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Making The Toughest Decision.

My heart is breaking because we have to let go of one of our cats, Milla. She has been a part of our family for 8.5 years - almost as long as me and Magnus have been together. And I know you shouldn't play favorites but I can't help it: she's my favorite cat of all time. However she hasn't coped well with the newest addition to our family - the baby - and she has been in a constant state of stress ever since the baby arrived. That makes almost 6 weeks now.

She has started to pee around the house probably to mark her territory - twice on a carpet, 4 times into an armchair (always the same one), once on a towel that had fallen on the floor and now into the baby's car seat (lucky thing we could remove the cushions and wash them). We took her to the vet earlier this week to make sure there was nothing physically wrong with her, such as urinary infection or bladder stones, but the vet told as that she was perfectly healthy and it was all probably just down to stress. She recommended some kind of kitty tranquillisers for her, but we didn't think doping her was an option (in our experience trying to give cats medicine is another stress factor in itself and not a long term solution).

The thing is we have found her a new home and if we don't act on it soon they will get another cat from some place else and then Milla would be left homeless or we would have to put her down, which we don't want to. She is such a lovely cat and an amazing persona otherwise, and everybody loves her. So we had to make a hard decision of either giving her away now when she has a new home or keeping her longer and hoping the stress would ease soon and later maybe face putting her down. We picked the first alternative. I still feel like shit though, even if I try to reason to myself that we can't live like this anymore and it's not good for Milla to be in such a constant state of distress. 

And I can't keep getting out of bed in the middle of the night to see where she is peeing every time I hear a noise when the baby is also keeping me awake and I'm all the time tired. I also don't want to fear all the time where she will pee next - in our bed, the baby's bed or his stroller, on the sofa... 

So tomorrow we will be taking her to her new home. She will become a companion cat in a small senior home with 10 residents as well as the nurses. She will also have the option of going outside - something she can't do here in the city. She is such a little princess and diva that she will probably (hopefully) enjoy all the attention she will get. And the best thing is we get to visit her any time we want.

This has been one of the hardest decision of my whole life - but sometimes the right decisions aren't the easiest ones to make. My gut tells me we are making right by everyone though and it would be selfish to keep her here when she so obviously is not ok. I still love her to bits and even the thought of tomorrow makes me want to cry.


  1. So sorry to hear about you cat. That does sound really hard. :(

    1. Yes it's been really hard, but at the end of the day I hope we made the right decision, no matter how hard it was to make...

  2. What an awful decision to make. You have been so brave. I think you have come up with the best solution in finding her a new home- still, it hurts. Life with a newborn is difficult enough! <>

  3. So sorry to hear about this =(
    Glad that you were able to find her a new home.

    1. Yes we were lucky to find her a new home, I know it's not that often anyone wants an older cat especially if they are not behaving properly. I just hope she will like it in her new home.

  4. oh, I'm so, so, sorry. She is a beautiful cat, and I can't even imagine how hard this is- I know that I'll be a wreck one day when I have to make the call for my cats, as well. There is nothing easy about it.

    1. The silver lining is that we get to visit her any time we want and as often as we like, the place is only one hour drive away from us. Still I'd rather have her home, but the most important thing is that she is feeling happier, even if it means giving her away...

  5. This post actually has made me decide to no longer to read your blog. Not that you are re-homing her, but that in your mind the right thing to do would be to put her down or throw her out on the street if you couldn't re-home her.

    Also, as a side note, medication for anxiety in cats works great. I use a transdermal application of what is essentially kitty prozac for my cat Rigby. Many other people have used it short term to help break habits, and acclimate cats to new situations. For a cat, 6 weeks of stress with a major life change like a new family member is to be expected. Heck, when you introduce another pet into a household with a cat it can take months.

    I think you failed your pet cat in a lot of ways. When you adopted her you made a commitment to her, and you let her down by not doing more so that she could live out the rest of her days with the only family she has known.

    1. I'm really sorry to hear that you disagree with our choice. Had I thought there would have been any other alternative I would have taken it. I think it's a bit harsh to judge us and our decisions only by the few lines that I have hastely written here, and not hearing the hours of discussions and tears behind it or the amount of people whose help we have consulted. We did not make this decision lightly.

      I always thought I would never let anything make me give my cats away, not even a baby, and the only way to let them go was through eutanasia when they were too old or too sick. You don't know how much we have done for our pets and how much more we would have been willing to make, but at this point the baby has to come first.

      What I meant was that I never wanted to put her down and that is why we had to find another solution to the problem. Believe me, if there was a way to keep her, I would want nothing more, but even the vet thought rehoming her was the best option. And it's not like we would have put her down immediately if we didn't find her a home, that was always only the last resort if everything else failed, she wouldn't get better and definitely not something we wanted to do. Throwing her on the street was never an option for us, however, since our cat Luna is a rescued pet and nowhere in my post did I write that was even an option we had considered.

      I know six weeks is a short time for a cat to get acquinted with a new situation but the thing with Milla was that she started out fine with the baby but as time went by she began to withdraw and become more and more stressed. As her situation was getting worse and not better as time went by we didn't know how long we should wait for it to pass. We decided that it would be best to try if she would feel better somewhere else since she was so stressed at our home.

      As for medicating cats, our experiences have not been good. Otto has had quite a lot of ailments in his life and more than once has he needed antibiotics, the last time we had to give him pills twice a day for a month. My husband gave the pills because I couldn't get Otto to swallow them, and by the end of the month the cat was so stressed by the whole ordeal that he ran away every time my husband reached out his arm even if it was to pet him. Even the vet thought that finding Milla a new home would be a better alternative than to medicate her.

      I'm sorry to lose you as a reader and I do understand where you are coming from, but I still stand by my decision. That being said in your comment you first say it's not us rehoming her that you dislike -only to later say that we have failed her by doing exactly so, which leaves me wonder what it really was that you wanted to say.

    2. This reader had an opportunity to reply with compassion and instead chose judgement. You put your family AND your cat's best interests first and no one should judge you for that. Much love and good vibes to you.

    3. Thank you for your kind words and support, it means a lot to me!

  6. We are the new friends of such a cat, Poekie, who grew very unhappy in her previous home. She couldn't handle first the addition of a dog to the house and then a baby. She retreated to the attic and just sat there, with big black eyes, until the owners did what you did: find a new home, with tears in their eyes. They posted an ad online and we saw it. By then the situation had been going on for months, way too long.

    The cat is very happy now! She has my husband to herself most of the time, the house is quite and life is predictable. She is very very happy!
    She's been with us for years now. You did a good thing. Milla is no longer stressed.

    PS this Autumn I found a kitten in the woods and wanted to keep it. "Such a tiny baby, I'm sure Poekie can assert dominance." She couldn't. Within two weeks it was clear that she wasn't going to manage and got really unhappy. When you know your cat you know in a short amount of time if she'll come around or not. We knew with Poekie, you knew with Milla. You made a good call. Of course you miss her! But you showed a lot of love when you send her to a new home.
    In our house both cats destressed the day after the kitten had gone to a new home. Poekie is her old happy self again. Luckily stress doesn't linger in cats. She has grown into a yarn snob though. Always finds the good wool.

    1. I'm so glad to hear that you were able to adopt Poekie! There are so many wonderful pets without home! Our Luna was also a rescue cat. What we have heard, Milla is doing great in her new home and we also think that being the only pet is better for her as well as the more peaceful environment of the senior center (no screaming babies there!) And I hear you about the yarn thing, sounds so familiar!


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