The pains of adopting/being adopted by a cat

About seven or eight months ago, we saw this gray fuzzy meowmachine strolling through the yard. Not too uncommon; we’re in a fairly rural locale. But we didn’t recognize it as one of the neighbor’s cats. We’d see it from time to time, once in a while with a nice chipmunk or other treat in its mouth (note to selves; plant extra strawberries next year to soothe the Munkian spirits). Is it a stray? Probably not: coat looked very clean, especially for a long-haired galoot.

Then one day it started meeeooowwwwwwing in the yard. Intently meowing. Oh crap. Looked like she was in heat. Meow. Meow. MEOW. We have two boy-cats, so we figured she didn’t know they were no longer her type (snip snip). Couple months passed, and she never really went far.

Meow. MEOW.** MEOW**!

Now we were starting to get nervous about her homelessness. With two cats, a hectic life—there’s a one-year-old—we really didn’t want another pet. We were also getting nervous that maybe she was someone’s pet, but she’d end up having kittens in our yard; something else that we didn’t want. Weird for us, since as little as two years ago we had a brood of five (two pooches, one rabbit, two cats). But attrition and the arrival of the Dudeling had us put animal-acquisition on hold. Besides, our plan was to get a new pooch next year or so, and taking on a cat wasn’t in the works.

But she’d disappear for days. Must have gone home, we thought. Then:


It was summer, and we figured we’d be okay until Winter, at least. Maybe she’d move on, or if not, maybe someone would take her in. We started that poking and water-testing of people—who wanted a cat?

My mom said she’d consider it if it was the Last Resort. That said, she gave her her first name.
Wait for it ….

“Fluffy Menopause”
Did I mention my mom is in her sixties? Has a sense of humor? Cute Ma, real cute. :rolleyes:
Around the house we shortened it to “Floe.”

And Floe kept coming back (cue Garrison Keillor).

Time passed.


Now she was sleeping on the porch, never really leaving, and caterwauling up a storm—she wanted the boys.

At this point, fall was coming on, she was getting friendlier to us when we went outside, and it looked like she wasn’t going anywhere.

Ma had backed out of taking her in, and we didn’t find anyone else willing.

It looked like she was probably going to get her way in some fashion or another. Her name shifted again: Flola.

Come on, sing it with us:

Whatever Flola wants …. Flola gets …

Actually, it was Flo’la. We have/had other pets with apostrophes (Teal’c, Rya’c), and this way the contraction stood for the Fluffy Menopause bit.

Time passed into the onset of winter. No way could we leave her out in the cold. Plus, she was becoming more and more affectionate towards us.

So we came back from a short vacation, made the vet appointment, and became resigned to our fate. We were extremely on edge about the outcome of the FeLV/FIV test, because by this time she’d really worked her way into our hearts. (Whatevvveerrrr FLoooola wantsssss….). But with two healthy indoor cats, we couldn’t risk it.

Ma came back in to save the day—the night before the tests she said that if they came back positive she’d take her in after all. Yay Mom!

So we brought her in for cleanup, a physical, tests, and to get fixed.

Whew—no major health problems! Worms, giardia, and bartonella—things associated with ferrellness, and curable (hopefully) with long courses of antibiotics—but nothing dramatic.

So we left her to get fixed.

Then we got a call from the vet. He can’t fix her.

After prepping for surgery, they found she’d already been fixed.

Oh, and not only that, she’s a he.

A he?! :eek:

Name shift!

I* really* wanted to go with Lola—the Kinks would have been oh-so-proud and it really fit the situation. But MrsDvl wasn’t going to have “him” end up with Boy Named Sue issues. Besides, he’d been through enough gender identity issues.

Final name:

You do NOT doubt the masculinity of the ruler of Omicron Persei 8!

(A fun house-joke is to tell him he’s wuved, then exclaim how that confuses and infuriates him.)

But add it all up.

Clean coat and relative health.

Sudden appearance several months ago.

Gradual moving into the yard/porch/house.

Very gentle, sweet, and affectionate.


He is/was someone’s pet. :frowning:

So now he’s safe and warm in the house, and everyone’s getting more and more attached. But we can’t ignore the likelihood that he’s someone’s lost pet. It was heartbreaking, but we put FOUND posters up all over the place. We hope someone calls. We’re hoping no one calls.

Very tough place to be in.

Thats a very cute and funny story. Our latest cat DEFINITELY choose and adopted us. And from its condition and behavior I am sure it was someones wayward pet. We love our fuzzy gray monochrome kitty. He is quite knockkneed in the rear and runs very “light in the loafers” if you know what I mean. One of his nicknames is scamperpuss.

My SO had a male cat years ago. It wasnt fixed. I am sure she treated it well, but it was an indoor/outdoor cat and liked to roam. It roamed more and more and stayed home less and less till one day it just never came back.

