Last week, we had three cats. Now we have one. Bob and Sox have moved on to a new adventure, and I am trying to suppress the guilt.
We adopted the brothers from the San Jose, CA animal shelter in July 2001. They were a delightful part of our family and survived the move to Utah in 2002.
King BobWith the arrival of Baby, the siamese, in Dec 2005, however, Bob began marking his territory in a most unacceptable way. He was banned from the house. He became ever more desperate to get inside, and would wait by the door and sneak in unless you stuck your foot out the door as you opened it. If he managed to get in, someone had to go find him immediately or he'd wet somewhere. It was annoying beyond belief.
Sox, the 14 pound lazy bum
Sox, the 14 pound lazy bum
I love cats. They each have their own unique personalities, and I'm convinced they read minds. All I know is that all I have to do is think about the bathtub or the vacuum cleaner, and the cats nervously run from the room. When Bob was let in the house in the morning, the first thing he did was make his rounds to squeek at everyone to say good morning. Megan thought it was fun to wake up to a Cat Alarm. I love the way the cats follow me around the yard when I'm working outside. They'll sit in the shade and watch, and then come running over for a belly scratch when I take a break or sit down. Sox was so gentle and cuddly and slow to scratch -- great for a family with little kids.
Finding himself in exile, he began wetting all over the garage, and on the welcome mat by the front door, etc. If there was a plastic bag on the ground, he wet on it. After more than two years dealing with his messes, I had had enough of cleaning up after him, and Tom convinced me that it was time to reduce our cat population. Sadly, I agreed. I felt guilty, like I was sending them to almost certain death. I wondered if these cats would testify against me at the Judgement Bar. But I'd finally had enough, so I was willing to take the risk.
So last week, after I had discovered yet another smelly spot in my master bedroom, I caught Bob and put him in the cat carrier. Later that afternoon I loaded him in the van to take him to the local animal shelter. He meowed pitifully all the way across town. When I arrived, I was shocked and chagrined when the clerk told me that it cost $50 to drop off a pet. If it was a stray animal, there was no charge.
FIFTY DOLLARS?! Yikes. I wasn't at all prepared to pay that much, so I dejectedly began the drive home, again to the sound of Bob's moans from the back seat. I'd been determined and tough on the way there, but now tears of defeat stung the corners of my eyes. What were we going to do now, drop them off in a field somewhere? Or lie and say they were strays?
Tom took pity on me and took both cats on a long car ride to the Nephi Fairgrounds. He reasoned that they have everything they need there: shelter, water, and rodents. Megan cried for a day, but seems over it now.
Interestingly, I don't miss them at all. But I dreamt last night that Bob found his way back, and was wheezing from the exertion of running all that way. Guilt runs deep when you've betrayed a friend.