Sometimes it doesn’t work out

Sometimes it doesn’t work out

SteveWe talk a lot on this blog about adoptions that are meant to be.

But the fact is, sometimes they aren’t.

I wish I didn’t have to write posts like this one, and that every adoption “stuck” forever and ever amen. But, as long as we human beans are human, we’re going to be – well, infuriatingly human. And, from time to time, fellow imperfect humans are going to make a cat match that’s not meant to be.Steve

Take Steve. I’ll admit, I’ve dragged my heels on updating his story here. As you’ll recall, the warm-hearted Mr. Adopter Jr. opened his home to both Steve and Mahalia, smitten with the darling duo. But in spite of Mr. AJ’s love and best efforts, half of this adoption wasn’t meant to be. Little Steve may have left his hiding-in-the-couch days behind him, but along the way he picked up a frustrating new habit…”inappropriate elimination.”

Despite being just a kitten, Steve had become what we at Tabby’s Place affectionately call an “inappropriator.” Peeing on the blankets. Peeing on the bed. Peeing on the floor. Peeing behind the door. Peeing next to his own food bowl. And peeing, peeing, peeing, with no medical reason to be found.

SteveAnd so a heavy-hearted Mr. AJ brought Steve back a couple of days after the adoption, saddened and sorry but sure this was more than he had bargained for. I understand; we all did. It takes the patience of Job – or at least a house of tile with drains built into the floor – to not mind inappropriate elimination.

I do believe there’s a home out there for Steve. Job-like patience exists in unexpected places, and Steve is too much of a heart-stealer not to find his own uber-patient mama/papa/family. In the meantime, we’ve got our work cut out for us in trying to get him groovin’ on his litter box (instead of every other surface in sight).

But Steve’s actually not the one to provoke this post.

No, that would be the funky tuxedo…who turned out to be a “rental” instead of a keeper.

In Spike‘s case, it was his shyness that squashed the adoption. After two days of Spike’s hiding, his adopter decided Spike must be unhappy. Unable to take it any longer, she whisked him back to Tabby’s Place…where he’s now, again, atiptoe looking for his home.Spike

As an eminently imperfect human bean myself, I do my darndest not to judge fellow beans, or to think the worst of their choices. I’ve made more flubs and fouls than I’d care to remember, and I’ve surely done wrong by both human beans and felines along the way. I want with all my heart not to do that, but as long as I walk this earth, I’m going to keep tripping. So we all will – including adopters. It’s not my job to judge anybody else. (Not to say that I don’t slip and catch myself doing just that from time to time…but, then, there’s that dratted human bean imperfection thing again.)

While my heart is sad for Spike, I believe that, when it’s meant to be, it will stick, and nothing can unstick it. I believe that sometimes adopters make silly, hasty choices, and sometimes they make hard-but-right choices out of love, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

SpikeBut, most of all, I believe that every one of the Tabby’s Place cats - the lifers, the returnees, and the ones who find great forever homes – is buoyed up on a wave of love that lasts all life long. The more we can forgive and accept and love each other through our blunders and victories, the better we can love the cats just the way they are.

No doubt about it: being loved just the way we are makes us better human beans. So I’ll keep doing my best, step by stumbling step, to have a heart wide open to every cat and every person who enters their orbit. Tabby’s Place is an outpost of love in this world, and, imperfect or not, we’re all in this together. I’m so glad, so humbled and so glad, that you Felis Catus folk are in it with us.

14 thoughts on “Sometimes it doesn’t work out

  1. Spike’s day will come, I’m sure.

    Do you want to hear something funny, though? When I saw him on the website as Spike instead of Spice, I blamed it on my errant handwriting when I filled out the intake form. i knew he’d be loved as Spike or Spice, but it’s interesting to find out after all this time that that was a deliberate name change.

  2. 🙁 We human beans are, indeed, not perfect. I can understand Steven’s adopters reason but Spike didn’t even get a chance to get accustomed to his new surroundings (and not to mention Spike was returned with a certain eye infection)! But it is better that they are returned then staying with beans who don’t appreciate them.

  3. I agree with Ayla, I understand about Steven, but I can’t understand about Spike. He didn’t even get a chance to get settled in, to adjust to his new surroundings before he was unceremoniously returned. So sad. He sounds like a nice little boy cat. Give them both hearty head pats from me, please!

  4. Angela – you hit it spot on! Cats, like humans, are not “perfect” and every one is different. We need to be loved for who we are. I’m sure we all have a cat who not everyone would think is loveable LOL. My O’Malley is a cross between Maggie’s tabbytude and Steve’s inappropriate elimination (at least once a week, he feels the need to go outside the box!). However he’s the biggest love!! I feel bad for Spike, he really didn’t have time to adjust! I have just noticed that one of my cats finally is back to his old self after our move…….we moved 2 1/2 years ago 🙂 Well, I will selfishly be glad I can play with Spike another weekend, while holding out hope that he is soon on his way to his Forver Home!

