A reader writes:
“I saw this Craigslist ad, about a healthy 3-year-old cat whose human says he’ll have the cat euthanized if the cat isn’t adopted soon, due to a seemingly unaddressed behavioral issue. Washington Humane Society tells me that humane euthanization, unfortunate though it would be, wouldn’t be illegal in this situation. Perhaps you could share?”
Original Post 6/2/2014
I have a beautiful 3 year old Russian Blue mix named Gary that’s in need of a new home. He’s a wonderfully playful cat that is quiet and always uses his litter box like a gentleman. We’ve had him since he was a kitten and he was truly treated like a baby by my wife and I. Unfortunately Gary hasn’t taken well to our real baby and he has begun spraying around the house. We’ve been keeping him locked away for the last 6 months, and he doesn’t spray when locked up, but whenever we let him out he feels the need to mark his territory.
I can’t keep him locked away forever, and he’s making life difficult for our other cat too because they’re frequently locked away together. So I’ll be posting this ad nightly for the next 7-10 days before I have Gary put to sleep. No adoption fee, and if anyone is willing to shelter him I’ll pay for his food for the first 6 months. I’ll also consider trading him for another cat.
Thank you to everyone that sent suggestions. While not everyone agrees with my plan of action, I believe everyone’s comments come from a place of compassion for Gary.
I don’t know how I did it, but what I failed to mention in my post is that Gary is an aggressive cat. If Gary met 10 people, he’d mildly stalk and swipe at 5 of them, ignore 3 of them, quasi enjoy one of them, and aggressively peruse and attack one of them. I decided a long time ago that I could manage his aggression, but I can’t deal with his spraying, which is probably why I over looked it.
With that being said, all of the organizations I’ve researched state that any surrendered pet must pass a temperament test, which he won’t. In the last two years my wife and I have been the only ones who could pick him up, and only three or four people have been able to pet him. When we take him to the vet he either has to be sedated, or he stays in his crate. (On a side note, Gary is neutered, declawed [which was a mistake], and I’ve been working with a vet from Atlas Vet [who I hold in the highest regard] but with no success).
Gary could be a wonderful addition to someone’s household, but he doesn’t make things easy. He loves to play and soar through the air after toy mice, take up a third of your bed at night, help you type emails when you’re working, and curl up on your lap at night.
It’s not an easy decision for me to give him up. My feelings of failure and guilt overwhelm me and I’ve broken down sobbing several times over the last 6 months at the thought of losing him.
In the end I have a limited amount of time to spend at home; and Gary makes it impossible for me to spend time with my 10 month old daughter and manage him at the same time, which puts me in a him or her situation.
For what it’s worth here are three videos I made of Gary that give a more complete picture.
His sweet side from when he was a kitten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq68r72F…
His not so sweet side (please save the “you’re provoking the cat” comments, that’s not what this was). https://vimeo.com/35857573
Gary trying to adjust to Frank. After a few months they become buddies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2h2q3TI…
Again, any and all suggestions are welcome.