should go with a kitten as they might be easier for her to adapt to, and the kitten may be more naturally submissive. Then again, she might just spend these last few years hating everyone (except hubby) and keep her secluded to one wing of the house as we did during the Ginger years, heh.
There is a mother-daughter pair at a local rescue I'm curious about. The kitten would be a good playmate for my sons, and the mama is a cuddler for me. There's also another ~10mo-old cat in my rescue network that was adopted 6mos ago, but turns out her owner is fiercely allergic to her and needs to rehome her.
So we shall see. For now, we're working on making a honeymoon suite for the snakes.
I agree with the don't over think it thought. After 2 weeks of a much too quiet house (lost one kitty in May and one in December last year), I just knew I needed a cat and that I would know which one when I saw it. I looked at so many cats and had guilt every time it wasn't 'the one'. Then SHE looked at me out of a bunch of kittens - I just knew that was my cat. I don't know why - she was small and shy but that cat in one look was my cat. And I was right I just adore her, she's a perfect mix of both my prior cats. Now I'm looking for her new friend, too, but again, will wait until I get the look