Today was the day that over a year’s worry and agonizing over Mog came to an end. Having found her with her face bitten whilst sorting out a shelter on the allotments for her, I hauled her home in the autumn of last year. I absolutely loved having her home and safe, and not worrying myself stupid about her when there was awful weather or fireworks. Mog’s face healed and she seemed to appreciate being inside and fed regularly, but it was clear she wasn’t really happy. She divided her time between being shut in my study on her own, and braving coming downstairs and running into the other cats. However much I tried to integrate them and get them settled it just wasn’t working and a terrified Mog would end up hammering at the cat flap to escape or having to run the gauntlet of the other residents to get back upstairs to her room.
I had to face the fact that it simply wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t keep her fastened in a room on her own for the rest of her life, and if she came downstairs she was going to be bullied …. and worst of all, if she went outside she was unlikely to be allowed back by the other cats … and my chances of catching her again on the allotments as I’d done before were pretty much zilch. I racked my brain for any possibility of putting a cat flap into the conservatory and making that Mog’s space, and a whole series of microchip flaps so that Mog had access to various rooms in the house and the other cats didn’t. However, I’d seen the other cats stop her and chase her away when she was across the road and several houses down the road. They wouldn’t have let her get near the house to be able to use the flaps. I frantically wondered about a cat flap in my bedroom window with a platform /bridge over the road and a ramp down into the allotments. That wasn’t going to work either 😦
So I did one of the hardest things I’ve had to do for my cats and set about trying to find her a new home. The person / people who adopted her would have to be just amazing in every way before I’d consider them adopting her … AND would have to have a home away from busy roads AND a safe garden to play in …. AND have the patience to help quite an anxious cat to settle in their home …. AND not have any other pets (or intend to have them) …. AND of course Mog would need to approve them.
I couldn’t imagine that ever happening, but then in January a lovely lovely couple got in touch. They’d just moved into their new home and wanted just one cat … and adult cat .. not a kitten. When they came to meet Mog she was all over them, loved both of them. So a few days later I took Mog to their home for a two month trial to check they were happy with her and I was confident that it was the right thing for Mog. They’ve been brilliant at keeping in touch, especially in those anxious early days, and sensitive to the fact that although it was exciting for them to have Mog go to live with them, it was painful for me to let go.
She was understandably anxious when she first arrived but within days it was becoming clear that she was feeling better without the other cats. She was climbing up on the bed and the sofa and having a cuddle – things my naughty bully cats had denied her.
One of my worries had been that Mog was simply a cat who preferred being outdoors, and that by re homing her I was taking her away from the allotments that she loved. And that when she went out at her new home she might clear off and be lost. Deep down though I felt that she was spending so much time outdoors because she just didn’t like the other cats. Mog has answered this by staying out at her new home for about an hour max and then back in again. She likes to go out and explore the garden, but is very happy to come back home. Compared with her record of being out for about 6 months whilst she was here – I think it speaks for itself that we’ve made the right choice.
When I visited today with the adoption papers and her vet records etc to finally sign her over, she was sprawled out asleep in the conservatory – a very happy, chilled cat, adored by her new mummy and daddy. I’m sure we’ve done the right thing however that didn’t stop me from crying most of the way home.