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Heartbroken

I have had a cat for 7 years, her name is Evie and she is my little baby... And next week we are re-homing her. I am so sad and heartbroken. DH's uncle is moving in with us: he was recently diagnosed with dementia and needs constant care. And he is HIGHLY allergic to cats. I am so sad about the decision we have had to make. I have been talking to the woman we are giving her to (who actually works at the shelter Evie came from) for about 2 weeks and everytime I see her email pop-up, I start shaking and crying. I am just so sad that this is happening. I know it is the right decision- there is no one else that can take care of DH's uncle and we do not want him in a nursing home or hospital.

DH doesn't understand how grieved I am... He loves our cat, too, but he sees pets as just "animals" and didn't grow up with any. Plus I have had Evie for 2 years longer than DH and I have been married- so I am much closer to her than he is. And my grandmother gave her to me as a gift.. and my grandmother passed away in December, so I feel like Evie is my closest line to her. 

She is also very skittish and I am worried about what being in a new environment will do to her. I can tell by the way she talks that the woman who is taking her really cares about her and will take good care of her (Evie used to follow her around the shelter and would even get to go home with her sometimes). I know she will be in good hands, just not MY hands. I feel like I am being selfish. I am also worried that Evie won't understand why she had to leave her Mommy and Daddy. She has been such a good girl the entire time I have had her. Sylvie (the woman taking her) said I could keep in touch with them if I wanted to, but I am not sure if that is a good idea or not.. I feel like it would just upset me, and then I would not be mentally present to take good care of DH's uncle.

Thank you all for reading, I just needed a place to let my feelings out, since no one IRL really understands what is going on in my head...

Re: Heartbroken

  • I'm so sorry :( Have you considered a HEPA air filter? They are supposed to eliminate 97%-99% of dander, depending on the model.
  • I don't want to make you feel worse in what is an understandably difficult situation, but Evie really won't understand why she's being made to leave you. 

    What type of residence do you live in? Is it feasible to keep Evie to "cat only" rooms and YH's uncle to "cat free" rooms?

    There is a line of products, called Allerpet, that make is very possible for people even with severe pet allergies to very comfortably co-exist with their animals. If you haven't looked into them, I'd strongly urge you to. It could be the thing that saves you from this choice.

    My BIL is allergic to cats. Despite this, he and my sister have 2. They have leather furniture in the living room, and the cats are not allowed in their bedroom at all. This has worked for him for years without the necessity of him taking allergy meds constantly. Some people with pet allergies even become less sensitive to the allergen after being exposed to it constantly.

    It may take a serious deep cleaning of your house and limiting of areas Evie is allowed in, but I am very confident you could make this situation work. You're obviously willing to work hard with caring for YH's uncle, and I'd urge you to put that same work ethic toward keeping your cat in your home.

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  • image LuckyAngel07:

    I don't want to make you feel worse in what is an understandably difficult situation, but Evie really won't understand why she's being made to leave you. 

    What type of residence do you live in? Is it feasible to keep Evie to "cat only" rooms and YH's uncle to "cat free" rooms?

    We moved to a small 2-bedroom condo to accomidate DH's uncle, Skip. He will be in the second bedroom, while DH and I will be in the master. Obviously there are no other rooms for Evie to be in, besides the common areas of the house, which is just not feasable, since Skip is still very mobile.

    There is a line of products, called Allerpet, that make is very possible for people even with severe pet allergies to very comfortably co-exist with their animals. If you haven't looked into them, I'd strongly urge you to. It could be the thing that saves you from this choice.

    DH is slightly allergic to cats and so we have used an air purifier(sp?) in the past, and sometimes he takes allergy meds. And Evie is not allowed in our bedroom. But Skip's allergy is so severe that when we visit him where he lives now, even if I have some of Evie's hair on me, he starts having a sneezing fit and gets hives. We really don't want to take any chances with his health.

    My BIL is allergic to cats. Despite this, he and my sister have 2. They have leather furniture in the living room, and the cats are not allowed in their bedroom at all. This has worked for him for years without the necessity of him taking allergy meds constantly. Some people with pet allergies even become less sensitive to the allergen after being exposed to it constantly.

