We are giving up our kitty.

Roughly seven months ago on a chilly night, we picked up a shivering little black kitten from where it meowed for attention under a car outside our window.

We brought it in: a skinny bundle of wailing dark fur all ears and tail and ribcage. It hid under the sofa, meowing. It peeked out at us, meowing. When we coaxed it out with a plate of food, it crept forward and ate, meowing. (Until that point I’d never heard a cat chew and meow simultaneously.) Eventually we realized that the low broken growling noise it was also making was its purr.

The purr, which soon corrected itself to normal, proved to be constant. Even the vet was surprised at how well she behaved. Sitting there on the cold table with big human fingers probing at her ears and teeth and butt, she just purred and purred her little head off.

She was declared to be a healthy female about four months old. No microchip. We dubbed her Kiwi, on account of her being small, dark, fuzzy, and ever-so-slightly odd. In the past several months she has wound herself into the household. She is curious and affectionate, kitten-spastic, constantly underfoot, bristling with teeth and claws and copper eyes: purring fuzzball companion, explorer of closets, staunch defender of the apartment against Creepy Crawly Creatures Smaller Than She.

Our main reason for finally deciding to find a new home for her is that the roommate is vastly allergic. She’s a cat lover and has tried her best to deal with it, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s affecting her physical and mental health. Our secondary reason is that we both work long and somewhat irregular hours. We’re not home enough to give her regular attention and playtime. My non-expert kitty senses are 98% sure she’s mostly American Bombay, which multiple sources tell me is an attention-needing breed of kitty.

We’ve been asking around to see if family and friends might be interested in taking her in. I’ve also looked into low-kill shelters around me, including the North Shore Animal League, BARC, and bideawee, but I’ve held off on contacting them – a part of me still hopes someone I know will want her.

If you want to criticize us for giving up the fight, I don’t blame you. But if you’ve given up a pet, or have had any positive experiences with any of the above organizations, I beg you to share your story. This is breaking my heart and I would really appreciate any reassurance that I’m not giving up my little fuzz-eared baby to the needle. :frowning:

Dang, Petrichord, you sure can paint a picture with words. (I was going to say “you use your tongue purtier than a twenty dollar whore” but it didn’t fit just right.)

Where are you?

Is your roommate as cute and fuzzy-eared? Maybe you need to change her.

Seriously, I understand there are shots you can take that minimize allergies.

Judging by your post references - if you’re around Boston, check out the no-kill shelter in Salem called Northeast Animal Shelter. (Otherwise check out NoKill Network.org.) They seem to have great reviews on Yelp, and I’m pretty sure that’s the shelter my friend who lives in the North Shore area has volunteered for. I’m sorry about your kitty, and if your roomie doesn’t want to deal with allergy treatments or can’t afford it, it’s understandable that you’d want to find a good home.

Thank you for the sympathy, everyone. Ferret Herder, I am in New York City, but I will check out that website – from a brief perusal it looks full of resources.

Good luck, Petrichord. For the record, I don’t think you’re doing a bad thing. Sometimes animals need a new home. Sucks, but there it is.

You’re way out of my area, Petrichord, so I can’t be much help. It’s tough giving up animals, even when it’s necessary. I’m sure you’ll be able to find such a lovely girl a good home. Best of luck!

I don’t know what y’all have tried as far as the allergies, but I thought I’d post this in just in case it might help, even if only till you find kittie a new home.

When a very allergic friend really really wanted to get a cat, this is the advice she got from her doctor. It seemed to help a lot and, last I knew, she still had a cat.

  1. Never ever ever ever EVER let the cat into the allergee’s bedroom. Spending 8 hours a night breathing allergens is bad. I’d bet these days they’d add ‘get an air cleaner for the bedroom’.

  2. Wash the cat weekly with baby shampoo. Wipe the cat down nightly with a damp washcloth. (For most people, this is something best started with a wee little baby kittie, but yours sounds like she might put up with it, even now!) This will drastically reduce the level of allergens in the environment.

