Friday, February 27, 2015

what you need - a post by the mom

Daiquiri checking out what mom is posting on Twitter

I have a confession to make. This isn't easy to admit and it won't be easy to read. But here goes:
I didn't want to keep Daiquiri.

There, I said it.

Now, let me back up....and I will warn you, this is a long post.

When I first started to foster, I made a commitment, both to myself and to the cats and kittens I fostered. I would always be there for them. I have been lucky in that not many have been returned (at least that I know of). Chex and Milano came back, and they stayed with me until I could get them adopted again. And there have been foster failures along the way (a foster failure for those new to this is: fostered, failed to return - also known as adopted by the foster family). In fact, now that I think about it, technically everyone here is a foster failure. :)

Last year was hard. Maestro died in May from cancer at 19 years old. I had kittens at the time....and Coral ended up working her way into my heart. So she stayed. And then she got so sick and died from FIP at 6 months old in October. I wasn't ready. While Maestro leaving was hard, it was expected and I had time to prepare. Coral was so young and it took everything I had to admit that I couldn't fix her and had to let her go. And to be honest, I still have problems seeing her picture.

At that same time, Daiquiri was tested and came back faintly FeLV positive. I could have moved her to another foster home, but committed to her and rearranged some things at the house. By the time we got the weird test results, and then the final test results, she was over 5 months old and had been here since she was about 3 weeks old. I was afraid she wouldn't get adopted as a teenager. And honestly, as much as I wouldn't commit my heart, I knew on some level that she was staying.

But I wasn't ready. Daiquiri is the POLAR opposite of Coral. While she is slowly beginning to appreciate a good cuddle, it is by far not her favorite thing. Coral on the other hand was always in my lap. Even when she was feeling good, she would play but then when it was time for a nap, she was with me. Daiquiri will happily nap by herself or with Tim. Yes, she decidedly loves Tim more than she loves me. haha

I thought long and hard. I knew I couldn't give her up. But I also knew I had to make some changes to ME in order to be fair to HER. I just didn't know where to start or what to do.

Fortunately, this was right about the time of the last painting session, and I met up with my friend Kelly. Sitting at a table painting for 6 hours, you talk about all sorts of things. And Daiquiri and Coral were among the topics. I hadn't spoken about it to anyone at that point. I wasn't even sure I could get the words together, no less finding someone who wasn't going to judge me and take it all the wrong way. Kelly was a saint!
6 hours of painting and lots of revelations

And putting it out there helped.

The other thing that helped....getting Mae West adopted. I know, sounds strange. But the woman who adopted her was asking me - how do you choose? And after walking her through the process, it made me think.
Miss Mae West

Over that next weekend, I came to a few realizations:

1. Sometimes you don't choose. Sometimes it happens. I was prepared to keep the numbers at 6 after losing Coral. Apparently, my plans were ignored. And I had to accept that.

2. Maybe what I thought I wanted, wasn't in fact what I needed. And it certainly wasn't what that household needed. See, for those of you who have followed for a while, you know about Junior and Ivy and Spud. They have a....hate-hate relationship. However, Daiquiri LOVES Junior. She doesn't know his background - he has always just been her dorky older brother. While Spud and Ivy think Junior is weird and annoying, Daiquiri just sees Junior. And heavens she plays with him to no end. Surprisingly, it has made a difference....while he doesn't entirely leave the other two alone, and while the other two still take him at face value and find him annoying, having someone else to chase around who loves the game is much more fun. And a tired Junior is a very good thing.

In fact, the other evening, Daiquiri was down in the entry way to the condo, singing about something (or testing the acoustics - who knows with that girl). Junior looked over the edge, then snuck down the stairs. A couple of minutes later.....pounding herds of elephants up the steps and down the hall...Junior in the lead with Daiquiri hot on his tail!!!

3. I needed to let go. Losing Maestro was hard. Losing Coral broke my heart. But trying to force Daiquiri into a mold where she was never going to fit wasn't fair to her....or to me. I had to learn to love her for who she is....a nutty loveable goofy kitten.

Now if I could only get her to like me as much as she likes Tim.....  Or maybe that really IS wishful thinking.

By the way.....hard as it is to believe - the nut is 6 months old now. Happy Half Birthday Daiquiri!!
(oh - and she is going to be a big girl....not fat, but tall and sturdy)

37 comments:

  1. Oh I so understand how you feel. You said it in a nutshell in one of your last statements, we sure do need to love them for who they are. I am glad you kept Daiquiri and I bet she will become a good friend to you. Two Two is not a lovable cat but she is hysterical and very entertaining. They all have their little ways. Have a great day.