Well, a few months go by and all of sudden, old Tom is back and apparently very happy to be home. All is back to normal until the SO notices Tom is licking himself and bleeding. Somebody had just fixed Tom. Apparently he decided the grass was not greener on the other side when it includes getting your balls cut off.

Bless you for taking him in!

Sadly, it’s not inconceivable that someone moved away and just left him behind, sweet love though he is. :frowning:

Thanks for sharing. Cats are prescient and often pick their owners. My elderly mother’s cat moved to her from across the street - the week her own cat died. Absolutely refused to go back to its owners who were nice people.

One of the best cats I’ve ever had was a tall grey tabby we called Charlie Horse. I don’t know why, but it suited him. He simply appeared one day and started hanging around with our British Blue (Gandalf) and then moved in. A lovely animal who smiled and purred if you simply looked at him, I suspect he had an older owner who died or moved away.

They are great companions who share their home with you. :stuck_out_tongue:

We had a black longhair adopt us back when I lived with my parents. We took him to the vet to get his teeth sorted out and he had all but one of them removed :frowning: Apart from that and a dicky eye (which earned him the name Nelson), he was fine - it was like the head of an old cat was grafted onto the body of a much younger one. Either that or he was thrown out of a moving car and landed on his head.

He died about six months ago, but he had three years with my parents after who knows how long wandering the streets. He was a drooly, skinny fluffball who ate anything he could attack with his gums, and he’s probably the only cat my normally ambivalent dad got misty-eyed over when he was put to sleep.

And just WHERE are the pictures??

We have two orange saddle tabbies that have been hanging out for a few months. Last week, I had to put down my 16-year-old gray saddle tabby. Now that I’m not concerned about trapping him, I’m planning to trap these two to have them checked out. If they’re “friendly,” I might keep them. (The 16-year-old had really arthritic rear quarters, and I didn’t want to risk having him walk into the trap.) The orange cats and my two seemed to tolerate each other and not fight, so it was never much of a priority.

Yep, one of our cats is an already-neutered, already-declawed (and thus, owned by someone) Maine Coon (not a cheap breed) who was wandering my MIL’s neighborhood. She saw him for a long time off and on, and he gradually became skinnier and skinnier, until eventually she relented and started putting food out for him, with inevitable results.

Knowing his personality and little quirks, our best guess is that someone was moving, and he slipped outside during the commotion. Wandered around for a few hours, took a nap in the bushes, showed back up at the house at nightfall expecting to be let back in for dinner … family gone. Maybe he peed on something that day (ahem) and so they didn’t concern themselves looking too hard?

Whatever. He’s ours now. A much-loved member of the family when he’s not wielding his mighty Cat Pee of Doom (which has thankfully disappeared now that our other male cat has passed on) and is currently purring and conked out on either the dining table, the couch, or “his” chair. He seems to like us. :slight_smile:
Now that I think of it, Mr. Horseshoe’s college roommate had a gray cat (Queso) who started to split his time between their place and the house next door, and gradually moved into the other house. Cats do that sometimes - they are not owned.

My most recent adoptee kitten turned out to have asthma. So I had to buy an Aerokat to give her inhaler treatments, but at least I’ll save money by using my own albuterol inhaler, and I get the Aerokat at a discount.

However, she will have to be on steroids and may have a shorter lifespan because of it.

We have a formerly feral cat who chose our aging Pekingese as an adoptive “parent.” A neighbor harbors an unconscionable number of feral cats – feeds them and shelters them in the yard but provides no medical care. We never see elderly cats, just lots of kittens.

One day a couple years ago my daughter was walking her Peke in our yard and out of the bushes pops a tiny grey kitten, right up to the dog, insisting he was her bestest friend in the whole wide world. There was no help for us.

The kitty fortunately had no FIV or Feline Leukemia issues, although she did have a herpes infection in one eye, which we must continue to help out with L-Lysine supplements forever. She and the dog are still BFFs.

Sometimes we decide to get a new cat. More often, a cat or kitten decides to adopt a human, or a family of humans. And humans are just going to have to deal with this.

I nearly got a cat this way. During the summer months, the little guy was hanging about and jumping up in my lap while I sat out there reading my book. He loved me. He would sit at the back door just waiting for me to come out. I would provide him with water at first and then treats later. He kept getting thinner and thinner, though.

When the weather started to turn, I still saw him about. At the back door crying for attention. I would usually hop out for a little attention time.

Then it started to get really cold and really snowy. So snowy that he would no longer go to the back door (we don’t shovel out there, you see) but to the front and beg me to come out. He was happy to see me most every day. And he kept getting thinner.

I kept hoping this was someone in my neighbourhood’s cat but he always seemed to be outside.

