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heart breaking.....

We've come the conclusion that we're going to have to get rid of our cat.

I'm tearing up just thinking about it, but I know we just have to do it.

He's not getting any better.

We're keeping him in the basement when we aren't home because we can't trust him to not pee on something when we're gone.  When he's in the basement, his recent activity has been chewing on the wood door and the wood trim.  He's made good progress on the wood frame and made some pretty good marks on the door too.  We're tried a couple of tactics to keep him from doing it, but it's not working.  I think that he honestly hates being away from us and when we lock him in the basement, it's good for a while but then he'll hear us. 

It's not been fun.  I realized that when I would let our dog (Toby) out in the morning, that would wake William (our cat) and then before you know it, I would hear him chewing on the door.  So now, when Toby gets up, no matter what the hour, I get William out too.  I let him out for as long as Toby is out and then I put him back in the basement.

I realize that this is not a fair life for William and while I would love for him to sleep with us again, I just can't watch him while we're sleeping.  How will I know if he is peeing on my husband's things or on the carpet in the bedroom or in the carpet in the living room?  I can't guarantee that he won't and for that, he lives in the basement.

The worst part about all of this is that he's a good cat.  When we're home and he's out, he sits on our laps, he loves on Toby, he comes when you call him, he eats well and he loves water.  And when he's in the basement he uses his litter box.  We have him currently on some anxiety medicine to help balance him out, but I don't know how well it's really working.  Part of me wants to believe that he has diabetes, but my vet says that he never had elevated levels of sugar so he doesn't.  Part of me wants to get another opinion just to be sure, but the other part of me knows that Mr. Hopeful would be upset to spend another $100 on a cat that we aren't planning on keeping.

With the probability that I would be pregnant anytime soon, Mr. Hopeful doesn't want to do the litter and even though he would, it's just another reason to be safe when pregnant.  While I love being loved by William and having him around, I know that having his litter on or near me isn't good and while he still isn't cured from peeing outside of the litter box, the last thing that I would want would be to have a child and have something of theirs peed on by him.  It wouldn't be good for anyone.

And, in effort to find him a good new home, I went to a local shelter for advise...  This is what I read...

If you're trying to place your pet in another home or shelter, please consider that any separation from you WILL cause mental anguish for your pet, sometimes resulting in irreversible emotional damage.  This emotional damage is much worse for the pet than the owner because the pet is just part of the owners life, while the owner IS the pet's entire life.

In the United States alone, 11,000 - 15,000 domestic pets are euthanized EVERY DAY.  That's 10 unwanted animals killed EVERY MINUTE.  And there are hundreds of millions out there who were taught how to live comfortably in a home and are now alone and suffering.  When the alternative is abandoning a companion who has no control over it's destiny and has put it's trust in you, any pet problem can be worked through.  We know this from extensive experience.

Dying is part of life.  Being ripped away from the only life you've known and being abandoned by those who love you is cruel mental torture.
Please think about it.

And, if you are like me... you're now a basket case after reading this.  The last thing I want to do is cause more stress in William's life.  I don't want him to be a terror to someone else and their home/possessions, I just want him to be better and remember what a cat is supposed to do.

I'm just a mess.  I want to love him and make him better, but after all the time and money we spent on him this spring/summer/fall trying to figure out what's wrong.  Not to mention the monthly fee now, to keep him up to speed on meds and everything else.

It's really heartbreaking because the last thing I want to do is give up on him.  I feel like that is what we would be doing, but I know in reality that that isn't the reason we want to find him a new home.  It's more about the safety of our home and our potential future.  It's just being safe and smart.

Lastly, I always feel like I wasn't given the full opportunity to love and live with Oscar for as long as we once thought and while William wasn't planned to join our family, he did.  When I think about giving William away, I'm immediately reminded of my feelings for when we lost Oscar.  I realize that I'm not putting William to sleep but the possibility of someone else doing that is still out there and that breaks my heart.  And based on the bit above, the last thing I want to do is take his world away.  The only love that he knows... the only life that he wants to live for.

I don't know what to do and I get so upset when we talk about it.  I love him.  I want him to be healthy.  I want him to be happy.  But he's got to stop ruining our house.

Do you have any suggestions on this?  Any suggestions on the chewing?

Updated to read: After writing this post, I put a lot of effort in trying to just please William.  Make him happy even if he is living in the basement during the day and I'm happy to report that it's working.  I don't know what clicked, but over Thanksgiving break, he had a change in his behavior.  His routine has been about the same for the last 3 weeks and I really think that's all he needed.  Over the break though, we'd let him out and he'd go into our room and he wouldn't pee.  He'd just sleep and walk around without any thought of peeing!  It's a dream, right?

Anyway, his routine is like this:

4am - Toby (our dog) gets up to use the bathroom; William gets wet food or milk and his meds and stays in the basement.
6am - William is let out of the basement.
If we're home, he stays out.
If we're going to work, he stays out while we get ready and then he goes to the basement with treats.
When we get home, he comes out and trots around the house all proud.
Before bed, I give him some milk and he goes to the basement during the evening.

So far, it's been working.

We also added another litter box and we think that has also helped, plus we clean them both out daily.

So, for now... we're keeping William.

Oh and he is still chewing on the door frame, but not as much!


molly said…
Jill, I'm so sorry you're having to go back and forth about making this heart-wrenching decision.

I hope William gets better and can stay with you. But if he can't, I wish you peace with your decision and help finding him a good home.
Sassytimes said…
How sad...that site wording was awful. I hope everything works out well for all of you.
Andrea said…
If I had read that on a website, I would have been a total wreak and there would be no way I could do it after reading it...
A. said…
Hi! I'm new to following your blog. I can definitely realate to the peeing problem - our cat started peeing on things when we would put her in the extra bedroom at night (otherwise, she would cry outside of our bedroom door and scratch on it most of the night). When we moved to a new apartment in which our bedroom was off of it's own hallway, we started giving her free reign of the apartment at night and the peeing stopped. Anyway, here's to you and William that he will continue behaving and get to stay with you!
Oh, I hope everything works out, I can't even imagine how hard it is to not only see him go through whatever it is he is going through while also destroying your home. It isn't sanitary or safe and you just feel bad for the little guy.

I hope this schedule works out. This may be obvious, but have you tried some plant (like cat grass) for him to chew on? When our one cat is just frustrated or not feeling well he likes to chew and if we get him cat grass he goes for that over anything else. It could just be our crazy cat (he is nuts!), but it works for him. :) I will also say he likes a schedule and gets pissed when we change it. He will cry and cry until we go back into our normal routine in the evenings. It is weird how some cats are like that.
Jessica R said…
Am I too late to comment on this? I hope not. My cat was a pee-er and the combination of anti-anxiety drugs, Cat Attract litter, and Feliway diffusers (which I think really made the difference) has ended that 100%. Feliway is NOT cheap but I am convinced that that is what helped him. We have had no peeing problems since we started this trifecta of products, plus a lot of love and reassurance. Thinking of you :)

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