Next time, please remind me to listen to my gut.

May 23, 2010 at 7:32 am Leave a comment

That is the moral of the story.
What’s the story, you ask? Well, here goes.

Furball is gone. That’s all there is to it. I don’t know how, I don’t know why…but I do know she’s gone. Booger is going insane. Hardcore insane. She won’t leave us alone, she cries, wanders around aimlessly, and is generally driving us berserk. We understand. We do. We’ve cried our tears, we’ve come to terms with everything, but in her small cat world, this is wrong.

To keep her from going slowly insane and to keep us sane, we came to the hard fought decision that we needed to add another cat to the house. No, we’re not replacing Furball. That’s not possible. Seriously. It’s not. We’re adding someone new to keep Booger company and because we need it as much as she does, for a multitude of reasons.

When the decision to add a cat to the house was arrived at, I did a few things. First, I did some web searching. I checked out all of the local rescues and the local shelters. I found pricing for adoptions, ect. It’s interesting how prices vary from shelter to shelter and rescue to rescue. Then, I went on Craigslist. I emailed a few people with kittens and waited for responses. I also checked Petfinder.com (neato site there if you’re looking for a pet-great place to start!) and then I made phone calls.

In my travels online, I found the fact that a well known, local rescue has adoption hours for cats not too far from my house in the evenings. Hrm…
I went online and found the cutest little fuzzball that made me melt. I forwarded it on to a few friends, and they melted as well. We decided after OT and PT we’d stop for dinner and go and peek at the cats, and hope that the little fuzzball was there.

We gunned up and found that sadly,she wasn’t there. Darn. There were a few other cats there that just didn’t spark us. They were cute and sweet, but we knew they weren’t for us. At all. One was hiding under a blanket, she was so terrified, and the others weren’t good with kids. Nope. Sorry..not coming home with us.

When I finally got to talk to a volunteer, Isaac was so overtired and bouncing (PT is in the pool, so he was a crispy critter…), and I just wanted to talk to them about the kitten I had seen online. I was encouraged to fill out an application and have them look it over. Ok, fine. On the application it says “this in no way obligates you to adopt…” Fine. I can get behind that.

I fill out the application and hand it to them and the one volunteer goes and kibbutzes with the other one (and tries to settle an “I’m here to take my cat home” dispute with another potential forever family…) and then comes back a few minutes later, letting me know that they both agreed that we were a great family and that they would adopt to us.

Great!

then they let us know that none of the cats that they had that day were right for us.

Heck! We couldn’t agree more!

We asked about the fuzzball we had seen on line and they said they’d forward our application to the people who knew about the particular cat in question. We were pleased and left. While we were there, we decided that we would cross the street and visit the Saratoga County Animal Shelter Annex in the mall. There, we were greeted warmly and encouraged to look around, meet all of the animals (there were about 15 there…some had to go together and those were immediately out of the question for us..)and ask any questions we had.

We wandered around the cages and crates and things-kept Isaac out of ones that said “NO KIDS” or “I don’t like to be picked up!”

Doug came upon a cat that was a bit older, but still young…and fell head over heels for her. I told him that we had to talk and then we’d get back to her.

I was all set to commit to the cat at the annex when I got an email from the people at the local rescue that we had visited on Tuesday. The person who was fostering the little fuzzball we’d been interested in said that she was still available! AND they were going to be at the clinic that night.

Yet again, we rushed out of therapy (just OT this time!) and then up to the adoption clinic. We got there about a half hour in to their adoption clinic. I got an odd vibe from the entire thing, but I shook it off as me rushing and Isaac being excited.

I asked for the foster mom, and the volunteer who answered me gave me an eyeroll and went back to chatting with another person.

Ok…

So, then I met the foster mom who I’d been emailing with all morning. She took one look at Isaac and her entire body posture changed. The fuzzball we had been looking at was adopted out not even 10 minutes before we got there, so one of her sisters was left. We agreed to look at her sister and while we were agreeing, the foster mom was trying to sell us on the mom. Hrm. Ok, fine, we’ll look at her too. We’re open.

Well, as we were playing with the kitten, comments were made regarding Isaac and not leaving the kitten alone with him ever. We reassured this foster mom (who kept calling this kitten her baby…) that it would be fine, and we’re really good with supervising our child. Isaac even asked the kitten if she wanted to be part of our family.

