Shoot. I think I just agreed to something...

that I probably shouldn't have.

Let me just say I am a total animal lover; our cat was a stray that we took in and I'm a big softie for all the "homeless" cats at the Humane Society and PetSmart and the like. Sooo...

A friend of mine just asked me to babysit her room mate's cat for a few weeks until they can find it a new home. She and her room mate got cats together from the HS and now her room mate has decided she doesn't want to take care of the cat anymore. My friend said her uncle is willing to take the cat but her uncle is in Colorado and they can't get the cat out there until her dad comes to visit in a few weeks. She said that if I couldn't watch the cat then they'd have to take it back to the Humane Society tomorrow.

I tentatively agreed to watch the cat until she can get it out to her uncle but said if the new cat doesn't get along with me and SO's cat then we'd have to figure something else out. She was extremely grateful and even offered to pay us.

Now I'm having second thoughts. This poor kitty is going to have to come to our house, get used to the new place, get used to a new cat (not to mention my cat is going to have to adjust to another cat in the house), then fly/drive all the way out to Colorado after a few weeks. Maybe it's better for the cat just to go back to the Humane Society... what do you think?

I mentioned to my friend that the HS takes animals back that don't work out, but she said she'd feel bad taking it back now that it's used to living in a house.

Now that I've already agreed to keep the cat for a while, do you think I might as well go along with the plan? Half of the hassle for the cat is going to be coming here and getting used to my place, and I've already agreed to let her bring the cat over.

Is it better to put the cat through a little bit of an ordeal as long as it has a home, or would it be better to spare it the stress and just take it back?

Also, I'm a little confused why my friend and her room mate can't just keep the cat at their house; it's been living there with my friend's cat so I don't know why it has to go now... she assured me there's nothing "wrong" with it, but this seems a little werid.

I'm pretty torn over this. I really just want what's best for the poor kitty and to help out my friend. What would you do?

ETA: Wow, that was really long. Sorry I'm so verbose!
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Last edited by lauraloo; 02-26-2009 at 09:24 PM.
That does seem really suspicious.

What would I do? Depends upon the friend. I've been burned pet sitting a few times, I wouldn't do it for just anyone.
Also, I'm a little confused why my friend and her room mate can't just keep the cat at their house; it's been living there with my friend's cat so I don't know why it has to go now... she assured me there's nothing "wrong" with it, but this seems a little werid.
Originally Posted by lauraloo
That's what I was wondering while reading your post. I would ask her this and go from there.

Is it possible the uncle really isn't taking the cat and shes just hoping you'll decide to keep it?
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Yeah, why can't they wait a few weeks and keep the cat at their house? The roomate can't take care of her own cat for 3 weeks?? I don't get why the cat needs a home before it goes to the uncle's house. Ask why it needs a new home BEFORE the uncle's?
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I think it sounds very suspicious too. I would back out if I were you. If you feel guilty, just send a small donation to the animal shelter to alleviate your guilt. I love all the ferals and strays in my development but I just can't help them all so I donate to an animal rescue organization.
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I would probably do it, but I'd ask your friend why she's heaving him out, and what exactly would have happened if you hadn't agreed.

You may want to discuss what you'll do if the kitty doesn't get along with yours, or if the Dad and Uncle don't come through. That way, it's all out in the open in advance.
I'm a softy, too, and would have a hard time saying no. I'd want to help, just like you.
You bring up a good point, why can't the cat stay put for only a few weeks? If it's such a bother for the roommate to take care of the cat, why can't your friend add that responsibility? It's not like two cats are harder to take care of than one.
I can understand wanting to avoid taking it back to a shelter, because shelters are high stress places for animals. Adjusting to another home with cats might be less traumatic. Either way, it's adjusting to new surroundings twice. Unless the friend keeps the cat for a couple of weeks. If she's so worried about it's mental health, that's the best solution.

I forgot to ask, how many cats do you have? Cats take time to adjust to each other, not just weeks but some can take months. That will be hard on your own cat(s), too. If they're prone to litter box issues, I'd say no.
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Thanks for the responses, guys.

So, the truth comes out today: turns out the room mate never really wanted the cat in the first place, but the shelter was having a "two-for-one" (wtf??) and so the roomie claims she only got the cat because she thought it'd make my friend happy. Now that she realizes what keeping a pet entails, she doesn't want it anymore.