  3. All of the regular allergy / environmental stuff…hard surfaces are better than soft, dust/vacuum regularly…all that stuff to keep the allergens down.

Please Keep Trying!
I will not fault you for having to give up your beloved kitty. Sometimes that is the only humane thing to do.
I have had to adopt a kitty out: it’s really hard to do.
(Even when he is going to the Country with lots to hunt and many soft kittyplaces to snooze in!)
Good Luck to you and Kiwi!

It may be possible to virtually eliminate the roomie’s allergic reaction through grooming, vaccuuming, dusting, and/or a good air filter in the areas the cat can live.

There is nothing wrong with looking for a better home if the situation is simply unworkable. If allergies are really the only reason it is unworkable though, there are a number of things that can be done to greatly reduce the cat dander in the house.

PM sent …

I’m sorry you have to give up this kitty. My default answer is to kick the roommate to the curb, but then I’m pro cat. :wink:

However you **Petrichord **are currently in volitional of board policy.

Where are the goddamn pictures of said kitty?!:smiley:

I’m so sorry, Petrichord. Good luck.

For the record, allergy shots take time – usually at least a year – and are not always effective. My sister has been trying for three years to get to the “maintenance phase” of hers, for seasonal pollens rather than cats, but keeps getting anaphylactic reactions and has to start over. I, on the other hand, have had three rounds of shots in my life (ages 4-6, ages 14-16, and ages 29-30) and never had to use an epi-pen once. Of all the allergens I was supposed to be desensitized to, about half are totally non-issues now, a few are still there but milder, and a few didn’t get better at all.

Man. I know this isn’t the first time someone’s said this and I’m sure it’ll be repeated time and again, but y’all on this board are some seriously awesome people. Thank you for your advice and encouragement, everyone.

For the folks with allergy advice, thank you. We’ve tried a lot of things short of getting shots for the roommate – vacuuming, brushing, restricting access, the lot – but her allergies are so sensitive that she’s getting asthma flare-ups even at work.

My apologies for the lack of pictures. I will be sure to correct the situation at the earliest opportunity. :slight_smile:

What if you shaved the cat?

Isn’t that a fable about mice who are allergic to a cat, and one of them thinks up the idea to shave it, which everyone agrees is an ingenious solution - until an older and wiser mouse pipes up, “And just who will shave the cat?”

I’m a grown man and I too would like advice on how to perform this without injury. I tried to Google it but I kept getting reproductive medical photos.

It’s not the cat’s fur that causes the allergic reaction, it’s the dander from the skin. Even if you survived shaving the cat :eek: , it might make the allergy worse!

Well, it may be a very difficult thing to have to let her go, but one day your roommate will understand it was for her own good. She can’t be happy living right inside a cat’s home like this with that kind of allergy. If she insists on staying or you just can’t bear to part with her you might try one last resort, which has been sworn to work by at least one cat allergy sufferer I know: a good HEPA air cleaner.

I feel bad for you. Sounds like she really loves you. Rescued cats are like that, they bond deeply to their saviour.

It’s not your fault. You did the right thing with only the best and purest intentions, and there was no way to know in advance that your roommate would have this reaction.

As an aside, I lost my allergy completely when I got multiple cats.

I was terribly allergic to the one I let inside at night because it was really really cold and he looked so hungry … well you know the rest … and in about 6 months time it wasn’t so bad. He got a lot of baths with dishwashing liquid and two brushings a day. I vacuumed and swiffered the floors daily, kept up with the dusting and took a lot of generic benadryl. But it all worked out in the end. Another one found me, it was cold, he was hungry, you know the drill … and next thing you know, I’m over my allergies.

Maybe a trip to Dr. Lubitz would be in order. I used to go to his office on West 57th and he was pretty good.

If you end up needing to find her a new home, make sure you write the description of her and her ways. You did a very good job of it.

Best of luck to you both.

When I lived in NYC, I had very good experiences with NSAL and Bide-a-wee. But if I were in your situation, I’d seriously consider finding a new roommate.