Monday, December 08, 2008

Proof I'm a Terrible Person.

Our house is officially listed (click HERE if you know someone intersted in horse property and a custom home in Northern Utah to see the listing)and we had our first walk through last weekend. The feedback we got was that they hated the basement carpet (I don't blame them, so do I) and that they smelled the cats.

I was truly shocked, and embarrassed, by this. My husband, however, was vindicated. He's been telling me for years that I've lost my ability to really smell them and at least twice a week he goes down stairs and says he can smell them. I've truly felt he was being over reactive and since I know he's never wanted the cats in the house, I haven't given his opinion much weight.

I stated a couple weeks ago that I'm tired of the cats, that the kids aren't taking care of them and I've hit my limit. One had peed in my room in the middle of the night, the other one has shredded the carpet on the stair landing. I vowed that I was done doing anything other than buying cat food, that if the kids wanted cats, they would have to step up. Since then the kids have been trying to do better--but they pretty much suck at it. They'll feed the cats without complaint, but the litter box is ignored until mom throws the cats out and says they can't come in until the litter box is changed. Before the walk through we cleaned like crazy, I cleaned all around the litter box, we put it outside, we sprayed air neutralizer and yet it STILL smelled like cats.

Husband and I decided the cats were outside from now on but the kids simply could not keep from letting the cats in. The cats would go into their window wells and meow until the kids broke. They still aren't emptying the litter box.

We want to sell the house and we can't have it smelling like cats.

We discussed options but decided, in the end, to take them to the shelter. One cat is a Siamese fixed, declawed female that is a really pretty and really good cat. We feel like she'll be easily adopted. The other is a fixed male. I worry about him, but he's pretty too. We decided we had to do what was ultimatly in the best interest of our family--and it's in our best interest to sell this house and to do that it needs to be in top shape.

It all made sense until I went to gather them up this morning. By the time Lee drove off I was a mess. He didn't know what do to make me feel better about it, and I don't know either. I beleive this is the best solution, but I feel like I've just given away part of my children's childhood. Lots of people have cats and manage to take care of them. Why is it so hard for us to do it? We sold our puppy two months ago because we were over our heads trying to train her and take care of her properly. We kept Tex, but we're struggling with that too. The kids are put out to have to feed him and play with him every day, we can't let him in the house because he's not house trained and he likes to get skunks mad at him. It seems like a miserable existance for the poor thing--so do we get rid of him too? Are we just total snobs?

To make it worse, the kids have no idea we were planning this. It seemed like the best way when we came up with it, but now I'm not so sure. They're going to ask, and since Lee's going out of town I get to deal with it by myself again--like I did with the puppy. I feel like I've failed them--the kids and the pets.

So please, I beg of you, if I ever talk about getting another animal (other than chickens) please tell me to come back and read this post. I'm not cut out to properly care for them and then it breaks my heart when I finally act on that truth.

It might be a very long day today.


Don said...

Oh, Josi. I feel for you. You're in a tight spot, and I know how pets can be a tough choice. I for one don't think you're a terrible person for letting the cats go.

Sending some good vibes your way to help you deal with breaking the news to the kids.

Annette Lyon said...

You just described why I don't want a dog. Too much work that I won't want to do--and I know the kids won't do. We do have a cat. So far, so good. But our last two died shortly after we got them. I think our house is just doomed.

Hang in there. The kids will survive. But where are you moving? Not far away, I hope. (Unless it's a little farther south . . .)

Melanie Jacobson said...

Yeah, that's why I don't get animals. My son loved his guinea pig but didn't love taking care of her and I know I'd be crazy to think it would be different with a dog. And I don't like cats. So maybe we'll just have another kid. Except dogs don't pull everything from the coffee table five times a day so maybe a dog is better.

Hm. Maybe I'll just think about it for another six months.

That works.

Whitney said...

My parents are getting a new dog for my sister today for Christmas. They currently have two cats as well. All pets are outside pets to my family but if it makes you feel better my mom took a puppy back to the pound after he became destructive and scared my youngest siblings. You're not alone in taking animals to the pound. Everything will be ok. :)

Sandra said...

I just had to take 3 baby kitties to the pound that we could not give away. Every single time I take moma in to be fixed, she is pregnant again. But when I took the babies in, I also took their older sister. I hadn't planned on keeping her after she was born, but she was so darn cute.

Long story short, she was a snob and a prima donna and totally insane. Her name should have been Princess and her cuteness did not outweigh her psychosis. I am a cat lover, but could not stand this cat. But it was still hard to take her.

Hugs to you. It will be ok. Eventually. And for you, just keep repeating what I tell my kids when I want the cats to stay outside- "There are no cats in America!"

Crystal said...

I LOVE the idea of a pet--snuggly, ever present friend and supporter, family picnics with the frisbee flying......

The reality is poop in the yard, hair EVERYWHERE kids knocked down by the energetic chewing your ankles puppy, can't leave for a weekend without getting a pet sitter.......ugh

life sucks-then you get a pet, and it sucks more :)

just ask me how I REALLY feel right?!

Marcia Mickelson said...

You're not a bad person at all. Pets are so hard. I feel bad sometimes because I won't let my kids have pets at all. At least you tried. I'm not even willing to try ever. Do what is best for your family. This will be a learning experience for your kids.

Anonymous said...

You are not a terrible person. You are very caring person. Thanks for being who you are.
Why are you moving?

ali cross said...

Aww, I'm sorry this happened Josi. When my boys were born I had three cats. One I didn't like too much, but the other two I really loved. My most favorite and oldest guy pooped in the boys' crib one morning. I freaked out. And that was the beginning of the end for them.

When the boys were four months old we moved from Boise to Tooele, and I used the move as an excuse to get rid of the cat I didn't like too much. We were moving into a house that technically didn't allow cats (a rental) but we convinced them to let us bring our oldest guy ... and then we brought the little girl too.

Well, they just drove me insane. I had a very disturbed older child and drove me to distraction and newborn twins and I just couldn't do anymore.

I can't remember what the straw was the broke the camels' back, but I made my hubby 'get rid of' my two cats. He never wanted the cats in the first place and here I was making him into the bad guy by making him go to the shelter.

How horrible am I?

We both still feel badly about our decision. Mostly me. They were my cats, and Mac, my old guy, certainly did not deserve to be just dumped off like that. I still miss him and love him. Even though I don't think I have the right to either of those feelings.

Since then, we finally did come around to having cats again, but only one at a time. Apparently, ONE is my limit. We have one cat and one dog right now and we're managing okay like that. Though our cat is a miracle cat and is very low-maintenance, so we get all the warm fuzzies from having her and none of the work.

Anyway, I'm just sharing this with you so you'll know that you're not the only terrible person out there. I am at least as terrible as you.


Karlene said...

We have a dog and three cats. Wish I were as strong and brave as you. They mostly get ignored. But everytime I think about taking them to the pound, I get a case of the guilts.