Doug and I were both kind of “eh” with the kitten, so we agreed to meet the older cat. Unfortunately, we were still kind of “eh” about her, but we needed to talk outside of the ears of the foster mom just to confirm the way we were both feeling about everything. It’s kind of hard to really have an honest discussion to make sure you’re on the same page with highly invested ears around.

So, I asked the foster mom to give us 10 minutes to talk and please, please don’t adopt out either of them until we came back. It wouldn’t take us more than 10 minutes. She whole heartedly agreed and said “Not a problem! Go take a walk, decide!’

Then, the woman who had agreed to adopt the fuzzball that we were originally looking at decided that she wanted the sister too! The foster mom turned to us and as we were getting ready to walk away, she demanded an answer then and there.

WHAT? Really?! You just said we could have 10 minutes to talk and promised not to adopt out this cat!

I was so upset that I walked away telling her how I was disenchanted with the entire thing. She yelled after me “we’ll have more in a few months!!”

I got out of the aisle and burst into tears. Doug turned on his heel and let them know that this was NOT ok, but the woman who wanted both cats could have them. We were not going to adopt from their organization because of the way we were treated. It was NOT ok to tell us to go talk and then whip the animal out from under us.

Now, the thing here is that yes, we weren’t going to take either animal, BUT, the promise of a few minutes to talk and then whipping that out from under us 30 seconds later was dead wrong. Hold the other person up a few minutes. It’s not a crime. She’s filling out paperwork and she’ll be there.

Why’d I burst into tears? Well, frustration. I was frustrated that the one we came to look at was gone already and then I was frustrated that we didn’t even get a fair shake with the other one and the foster mom kept calling this kitten “my baby.” We both felt that we were prejudged as bad pet owners because we have Isaac-who was just too excited and his meds had worn off. We also felt like our backs were against the wall and we had to decide then and there and had we decided to adopt the kitten, the foster mom would have been beyond miffed and probably not let us have it anyway. It was an absolute no win situation for us.

We went back to the car, and I was determined to head home. I had had it. I was in a foul mood and I was still cranky from the bad day I had had the day before. I was in no mood to look at any more cats. I wanted one day to recoup myself and then we’d go looking for round two.

My darling other half was having NONE of it. He talked me (I don’t know how) into going back across the street to the Annex in the mall. We walked in, and it was like a homecoming. I didn’t get the weird funky vibes I got at the clinic. We were again greeted warmly and Isaac was greeted by an older woman who was just enthralled by his antics. We looked for the cat that we had seen on Tuesday…and she was STILL THERE.

Ok, is this an omen or WHAT?

We spoke to the shelter workers that were there and explained the entire story-the loss of Furball, the constant freaking out of Booger, the incident across the street, the extremely energetic 6 year old-everything. We also pointed out that we were looking at this specific cat, and we had been there Tuesday and talked to another volunteer. They were thrilled that we had returned and were still interested in the same cat.

We chatted with one volunteer (I’ll tell that story later.) who really took the time to assess what we needed, wanted and could handle. It was an amazing difference. I got no odd vibes, no sense that we would be bad pet owners because we had a child who was high energy, no sense that we would be anything BUT loving to a new animal.

It was a night and day experience.

Yes, this specific cat is coming home with us on Tuesday. I’ll tell the story of the Annex and our new addition then.

You know, I had odd gut feelings regarding the well known local shelter and their practices. I seemed to remember Mom and Dad having issues with this shelter-their application is highly detailed, and depending on who looks at it for approval, sometimes people have problems when the answer they put on the application doesn’t match what the volunteer thinks it should be.

So, note the original moral of the story-Listen to my gut. My gut told me initially to go to the Annex or the other shelter near to my house. But do I listen? NOPE. I have to go on my wild tangents of looking for everything under the sun. So, please, next time I start on my wild tangents of things…remind me of this experience.

I also do need to state this-
Just because we had a run in with one wackjob foster mom doesn’t mean they’re all like this. Seek out your own experience if you’re looking for a pet. Do what’s right for you and what feels right. BUT, ( and here’s my .02) think of taking a pet from a shelter or rescue first! They need homes the most!

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Entry filed under: annoyances, cats, customer service.

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