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    1. thanks....that is what it came down to...love her for who she is

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  2. Wonderful, honest post. I can't count all the times I wanted to rehome Nicki, especially when Annie was still alive, he drove me nuts. Still does sometimes, but he is who he is and I'm glad, bottom line, he's with me. So we understand and I'm sure a lot of us have been there, in one way or another. You're bang on about what you want versus what you need...And maybe Daiquiri needs YOU (i.e. your home). Things have a way of working out in the end.

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    1. thanks.....it was hard to write and we weren't sure about the reception it would get

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  3. When I first saw Hannah squashed in a cage with six other young cats my heart pounded and I knew I had to have her, however the RSPCA staff didn't want us to be adopted singly as we had always been round other cats. I had to choose another one and saw Lucy leaning on Hannah for support and I just had to choose her. After a short time I knew I loved Hannah but Lucy was my heart cat - she jumps on my knee and looks me straight in the eye as if to say you're mine.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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    1. that was hard for mom too....Coral was just so special in her own way and yet so different from Daiquiri

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  5. Somehow in the scheme of things Daiquiri chose you. Chose your home. Sometimes there is no why, at least that we understand. When homes are in transition so many emotions come to bear. Even though you were prepared in your head for saying goodbye to Maestro that coupled with losing Coral were hard on your emotions. Maybe there was some residual feelings as to why Coral was not here and Daiquiri was. Maybe that is where your mixed feelings came from. I know I had them when only after 4 months after Abby's loss I found Annabelle. I wasn't ready but I jumped anyway. But it sounds like in the end Daiquiri knew exactly where she belonged. In your heart and home.

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  6. Daiquiri did choose you. And as everyone here, Marg being the first, said they are all their own selves with their own personality. Our own emotions following the passing of two loved fur babies make it hard to come to grips with what we should do, rather than what we want to do. Your innate goodness guided you to the conclusion that you have chosen to follow and your entire fur family is loved, each in their own way and lovingly cared for. despite wishes and expectations in the beginning. I think you rock.

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  7. A wonderfully honest and heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing. I can't relate totally as I have never fostered, but because of the situation with my Sassy, I can understand where you're coming from. I don't know if you know, but Sassy is my FIV+ cat who came to us as a stray - she definitely chose us, not the other way around. We were not looking for another cat, she just walked up to us and started living on our porch. After finding out she was FIV+ and aggressive towards the other cats, it was a tough call to make. We lived in a tiny apartment at the time, so keeping one of the cats separated from the others took some juggling. But we worked it out for Sassy, because I knew that I wouldn't be able to find her another home. It's been a long journey and not without it's frustrations, but I have learned to love Sassy, like you said, for who she is - temperamental as she may be. She's my Sassy girl, and I am glad that we were able to be there for her when she needed someone. Daiquiri is lucky to have you, and I'm sure you feel the same about her. Thank you for all that you do.

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    1. thanks - we have been following your road with Sassy and are so glad you are giving her a chance at a home

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  8. M here: This is an excellent post and from the heart. Watching all you multii cat owners has sometimes intimidated me, as Mario is our only cat. I often wondered if life was really as perfect as I've had it in my imagination to be. It's hard after you have lost a kitty that was your heart kitty, and the next one in the door is far from that. But in time, I think you both will come to love each other. Mario really favors his dad and I'm second fiddle. That has been hard to take since all of our other cats and one dog, were always deemed to be my pets. But Mario and I do have our special times - they just aren't like I would have imagined. He spends a huge amount of hours each day just sitting on his Dad's lap or taking a nap. He considers me his litter mate, and I'm the one who must play with him. Just hang in there, and in her own way, she will become special to you also. It takes a lot of courage to admit all this to the world, and I admire you for doing it.

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  9. Oh yea, it happens and we know she picked you and she will eventually figure out how to tell you that she loves you!

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  11. I feel that way with every foster-cat I have. I haven't fostered as many as you, nor have I fostered for as long. I like my routine, I like stability. A foster-cat means disruption, change, noise, confusion, mess and work. I don't want them here. I don't want to deal with them. So I feel at first.

    But I have a home where they could come, and be safe. Two have come and stayed. Bear-Bear died waiting for his permanent home; it was with me, after all. Kola is more trouble to my Tucker than he is to me, but Cammie... What do you do with a cat who distrusts everyone and everything? You ignore her and let her learn at her own pace. And while she does that, she teaches me. She still distrusts many but she is no longer disruptive. She has become part of the routine, as they all have.

    And so will the next foster-cat, I'm sure. They come unwanted, but don't remain that way for long.

    You would be more than human if you had no regrets, worries, annoyances at the foster-cats. Yet you care for them, make them healthy and secure, love them. They know how you really feel. They always do. If they could, they would thank you.

    Or ignore you. One or the other.

