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Is this the furever home you deserve?

Posted by: | August 8, 2014 | 10 Comments |

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I have always wanted an affectionate and loving pet like Smore. Weve always been a dog family. I h

ad a cat once back when I was in elementary school. We found him as a stray here while on vacation (because this is our vacation home that I just recently moved to). We brought him back home, and he remained an outdoor cat because we thought he prefered it that way, that was how my parents were raised to believe, and because my siblings have allergies to cats. At night, he slept in our garage, and when it was really cold, we let him inside our dark room to eat and warm up. I think he thought he was part dog. He used to walk me to the bus stop and every day he sunned himself on our patio furniture until he heard the bus coming, and then he would run to meet me. Sometimes I wonder if Smore is Socks reincarnated because they have a lot of similarities in their personalities, or if Socks sent her to me.

My husky was my first actual dog bought just for me. She’s 14 now, and part of the reason why I wanted Smore was because I know deep down that Pebbles is reaching the end. Soon, she’ll be crossing over the bridge and reuniting with the rock pack. Sadly, there’s nothing I can do about it.

I know it’s going to hurt, and it’s my hope that having another furbaby will somehow make it easier. I don’t know how I’ll go on when Pebbles crosses over and gains her angel wings. She’s been a big part of my life, but s

ometimes I wonder if I’m wrong for keeping Smore, if she wouldn’t be better off with a different family because of my current circumstances.

You see, I’ve been keeping Pebbles and Smore separated. Huskies are known for a high prey drive, and when she was younger and my first dog was alive (he was a lhasa apso which are about the size of Shi Tzu), she would go after him whenever he came near me. My family wonders if it wasn’t an attempt to protect me or a dominance thing. She never really bit him; she’d just paw at him, which was enough to do damage. It ended up breaking his jaw, which was apparently weakened by cancer that we didn’t know about. She’s also killed her fair share of wildlife over the years. Plus, she was really interested in where Smore had been that first night, though that could have been because she hissed and I don’t think Pebbles has ever heard a cat hiss.

Once upon a time, she would whine when she saw little dogs. Now when she sees them on walks, she watches them with little interest, but I lead her away in case she decides to cause trouble.

It worries me to attempt to introduce Smore to her. Not to mention, Smore is a kitten with energy; I don’t want to torment my dog in her old age; mostly though, I’m afraid I’ll end up with an injured or dead cat in the process.

The way the house is set up, it’s imposible to keep Smore inside because there’s no way to currently separate them, so Smore has been living in our attached garage. I’ve removed all the chemicals, rat poison, and everything else that I thought could hurt her, including my car. I don’t want her getting inside the engine or licking anything off it.

Smore pre-surgery in her favorite chair

Smore pre-surgery in her favorite chair when we first Found her

I originally planned on introducing the two after Smore healed from surgery; however, I’m still scared. Not to mention I’m currently living in my parents’ retirement home, and my father thinks he’s now allergic to cats. (He did sneeze a lot when he was here visiting here)

My mom mentioned this to me before, and I figured I could get a place of my own and the critters could live together. I also planned on teaching Smore to walk on a leash so we could go outside and building her a catiary so she could enjoy outside as well. But now I’m wondering if I’m being selfish And if iit’s fair to habe her wait while I find a place of my own. My mom said I could ger a trailer or build a house here, but that takes time too.

I’ve been spending 3 hours with her at least and play with her during this time. I’ll be going back to work In September, and I worry I’ll have less time to play with her (maybe 2 hours? maybe less?) because of planning and grading. However, this year I have a prep hour, so I might have more free time to spend between her and Pebbles.But is that enough time? I don’t honestly know how much time a kitten needs to be with people. I don’t know much about cats.

I’ve been monitoring the temperature in the garage and it’s usually about 60 something in there. At the warmest it was probably 70 something. In the winter, I’m willing to buy a heater for the garage to keep her warm. I’m basically willing to turn the garage into a cat condo or perhaps even more like a studio or office where I can grade and relax after work if need be to make it more cozy for her. It’s not even a garage to me anymore. It’s Smore’s room.

But is it enough? Am I cruel for having her live in there?

Before her surgery was even scheduled, I remember sitting with her and crying because I thought I’d have to give her away; she was in my lap and she stood up and rubbed her head against my cheek where it was damp with tears. It was like she knew I was sad and she was trying to make me feel better. It worked too.

Before her surgery, I purposefully left the garage open while she was in there to see if she wanted to leave. Instead, she found a place high up to hide until we came outside. I haven’t done this since her surgery because I’m afraid she’ll run off and get hurt after I invested so much money in healing her. I’m also afraid that she’ll be more adventurous because she’s not wounded anymore.

Since day one, she’s wanted to cuddle with me. When she had fleas, she’d jump up in my lap and lie down, and I’d put her back on the floor because I didn’t want to bring fleas into the house. But she’d jump right back up into my lap. Over and over we did this. She never jumped in anyone else’s lap despite the fact that there were plenty to go to. She always seemed to prefer me over the others. Sure, She’d play with them, but she seemed to ignore them If I called To her.

