Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This past weekend was gloriously sunny and warm, a rare treat for February. I spent as much time futzing around outside as I possibly could. I'm aways at war with the pesky blackberry bushes, so I took the chance to pull up as many as I could find. Oliver, being my resident outside cat, was with me the whole time. Every so often, I took a break from my futzing to play with or love on him - he so loves to play or be held.

Getting good pictures of Oliver can be a challenge. I often like to get my kitty pictures down on kitty level, but when I kneel to get a shot of Oliver, he abandons his toy and comes running over for loves!

Enjoying some string play

 Posing with his string prize

Playing with the birdie

Preparing to pounce on the birdie

Posing with the birdie prize.

I really liked having an outside cat while working in the yard. He was always right there with me or nearby. For a while now, I have thought it would be nice to have kitty company when working in the yard, but I've never let any of the inside cats out for fear they would run after a squirrel or something and never come back. I don't have to worry about that with Oliver, he's not going anywhere.

With the warmer weather and more frequent sun, the inside cats have been really wanting to get out on their enclosed porches. But porch time has been severely restricted due to Oliver's presence. Buddy goes too ballistic when he sees Oliver. I'm in need of a solution, as Oliver continues to lobby harder to get inside. My heart and my mind have been wrestling with Oliver's future.

I've known that my heart quickly and firmly attaches to animals. When I was around 12 years old, I visited my brother and sister-in-law who worked at a State Park in New Hampshire. I remember spending a good chunk of that summer day hanging out with them when a big friendly bushy dog appeared. I had so much fun playing with that dog, that when it came to leave I was devastated to say goodbye. I so wanted to take that dog home with me. It felt like I was having to leave my best friend behind, when in reality, we had four wonderful Chihuahuas at home and I had only known this dog for a few hours.

My mind tells me that Oliver would be happy inside with a family where he could be the only cat and get loads and loads of attention. I know I could try to introduce Oliver to the inside cats, but I have a hard time imagining it working well without Prozac for at least Oliver and Buddy (and maybe me!) - and five cats already feels like too many, six cats is certainly too many.

My heart doesn't want to part ways with Oliver. The only time I have ever parted with a dog or cat was when it was going to be put to sleep. Voluntarily giving up an animal companion feels unbearable.

I know that if I want to get more involved in TNR and rescue type activities then I need to find a compromise between my heart and mind. My earliest childhood dream was to have a huge plot of land so my mom and I could rescue all the stray dogs [and cats]. As a little tyke, I knew nothing of the realities of limited resources (income, space, time, etc.). It's frustrating being finite!

I fear my path will lead me to step further into heart-pain as I work to say goodbye to my newest kitty friend. I think it will help if it's possible to arrange visitation - if I can see that he's being well loved and cared for then I imagine my heart may not be quite as freaked out.

Meanwhile, last night on the walk home from work, I did get the chance to rescue a loose dog. I was walking along a very busy road when out of no-where appears this sweet Golden Retriever. There was no one else around. She came right up to me and flopped over to have her tummy rubbed! Seeing that no one was around, I started calling the four different phone numbers on the tag attached to her collar. The third number connected with her owner who was very thankful to have gotten his dog back. And thankfully for me, I didn't get attached to this dog!


  1. Oh, I know how difficult this decision must be. The visitation plan sounds the way to go if you cannot keep Oliver.
    Jane x

  2. You know what - no matter what decision you make, you will do what you think is best for Oliver. It can be so hard - but for now he is a happy guy.....and safe with you.

  3. Hurray that the dog was reunited with it's owner.

    I feel for you, as I have yet to hand over mine to his forever home, I know it is gonna be hard. And I cannot keep him as he is not mine, but belongs to the cats protection. You will make the right decision for you all, that I am certain!

  4. You've spent a long time now bonding with Oliver and he with you. So a new home would be an adjustment for you both. All I can do is send universal Light around this issue, so things work out for Oliver's Highest Good and the Highest Good of all concerned.

  5. This is such a hard choice! I know you are attached to Oliver and he to you. Still if the right home came along it would be a good thing for him. I know that you are at your 'cat limit' inside. I wish I could save all the cats but I can't. My heart would not be good at fostering and then letting them go. I'm sending you warm hugs and strength and wisdom to do what is best for all!

  6. Spring and summer are right around the corner--at least it feels that way--and Oliver is doing just fine outside, so I would just defer any quick decision (to avoid making the wrong one) and see if Buddy and Oliver can work things out or you can figure out a segregation method that works for all over the next 6 months.

  7. Those of us who are parents have to let our children go as they grow up and want their own lives. I find that as long as they are happy in their lives, I am fine with them being gone. Perhaps this principle (if that's what it is!) applies to you and Oliver. Because you love him (and he is obviously an easy cat to love with his warmth and socialness) you want the best for him. I imagine you would be OK with not seeing Oliver if you knew he was in a loving home, getting to be an indoor cat and soaking up lots of attention. However finding such a home may be a challenge as so many cat lovers already have full homes. But maybe over time you could find such a home for him . . .

  8. It is the one reason I don't think I could ever foster. I would just fall in love and no one would ever get adopted because I couldn't let them go. You will find the right balance for you and Oliver.

  9. It's a very tough decision but if you go with your heart and do what's best for Oliver (which I know you will), it will all work out for the best. And perhaps you will find a family that will let you come visit him on occasion or will send you regular updates? Knowing that he's safe and loved makes all the difference. Trust me... I have fostered over 70 cats in the past 6 years and as hard as it has been to part with them (some I bawled like a baby over), I know they are in wonderful homes and are very happy. That makes all the difference in the world! Best of luck to you!

  10. Have you gotten any more visitations from your other 3 black outside kitties?

  11. That is one of the hardest things to do I can imagine as my heart is terribly involved with any kitties I see or have contact with. You are strong if you can give him up. I so wish Buddy could see his way clear to at least tolerate. This makes me feel terrible for you. AND Oliver. The love from both of you is obvious.

  12. I hope that you can find a good home for Oliver with visitation rights. It will be hard to give up Oliver, but if you truly love him, you will do it since it's the best thing for him. It sure sounds like Oliver was a dumped cat and he desparately wants a warm, safe home to live in again.

  13. Six is NOT too many! But seriously, I have 6, and they did not all love each other at first (when each one was added over time - all are rescues) - but eventually things worked out. Of course, there is always winter-time "cabin-fever"! I can't believe how much Oliver looks like our Reverend - who we trapped and fixed and put back outside. We are sure he has a home - were they not wondering that something was "different" about their cat? Best wishes to you - I get very VERY attached too - even when they are not mine!

  14. There were six kitties in our house, once upon a time. If Dad manages to tame/calm all the strays that are eating in our yard, we'll be close to six again. Just a thought.

    If there is a shelter close by, check to see what they do with adoptions. If they have an agreement, it might be worth checking to see what it looks like, or even use it directly. Some people charge $20-$30 or so, not so much for the money, but to make sure the new beans aren't gonna just dump the kittie when the 'new' wears off.

    If nothing else, you could always demand the new beans start a cat blog so we can all keep an eye on things. :-)


Thanks for sending in your comments!