12 October 2005

The Great Cat Dilemma

Okay, don't get me wrong — I love our cats. They're friendly, furry beasties, and we've done our best to take good care of them. Chessie is about seven and a half years old and Ivy is eleven or twelve years old. Chris brought Ivy to the marriage, and we chose Chessie together a few weeks after we got married.

But the fact is, we don't have the time or energy to care for them the way they should be cared for anymore. We feed them, try to make sure their box gets changed regularly, and pet them a bit when we have time — not very often, in other words.

They cough up hairballs, a normal cat activity. But with Nora more and more mobile, that's a problem. She sometimes finds them before we do — yuck! Chessie doesn't have the sense to stay out of Nora's way, and so more than once Nora has "caught" her and gotten a mouth full of fur. Ivy will simply hide out if there are too many people about (i.e., more than Chris). Chessie will insist on staying in the area and get upset by the commotion — she's even batted or nipped someone she found to forward on occasion.

It's hard enough to find time and money to visit family and friends, then add in that if we're to be gone more than a day or two we have to find a sitter for the cats. They don't exactly travel well, even if half our families weren't allergic to them.

That's another issue — allergies. It's hard for my brothers to spend more than an hour at our house because of theirs, and I suspect allergies are a contributing factor to the fact that Chris's brother-in-law Mark hasn't been able to come visit. I breath better when I'm away from them, for that matter.

But despite all the logical reasons we have for finding the cats a new home, neither of us wants to. We both feel it's our responsibility to care for these animals, for however long they're with us. We like them. The house would seem rather empty without them, I think. It would be weird to know they were living somewhere else.

And how do we find them a good new home? We're not about to just drop them off at some shelter.

Too bad there's no simple solution...

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