Meet Sebastian. He was (is?) the cutest cat I ever met. Sweet. Didn’t put his claws in you. Snuggled on you and let you hold him.
We moved to Atlanta in May 2003. We knew nobody. Mr. Serious had no job and I was was doing research at the graduate school I would be attending in the fall. It was a little lonely and I wanted a cat. After about 5 months of me begging, Mr. Serious finally said okay, so I went to the adoption place, found Sebastian, got all of his goodies and brought him home.
I loved him immediately!
Then, I noticed him take a squat on the floor in our living room and pee on the floor. What the heck?
Okay, he’s a kitten, he doesn’t know where his litter box is. He just needs a little practice.
Then he did it again. And again. And again.
You get the idea.
By the second day, he was locked in our bathroom with his litter box, and as soon as we got home and I took my eye off him, back to the floor.
I got the magic stuff to remove smells (he was going in the same place, so a previous owner must have had a pet that went and he was marking his territory). I put down foil. He went on the foil. I tried everything.
I felt terrible that he was locked in the bathroom all day. It wasn’t his fault. It was his instinct.
After a week, I called the number of the adoption place. I wanted to see if she had any suggestions. I didn’t know what else to do. She said that even after getting him fixed (he wasn’t quite old enough), it probably wouldn’t change. She suggested bringing him to her and swapping him out for a female cat she had that was a little older and very litter box trained (but still not fixed).
I cried at the thought. How could I return/exchange my kitty? I picked him. He picked me. He was ours and I was going to take him back?
But, he peed on the floor again and it was getting disgusting.
I met her, and I met “Violet”. She was just as sweet and kind and didn’t claw me. So I exchanged my Sebastian for this new girl (who I renamed Sasafras because she so wasn’t a Violet).
I brought her home and cried some more. I was convinced I would never be a good mother. What would I do if I had a kid that did something wrong? I wouldn’t be able to return a baby. I called the next day, and the lady told me that a nice new family had taken Sebastian home and now “Howard” would be loved and well taken care of.
Of course, she made me question all of my mothering abilities, too (maybe I read too much into being a cat mom). When I was pregnant with #1, she ran out our open door (a neighboring cat ran by), and I had to chase her and thought she was gone. By the time I ran around very pregnant and chased her and returned home defeated, she was waiting in the house for us looking at me like I was crazy.
Yeah, it’s a good thing I started with a cat first!
(For the record, I’ve never considered taking the girls back….just in case you were thinking that’s what I meant!)