Also, the fact that the cat is having health problems is coming out, too. Apparently the cat is pooping all over the house and has had diarrhea and other GI issues since they got it 3 weeks ago. It won't use the litter box at all if there's other goodies in it, and instead is using the floor. I asked her if they switched foods on the cat since they got it at the shelter; of course they did. And apparently someone else they live with is mean to the cat and enjoys scaring it. Poor baby...

So, the roomie has decided she doesn't want to put up with the cat and told my friend she had to get rid of it since it was her idea or else she'd let it out and let it run away (the cat is declawed). So my friend decided today that she's just going to take it back to the Humane Society and explain the situation.

I feel bad for my friend but I'm also a little upset with her for taking in animals if the living conditions she could provide were at all questionable. It also makes me wonder why the HS felt my friend and her roomie were suitable owners... what is the screening process for all this? In the end it's the cat that is losing out, and that's just not fair.

Thanks again for your advice.
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Unbelievable. They all sound incredibly immature.

Since you have no intention of keeping this cat longterm, I think it's best for it to go back to the HS and be placed in a forever home. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll come back here in 6 months and ask if we have any ideas for how you can rehome this cat.

I don't think the HS has much of a screening process for pet owners, especially for cats. There are so many cats that need homes that they can't be too picky. My theory is that many people view cats as more disposable than dogs. (Though dogs are given up at an alarming rate too.) I can't tell you how many cats I now of that were simply left behind when their owners moved away.
Unbelievable. They all sound incredibly immature.

Since you have no intention of keeping this cat longterm, I think it's best for it to go back to the HS and be placed in a forever home. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll come back here in 6 months and ask if we have any ideas for how you can rehome this cat.

I don't think the HS has much of a screening process for pet owners, especially for cats. There are so many cats that need homes that they can't be too picky. My theory is that many people view cats as more disposable than dogs. (Though dogs are given up at an alarming rate too.) I can't tell you how many cats I now of that were simply left behind when their owners moved away.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
Just so you know, I never got possession of the cat; she texted me early this morning letting me know she didn't need me to watch the cat anymore and they were just going to take it back to the HS.

I know, it was very irresponsible of my friend and her roomie. I remember when she said that she had gotten a cat, I was all and thinking "Why?" because I knew she was only going to be at school for another year or so and that she lived many states away. (I know I may sound like a hypocrite since I am also at school and have a cat but SO and I made sure we were prepared to provide a good home for our cat and made sure to check with SO's parents to be sure they would be willing to take in the cat if/when we go on trips, etc.)

I know she was really upset and felt badly that she had to return the cat, but I think it's probably better in the long run for the little kitty. Especially since it has been having health problems and I'm fairly certain my friend and her roomie are unwilling/unable to provide it veterinary care right now.

Poor baby... I just hope the cat has a peaceful transition back to the HS and can someday find a forever home.
Not all who wander are lost.

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Unbelievable. They all sound incredibly immature.

Since you have no intention of keeping this cat longterm, I think it's best for it to go back to the HS and be placed in a forever home. Otherwise, I'm afraid you'll come back here in 6 months and ask if we have any ideas for how you can rehome this cat.

I don't think the HS has much of a screening process for pet owners, especially for cats. There are so many cats that need homes that they can't be too picky. My theory is that many people view cats as more disposable than dogs. (Though dogs are given up at an alarming rate too.) I can't tell you how many cats I now of that were simply left behind when their owners moved away.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers
Just so you know, I never got possession of the cat; she texted me early this morning letting me know she didn't need me to watch the cat anymore and they were just going to take it back to the HS.

I know, it was very irresponsible of my friend and her roomie. I remember when she said that she had gotten a cat, I was all and thinking "Why?" because I knew she was only going to be at school for another year or so and that she lived many states away. (I know I may sound like a hypocrite since I am also at school and have a cat but SO and I made sure we were prepared to provide a good home for our cat and made sure to check with SO's parents to be sure they would be willing to take in the cat if/when we go on trips, etc.)

I know she was really upset and felt badly that she had to return the cat, but I think it's probably better in the long run for the little kitty. Especially since it has been having health problems and I'm fairly certain my friend and her roomie are unwilling/unable to provide it veterinary care right now.

Poor baby... I just hope the cat has a peaceful transition back to the HS and can someday find a forever home.
Originally Posted by lauraloo


Me too.

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