- 5 years ago
- Wedding: October 2013
I have a friend (let’s call her Jenn) who is a solid 12 years older than I am. We met through DH’s family as she was teaching in Turkey and was in the initial stages of dating DH’s brother. They are now in the process of applying for a Fiancee Visa and have been in a LDR for about 2 years.
When Jenn left Turkey in July of 2012 to get her master’s degree in her home state, she was stressing over what to do with her cat. She apparently really liked the beastie and didn’t want to leave her behind in a foreign country that doesn’t have much fondness for cats. But she was planning on moving in with her dad while she was sorting out housing and he put his foot down about her bringing a cat. So we graciously offered to babysit the cat until she found housing. I was under the impression that we’d have the cat for a few months, and it was my fault for not setting an initial timeline with her. (This may have prevented some problems, but who knows considering the rest of the story.)
A few months into her school, her dad’s wife (who is not Jenn’s mom, nor is she someone who has a relationship with Jenn as she arrived on the scene well after Jenn was out of the house) said that she couldn’t stand having someone else live with them and Jenn needed to move out. So Jenn moved into a house with someone close to her age who has two dogs and a “no additional pets” policy. (And this is where I should have realized that the cat was not a priority to her. If someone else was taking care of my baby dog and cat, you can be sure I wouldn’t put myself in a situation where I wouldn’t be able to reunite with them as soon as possible.)
She graduated in June of 2013, and immediately entered a major depressive episode in which she contemplated suicide, had serious doubts about her relationship with DH’s brother and considered calling the whole thing off, and in general needed to seek serious help. She called a suicide hotline in September, and finally got on medication in early October. Obviously, I didn’t bring the cat up during this time for her, as her health was first priority.
She came to our wedding in October, and since she was improving on her medication, I brought up the subject of the cat. She lives clear across the country, and I asked if she would take the cat back with her. This triggered a seriously stressed response from her in which she basically shut down the topic because she wasn’t in a situation to take the cat. She became pretty emotional and apologized repeatedly and gave us $100 to help defray the cost of her care. She obviously didn’t take the cat with her when she returned.
Now we’ve gotten notice from our landlord that he wants to put our house on the market in February. We do not want to buy the unit, so we are moving to an apartment in January. Last week (the day before Thanksgiving) I sent Jenn a very nicely-worded and considerate email informing her of our plans, and the fact that our apartment only allows two animals – and that we will be taking our dog and cat but cannot take her cat. I allowed time for the holiday, but when I hadn’t heard back from her after several days despite seeing her activity on Facebook, I sent her a FB message asking if she had gotten the emails I sent (I had actually sent another one prior to that asking about vacationing together and she hadn’t replied to that one either.)
She responded that she was really stressed with trying to deal with three “crises” (of which my email was one) and her dad’s birthday this week and having a job interview. (She still does not have a full-time job – partially because of not looking during her depressive bout.) She gave no information as to her intentions or plans beyond the fact that she was trying to figure it out.
There is now just over a month left until we move. She barely makes enough to pay her bills in her shared rented home, and I’m not sure she can pony up the cash to transport this animal cross-country before we move. She’s made no further contact with me regarding the cat since.
Now, if the cat was at all nice, I wouldn’t have a problem looking after it. I’m an animal lover, but this cat has seriously made our life hell. She’s destroyed our window sheers, destroyed the paint on our cabinets, peed in our shoes, bit us (DH had to go to Urgent care less than a week before our wedding for a bite on his hand), scratched us, is constantly trying to steal food from the garbage, antagonizes our other animals, destroyed our faux-leather computer chair and ottoman (biting it, not even scratching), and is in general a nuisance.
So now as each day goes by with no word from her, I’m worried that she is going to say with just a few days to go “Sorry, I can’t take the cat. Can you find a home for her?” Which is not something I want to do. Like, AT ALL. First of all, I couldn’t lie to someone about this cat’s personality. She would come with full disclosure of how destructive and sensitive she is. (For example, head petting is ok, but body petting usually ends in biting.) And that would mean that her potential adoptive pool would narrow CONSIDERABLY.
Shelters in North Carolina are almost all high-kill shelters, and I have no doubt that they would do a personality test on her, deem her unadoptable, and gas her. (Or kill her with injection or whatever horrible things they do.) Dropping her off at the local shelter is not an option. Many of the cat rescues in the area will also only take strays or cases where the owner dies – they do not take “owner” surrenders. I have no doubt she would do fine as a feral cat, but I have no idea where feral cat colonies are located, and on a level that feels almost like killing her as well if I can’t guarantee that she will have food and shelter.
I’m just at my wit’s end and stressing that she will dump the responsibility for this cat on me. I have no idea what to say at this point to Jenn because I want to keep our good relationship. I love her very much, and if her depression and self-doubt doesn’t win out and she really does marry DH’s (twin) brother, she will be a family member. I just…I feel like this is going to get dumped on me, and I DO NOT want to make this decision.
Thanks for listening (reading) and if you have any helpful advice or anecdotes, I’d love to hear them.
TL;DR – friend dumped cat on us a year and a half ago, hasn’t made any moves to take it back despite gentle nudging (and now forceful nudging as we’re about to move). I feel like I’m going to be asked to re-home a non-adoptable, anti-social animal.