  5. Wishing them both good luck, I know they will find their true homes where they are appreciated and loved. Hopefully Steve will become litter box trained (he is a very handsome boy), and Spikes next adopter will realize that it may take some time for a cat to adjust to a new enviroment.

  6. I’m sorry to hear that Steve’s and Spike’s forever homes didn’t work out. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the best is yet to come for these beautiful boys!

  7. When I got my first cat, Jonah, he hid under my bed for a week. I sat on the floor next to the bed 3 times a day and spoke/petted him. Now he owns my bed and he lets me lie on the edge of it, if I behave myself. Sorry Spike didn’t have as patient adopter as Jonah got with me.

  8. I understand the difficulty with inappropriate elimination — but this has a solution (time and patience) with a kitty as small as Steven, I really feel this could work out over time — it did with my Billy and believe me, he had a PROBLEM! As for Spike — two days? I can take weeks or months for a cat to feel comfortable in a new environment — Spike deserves so much better. I’m glad he’s back at Tabby’s Place where he will be loved unconditionally.

  9. Poor Spike. This really hurt when I read it and I’ve never met him. I am so glad I took the time to allow Rascal, my little TNR Tabby, to get used to being a housecat instead of taking him to a shelter or even worse, back to where he found me. One would never believe the amount of love and attention this little guy is giving now. But, it took time and two days just won’t get it with some of our little fur-friends. I just could not believe this when I read it. None of our little friends are going to be instant pets. They all have to adjust in one way or another and some, like our poor Spike, just have to have more time. Hang in there, little guy. You’re loving home is out there…it will just take time….no pun intended.

  10. I don’t want to judge either, but two days? C’mon. I guess that person wasn’t meant to be a cat guardian. Better off for Spike. Those that need instant gratification need not apply to adopt a cat. You should have given the potential adopter Natalie if he or she didn’t want a shy cat.

  11. That is so sad. My beloved recovering ferals certainly took longer than two days to get comfortable with me — it’s been more than 6 years, and U still sometimes runs away from me. And my O has a problem with stress urination when he gets really scared. So, for 5.5 years, I’ve just had two Feliway diffusers going in my home at all times. It’s a small price to pay not only to have him not urinate as he walks on my antique headboard, but to not have him be so scared that he loses control of his bladder.

    E, off to kiss her little black beauty vowels.

  12. I always make a point to stop and see Steve when visiting TP. Poor, sweet sweet boy. I know that, someday soon, his time will come and this one will not be a rehearsal. Until then, I’ll just keep reminding him that he is loved by many.

  13. I have been a lurker for a while (I come over from It’s all Good – Spike is the kitty they are featuring today which is why I am replying months after this posted) but had to comment on this one because you are a much better human then I am to keep your heart open to other humans when they do these things. Because for me this would really make me angry. First, I guess I am one of the strange few who can tolerate the inappropriators – I don’t love it but honestly I don’t hold it against the cat either (I have one that does it sometimes – well, I am thinking only one – can’t prove it ever and don’t know who but I have my suspicions). I get frustrated sometimes but I would never give up a cat because of it – and I honestly have never been able to understand people who would (or even worse, who would put them to sleep for it). I had a boyfriend whose mom would say that about their cat all the time – I just don’t get it.

    And as far as Spike, well that is just a person who didn’t understand cats – 2 days is nothing in cat time when moving into a new home. I agree that this person just was not meant to be a cat owner, at least not for Spike (who is super adorable by the way).

    These are the things that make me not envy your jobs – trying to match the right people to the right animal. I know that you do everything in your power to make sure you get the right people – I just don’t always think that the people represent themselves fully or honestly. I love that Tabby’s Place has wonderful people there to help these kitties when they are there and on the occasions when they do end up returning – they are very lucky to have you all.

    Sorry to get crabby – I just really think that animals (cats and dogs and any animal that has to live with humans) deserve good, loving lives. You guys give that to them which is so awesome – I just wish everyone was like you all!

    1. Amy, welcome to the Felis Catus family. It’s a joy to have you (and the feline members of The HoC) with us.

      I absolutely understand your frustration and crabbiness – though I wouldn’t call it crabbiness. I think this qualifies as “righteous indignation.” Your heart is for the most vulnerable who can’t speak up for themselves – and, as you said, who have to live with us humans. 🙂 Never any need to apologize for getting disgruntled on their behalf.

      Much love to Kirzon, Virgil, Lola and Barney. They clearly get to live with a very special human bean.

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