Sometimes, you see things coming a mile away. Little by little, you arrive at a place where you have to make a gut-wrenching decision. It's necessary, yet heartbreaking at the same time.
We gave away our cats.
Our relationship with them has been going downhill from the first moment they peed in the house. We accepted responsibility: their litter box had gotten dirty while we were on vacation. But then, we had a baby, and they became a little more destructive. I never knew what would be broken, chewed, or knocked over when I came downstairs in the morning. If they didn't get the attention they wanted, they started yowling at Lyndon's bedroom door while he was asleep. So we started locking them in the garage at night. One peed-on golf club bag later, we bought them a large cage instead. That worked for a while . . . until we had another baby.
The day I had to throw out my Graco stroller was the beginning of the end. They were basically using it as an alternative litter box. Then, I walked in the front door, back from a walk, still POd at them about the stroller, and found a pee spot up the side of my couch.
We listed them that same week (this past Friday, actually): "Free to good home." Within 48 hours, they were gone.
A nice pair of college girls came over Saturday morning, met the cats, loved them, and left to run a few errands, with a promise to come back for them in the afternoon. I spent all Saturday morning celebrating . . . and all Saturday afternoon grieving. Right before they left, I wanted to give Ferrarri one last scratch behind the ears, just to say goodbye, but he was already in his carrier, so I could only fit the tips of my fingers through the bars. He started rubbing his face against my fingers. Through the bars of the carrier. In that moment, I didn't think I could go through with it. I saw the tiny little kittens we brought home over 3 years ago, and I fell apart. I'm pretty sure I'm actually going through all 5 stages of grief over this. It feels like I abandoned my babies.
But then I remind myself that they're not babies. They're cats. And I'm doing this for the sake of my real babies, who will never again have their gear peed on, or be woken by the screech of an irate animal, or be grossed out by their own garage. This is absolutely the best solution for everyone involved. The cats will get more time and attention than we have to spare. The girls will get a pair of loving, devoted pets for their first apartment. And our family will get a little bit of peace.
Until my kids start begging for a puppy. But we've got a few years.