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  12. Thanks for such an honest and heartfelt post! My human has had her doubts about every cat that came into her life except for her soul cat, Harlot, and me. She never intended to keep Boodie, in fact, and she was the "extra cat" for literally years. Or so I hear. But Boodie picked my human and her boyfriend in her own quirky way and hung in there until the humans realized she was part of the family. And I'm glad because she's a good pal.

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    1. Sometimes the humans are just slower than the rest of us

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  13. Jeanne...

    If I asked myself once, I asked myself 1000 times, did I do the right thing in keeping tuna and sauce together. Sauce now roams the hillsides with maestro & coral & gram paw dude and countless others and I wonder if he would still be here...if I had not adopted tuna.

    They never got along from the get go, but since they both had previously been ...dropped off at the shelter the first time around...I couldn't bring myself to take either one back to the shelter again and it also became a nightmare decision...which one should stay, which one should go.

    Sauce was the older and the story of how he came right to me at the shelter is one that I will never forget; and had a special meaning for me and the shelter workers as well.

    Tuna walked up to me and fell asleep on my lap as I sat on the floor in the adoption area. Both cats should have been adopted out as..solitary cats....

    The fact that Sauce is now gone but only in the physical sense while Tuna is still here ...for all intents and purposes...is probably the way it was meant to work out in the end.....

    Sauce was one of THE nicest kitty's I've ever had the privilege of knowing; and while Tuna is for the most part...a cat's cat...I can't see myself without him

    I guess we second guess ourselves when maybe we really dont need to??? and maybe BASTET has a hand in who we meet up with ..after all

    I doubt there's not a one of us out there who hasn't questioned this same thing; be it with cats, dogs, or other pets.

    High paws as the tabbies say for having the courage to admit what we've all dealt with and or felt at some point

    Happy 6th months Daiquiri ~~~

    ♥♥♥

    Laura

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  14. It's hard. Ashton is my cat who will never really be what I wanted. I picked her up from the highway median because she was suffering and I thought she needed euthanasia, and somehow I came home from the vet with this injured kitten. That was totally not the plan. Once she was out of shock, she wanted nothing to do with me. I wanted to cuddle, and she wanted to hang out with the other cats. I was lucky to touch her once a day. It took a long time for us to come to a common ground of accepting each other for what we are. It sounds like that's where you are with Daiquiri, too.

    The others have said that you're what Daiquiri needs. That's true. It also sounds like she's what Junior needs, too. That's what families are, after all. Family members both need each other and sometimes drive each other crazy.

    Happy six months, Daiquiri. You're a lucky girl!

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    1. The nice part is that Daiq is totally social.

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  15. I'm not sure we ever really are the ones who decide....I think it's all done for us and once we realize it, we're hooked.

    Sharon

    (Mom to) The Florida Furkids

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    1. That happened with Mo too. He went back to the shelter from foster and within 3 weeks I had to go do the paperwork. But that was a conscious decision. Thanks

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  16. I certainly don't judge you and you do so much for kitties. Welcome home (officially)Daiquiri!

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  17. Thank you for being so honest. You're so right, sometimes things just happen...and for some reason, Daiquiri came into your life. And over time, you may discover what that reason is. But she's lucky to have such a good home.

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  18. I am so sorry about Coral leaving. You seem like a very deep thinker. I appreciate your observations.
    Thanks and grace be to you for your devotion to fostering!


    Deb in Arizona
    http://homelesscatcare.blogspot.com

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  19. The perfect proof that life so often doesn't go to plan...

    Purrs,
    The Chans

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    1. Or at least what you think the plan should be ;)

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  20. Oh yes, sometimes things just happen as they have to ! There is always a good reason for it, even if you don't know which one yet. Purrs

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    1. We are hoping one reason is the distraction of the Orange menace

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  21. Mom Paula loved Daiquiri, but she didn't want much to do with Mom Paula. She knew where her forever home would be.

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  22. My Saku came to me from my daughter who could no longer keep him. I had five others at the time and really didn't want another. But as cats do, he wormed his way into my heart. As I suspect Daiquiri has done the same with you (and apparently Junior too).


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  23. What a great post. I totally understand where you're coming from - having had hard losses (both semi-expected ones and others out of the blue) --- and adding to the pack. It's hard and confusing. I'm glad you had someone you could talk to about it all; that is a tremendous help.
    Congrats to you and to Daiquiri!
    KZK

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  24. so in reality you adopted a kitten for your cats :)

    totally no judgement here. I really didn't want to keep Eli, I did so because I didn't think anyone would adopt that weepy eyed mess of a kitten.. and truthfully I actually ruined him with all of the medication he needed.. he spent the next 10 years running from every person ever. The very first time he voluntarily touched me FLOORED me..

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    1. that is a good way to look at it....got a kitten for Junior more to the point. :) I smiled about the Eli comment....I am still surprised to this day that Mo still likes me after all the medication he got as a kitten. :)

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