Then came a terrible snowstorm. Cold enough that no being wanted to go outside. He cried and he cried and he cried. So, I put on my longjohns and took him for a walk. He followed me all around the complex and I knocked on every neighbour’s door. No one knew who he belonged to.

I brought him in. My other cats took one look and disappeared. He just snuggled in by the fireplace and played with the toys I gave him and ate and drank some. He was such a friendly guy. He put up with the kids being a little rough around him with not a bat of his eye.

I couldn’t keep him (we had just adopted two human children, you see, no room for more kitties here). I was so sad that day. I knew that I had to surrender him to the shelter.

He was only in my life for a short time but I still look for him from time to time even though I know he won’t be there.

I hope the family who adopted him is loving him as much as I would have.

We currently have somewhere between 2 and 4 cats.

One we took in from my in-laws. She’s definitely ours.

One was a stray kitten we found hanging around a couple years ago. It took a couple weeks before we were able to coax him into the house to be come ‘ours’.

Then there are the other two. We don’t know if they ‘belong’ to someone or not, but they like to hang around, they get along with ‘our’ cats, and one of them even comes into the house on rare occasions. But it’s been several months and neither seems terribly inclined to be ‘adopted’, so we don’t necessarily consider them our pets. They’re just frequent visitors who we feed on a daily basis :slight_smile:

Know those hobo signsof yore? We think the animal kingdom has their own set.

Our bunny arrived this way. Never pitted the original owner (but should have). Rya’c showed up in January and took up residence under our shed. Same as above, we plastered signs, eventually some asshole came and said something like “oh, it’s ours. We got it for our daughter, but now she’s an ‘outside’ rabbit.” No coop, no pen, just a discarded and (then)unloved Easter present. We know there was no containment–two days later she hopped the 1/2 mile (!) back to our shed. She was awesome.

Then there was the litter of fully-weaned puppies that arrived under the shed. Beautiful hounds. Some asshole probably dropped them off at the end of our cul-de-sac, they saw the signs, and moved in. The fun bit? They arrived the day my son was born. Ah, chaos!

If no one comes for him, this is our best hope. I don’t wish pet-related trauma on anyone, and hope they searched as much as possible before they had no choice but to leave for a cross-country move. Maybe one of them came back and stayed in a hotel for a couple nights, and had their neighbors keep an eye out too. Maybe they’ll see it and he’ll get to go home and his family will put a horrible nightmare to rest.

It’s hard to keep that hope alive when we’re really hoping we never hear from anyone.

It’s also hard to keep that hope when we had such an awful experience with Rya’c’s original purchaser. Can’t really vet someone for whether or not to give their pet back, can we? Just because we’re inside-cat people, we can’t really insist that they are. Maybe. Posters just have an email address :dubious:

Flo’Lrr sans dignity
Lrrr(for those who don’t know him)

And his new brothers:
Teal’c(our first cat; hence First Prime)
Good Ash
Evil Ash
Original Ash


How soon was he adopted?

I don’t know. I was so upset that I never followed up. However, the humane society here tends to adopt out their cats at a quick pace (you often go down there to see no cats left, which is very heartening). They assured me that it would be less than a month.

We once had a cat (named Little Cat) move out on us.

He was the sweetest cat in the world until we decided that he needed some companionship and brought home another cat from the shelter.

He didn’t care for that at all; his personality changed drastically. After a couple of weeks, he started to disappear for long periods, sometimes days at a time. We were puzzling over it, as he hadn’t been much of an outdoor cat before. It got to the point where he was only coming home to eat and he would leave right away.

Finally, we get a call from the lady a few houses down. “Hi, I’m calling about Little Cat, I got your number from his collar.”


“Uh, yeah…he’s basically kind of started to live here.”

We went over to see him, and he was all laid up on the couch with the lady’s kids. He was acting sweet like he had previously. The lady had no problem with it, so we said goodbye to him, and he lived there for another 5 years.

My cat, Delilah Bug, belonged to my next-door neighbor. Delilah started visiting us one day in November of 2009, while her owner was working third-shift as a nurse. At that time my husband was also starting a third-shift job as a security officer, leaving me alone at nights.

Of course, I invited Delilah inside and she started spending every night with me. My husband and I just figured I needed my own cat, so I started looking for the right cat, comparing every one with Delilah. I finally told my neighbor that I could no longer be friends with Delilah because it was too hard for me.

So, my neighbor gave Delilah to me. Of course, then Delilah fell in love with my husband and wants nothing to do with me. So six months later, I adopted Macy Gray, a stray cat that my best friend found hanging out at her house.

I think your kitty needs it own song…

How about something along these lines:

Flol’lrr…Ohh Ohh Flol’rr

Meows like a woman and walks like a man…

Ohh Ohh Ohhh Flol’lrrr…