    It may take a serious deep cleaning of your house and limiting of areas Evie is allowed in, but I am very confident you could make this situation work. You're obviously willing to work hard with caring for YH's uncle, and I'd urge you to put that same work ethic toward keeping your cat in your home.

  • Hi OP, I really don't have any advice, but I wanted to say that I am so sorry that you are being faced with this decision.  I worked as a CNA in long term care for a few years, and I know how tough and time consuming it is to care for people with dementia.  You are being truly selfless, and I am so sorry your beloved Evie cannot stay with you.  Rehomng IMO is like grieving a death, and again, I am so sorry you and Evie have to go through this.
  • Ditto.... I am so sorry for you.  I would be completely heartbroken if I had to give up my dog, and though my husband would be sad too, he wouldn't understand or be as upset as I would be.  She's my dog and my best friend.  But what you are doing is truly selfless and shows what a wonderful person you are.  I hope that your family recognizes that you're making this sacrifice because you love them.  I know your kitty will be sad, but she will adapt, and hopefully you can go visit her regularly!
  • I am so, so sorry for you. You are clearly a wonderful and compassionate person given what you are doing for the uncle, and how much you care for your cat. Take comfort in kn owing she is going to a fantastic home. It really sounds like you literally have no other choice, so try to focus on all the good you are doing for the uncle. Your kitty will be well cared for and it's great that you know where she is. Perhaps some day circumstances will change and she will find her way back into your life. [[hugs]] I'm heartbroken for you :o(
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  • I'm sorry to hear this news. It's nice that you'll know that she is in good hands. You are a wonderful person for taking in dh's uncle.
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    ladybuginl0ve
  • im so so sorry you are going through this. I cant even imagine if i had to give up my kitty and dog. You are an amazing person to be doing this for your DH's husband.
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  • Thank you all for your kind words. I know taking care of DH'd uncle will be a lot of hard work, but I absolutely care for his entire family like they are my own.

    I found out this morning that Sylvie, the lady I have been speaking to, will NOT be taking Evie home to live with her, but that she will take Evie to a different foster home that already has 7 other cats there. I appreciate them squeezing her in, but I am so worried how she will deal. She has lived with cats before, but only for about a year, and she would stay so far away from them I doubt they even knew she lived there! I am scared and nervous for poor Evie.

    I'm not sure if I want to 'visit' her or not in her foster home. Iguess I feel like it will confuse her? And of course I am not sure I can handle seeing her for just a few minutes once a week or whatever it would end up being. She is very vocal- and even cries when I leave for work in the morning sometimes! So I feel like I would be teasing her, and myself, by visiting her. And if/when she is adopted out, I highly doubt her new owners will want me to be at their house to see her...

    Anyway, thank you all for your kind words and "listening."

  • The visiting question is a hard one. Maybe it would help? Maybe you could go weekly and swap out a shirt for her to sleep on that smells like you? It might help her with the transition? Tough call. 
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  • It sounds terrible, but I would NEVER let one of my pets go. They are family members... You wouldn't give away your child would you?

    Give uncle some allergy meds or find somewhere else for him to live. 

    Edit to add and a little off topic:

    Be sure to do your research on what you are getting yourself and DH into. Even going into it with the best intentions, being a care taker is exhausting mentally and physically. I speak from experience.

  • I am so sorry to hear that you have to let your little kitty go. Personally, I would have a huge problem if I had to sacrifice my pet to take care of a distant relative... especially if it is a cat that I had BEFORE I met my DH.

    If i were in your shoes... I would have put the uncle in a home where they KNOW how to care for him. Trust me hun, its going to get exhausting for you... been there; done that and I killed myself caring for my grandmother until we no longer could keep up with it all and put her in a home. We were with her for HOURS everyday... and she was only left alone when we went home at night.  

    But to each his own....

    Honestly, I feel bad for the cat and I think it is unfair that he has to be rehomed and not be considered at all. Actually it pisses me off! Perhaps you should keep him in the master bedroom, as opposed to giving him up! Afterall... if he is THAT important to you, then you will find a way to keep him in your home. Plain and simple! I wouldn't sacrifice my cats for NOTHING, because they are a part of our family!

     So good luck... I know I couldn't and wouldn't do it!

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