I just don’t know if she can be happy here. How do you know if a cat’s happy? I wish I could just ask her.

What do I do? Am I being selfish and cruel? Do I need to find her a new furever home? I know that if I keep her, I definitely want her live inside with me, but I fear I have to wait until my husky passes on, which sounds terrible to say. There’s a chance they’d get along, but can I risk it? And on top of it all, if my dad has allergies, how can i bring her into the house? Can I do something to her or the house to lesson the effects? He takes a million medicines due to 2 heart attacks that iit’s impossible to just give him allergy medicine.

Is there a difference between being inside a house and being inside an attached garage? is it enough to have shelter, food, water, toys, and love? Does she need more? Am I even going to be able to find a new house?

Why can’t we see into the future? Life would be so much easier if we could.

What would you honestly do? Am I a terrible person? this was honestly easier before I heard that my dad might have allergies. Why must allergies exist? I just want the best for her. I want her to be a healthy and happy cat.


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10 Comments

  1. By: 4myty on August 8, 2014 at 4:33 pm      Reply

    Can you introduce them while you are present? Maybe put your dog on a leash and have one one hold him. I have a cat that lives in my garage. Now, she is allowed in the house, but she prefers to spend a lot of her time there. It is always a good temp. And she is free to come inside if she wants. She is pretty snooty though and seems to prefer her own space. One or 2 nights a month, she will decide she wants to sleep in bed with me. I rather like it, but it has to be on her terms and a small bit of cuddling is enough for her. When she is done, she will bite or scratch you to get her point across. Is it possible to crate your dog for maybe an hour a day and let S’more in? You may find that with your Husky being older now, there would not be a problem. No, you are not a terrible person.

    • By: tinav323 on August 8, 2014 at 9:09 pm      Reply

      Thank you for takng thr time to share your opinion amd experiemce with me.

      I definitely wouldn’t try it without me there. Was waiting until my mom came, but now with this allergy thing I don’t know if they want her inside. 🙁 I need to do some research on allergies.

      I was hoping the old age would make her less predatory. I know she was extremely interested when the cat hissed at her the first night they met, but i don’t think my dog has ever heard that sound. I was hoping they’d at least get to the point where we could all get along when I’m at home and Smore would stay in garage while I’m at work so dog doesn’t hurt her. I do have her old crate, but I don’t know if she’d tolerate going in.

      I was going to try introducing them with leashes. I’ve been letting the dog smell her on me and giving her treats when I go see the cat in hopes of trying to get her to associate it with good things. I need to read more about proper introductions.

      • By: Melinda P on August 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm      Reply

        The treats are a great idea! Especially if you introduce them too. I forgot about that. We never did that with the ferrets. But our dog has also reacted to almost all other dogs too (most would say dog aggressive, but our trainer used dog reactive and I like that better hehe), especially while on a leash. We took him to a special class just for helping with this issue and it helped a lot. Part of the training was to overload him with treats when another dog went by…partly for distraction and partly to teach him other dogs meant good stuff. We used that method when introducing him to my in-laws’ new dog. They dogsit for us occasionally so we needed them to get along. Now they are best buds. So maybe if/when you decide to introduce, having lots of treats handy will help the process along 😉

        • By: tinav323 on August 9, 2014 at 7:54 pm      Reply

          Dog reactive is such a better word! It’s nice to hear that they can overcome it. It gives me hope!

  2. By: Melinda P on August 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm      Reply

    I think Smore knew what she was doing when she chose you 🙂 Every cat is different, but many of them are fine with only a couple hours a day (or less) of attention. Kender has wanted a lot more since her surgery, but I think that’s partly from boredom since she doesn’t have free run of the house anymore. There have been days where she doesn’t want anything to do with people and others where she wants a bunch. My other cat is pretty skittish…things have to be pretty calm for him to lay still and wanna get pets. But when he does he soaks them up like he’s never been pet a day in his life lol

    As far as introducing the two of them, there’s a couple options if you want to try it. If there’s an area where you could put up a baby gate with them on either side, they may get used to each other that way. Having each of them leashed in the same room together is another idea (you’d need a helper for this, or maybe something to tie Smore’s leash to. A muzzle for the dog is another idea, although there is still a risk of injury from the paws, but much lower than if he can bite.

    We got our dog (a rescue…he’d been hit by a car and we were fostering to adopt) when we had 2 cats and 2 ferrets. We had seen him around cats at the vet’s office I worked at then and knew he was ok with them…just got a little excited at first. But we were nervous with the ferrets. The vet thinks there may be some pointer in him and we’d already seen how crazy he went about squirrels and rabbits while on walks. Ferrets may not be rodents, but my dog doesn’t know that lol. We started out with me holding a ferret and hubby holding the dog’s leash short and allowing him to get close enough to smell, but not get hold. He lunged for them a few times and we thought they’d never be able to be in the same room. After a while we did the leash and a muzzle while letting the ferrets run around. When he lunged we w I us correct him…when he didn’t he got positive reinforcement. Then one day we realized, while watching him, that he wasn’t trying to attack them, but was in a play posture. We gave him a little slack and he started playing with them! Eventually we felt safe enough to allow them together unrestricted. He would play and mouth them but never hurt them. They got him a couple times though lol

    I know not everyone will have the same success, but on seeing his first reactions, I felt for sure we’d be wasting our time trying anymore and should just resign ourselves to not allowing them together (or returning him after fostering). I’m so glad we didn’t give up. Our furbabies can surprise us!

    • By: tinav323 on August 9, 2014 at 3:28 am      Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion and experience with me.

      it gives me a little hope that they met on the ither side of the storm door and neither tried to attack the other. It actually looked like curiosity to me. It’s if Smore attempts to run, play, or hiss that has me worried she’ll set off something in Pebbles.

      I was hoping to introduce them when my mom came to visit the end of the month so she could help, but now that my dad thinks he has an allergy I worry that they won’t let her into the house for his health.  he pretty much can’t take medicines due to his immense amount of medication following his two hesrt attacks. Since im living in their retirement house I’m kind of stuck until I can find a new place or build something on their land unless I can find some ay to combat the allergies.

      I’m glad it worked out with the ferret. Pebbles enjoyed watching ours on the other side of the fence. She does know the off command which basically means stop touching whatever you’re touching, which might help.

      thank you again

  3. By: benny55 on August 9, 2014 at 11:12 am      Reply

    Awwww, you are such a sweet soul.

    Pebbles sounds like a dilightful “mature” pup. I was owned by a Husky once and they are GREAT dogs! The fact that Pebbles is fourteen…WOW!

    Yeah, you could probably be able to introduce.Smore.and Pebbles.based.on some of the.siggestions. You don’t want Pebbles to feel jealous….being your friend forfourteen years he still wants ro be top dog!!! Your Dad and the allergies…that may be more of a challenge!

    Now, as far as a forever.home….Smore.already piked it with you! And I think Socks had a paw.in this too!!

    Smore has a great set up in the garage, far better.than many cats! Working and spending time with our furbabies…always a challenge with almost all households. I KNOW the time you do spend with Smore is quality time and that’s good enough for him!
    J think you have a very close bond with each other and I.com think you would have a really hard time giving him away.

    And remember, your living arrangements will not stay this way forever. It sounds like you will soon be on your own in a place where you can have Smore…….maybe a place that is surrounded by scenic beauty like your banner! I just love.that banner!

    Hugs to all your pack…including Dad!

    Sally and Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle too!

    • By: tinav323 on August 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm      Reply

      Thank you for the kind words. It would be difficult to say goodbye. I don’t want to, ever! I was worried though that my love was making me blind and that her quality of life wouldn’t be as great or that I was being neglectful somehow by keeping her there.

      I love Smore, and she is very much family in my eyes. I think our lab may have had a part in it too because the morning she came knocking on our door was our lab’s birthday. She passed on long ago due to a reaction to her shots. She was just as loving and affectionate as Smore though.

      like I said, I was just worried my love and attachment was making me selfish.

      She doesn’t seem to mind. She uses her litter box and doesn’t destroy anything or show any signs of being unhappy. When I go see her she meows until I sit down. Then she crawls in my lap and rubs against me and purrs like there’s no tomorrow. After a bit she’ll finally decide it’s time to play. After we play I feed her in hopes that it feels more like she’s working for food since I heard cats still have strong instincts and want to work for food. after she eats, if I’m still in the room she curls up in my lap to sleep. I’ve had her completely fall into a sleeo deep enough for dreaming at least 3 times, so she clearly trusts me.

      I just hope she’s as happy being part of our family as I feel having her in the family.

      thank you for your input. I appreciate your thoughts and I feel better about it now. 🙂

      PS I have no idea where that location in the header is from. It came with the layout, but it definitely looks like a place worth visiting!

  4. By: sebastian on August 9, 2014 at 10:08 pm      Reply

    You are such a sweetheart for being concerned the way you are. With the amount that you care for this kitten, and the effort that you have already put in, it is clear that you will make the right decisions. Sure, you might think a cat would be happier with a whole home to roam and more people time…but not every home is full of as much love as yours is!! Plus, as people have already mentioned…Smore clearly picked you out 🙂

    • By: tinav323 on August 9, 2014 at 10:14 pm      Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate iy. 🙂

      It sounds like everyone is agreeing that I’m not making a selfish decision. You know what they say. Love makes you blind. So relieved that isnt the case. I love this little girl and want her to stay in the family until she’s old and ready to go on. Just needed some reassurance I was making the right choice!

      Thank you for helping with that! Give Sebastian a hug from us.

      🙂

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