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No cats left in the house
Old 01-06-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
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No cats left in the house

My 15-year old tabby cat died in June and I had to put my 20-year old calico cat to sleep on December 8th. She had lived in four states and 8 different dwellings. It's been about a month now with no cats in the house and I'm not sure how much longer I can go. The engineer side of my brain tells me about the freedom and savings we will experience without pets. The life-long cat owner and lover side of my brain is saying "so when are you getting another cat or two?"

Has anyone been able to make the transition? How long does it take? Is it even possible?
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:38 PM   #2
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I'm so sad about the way you must feel. I just finished watching the movie Harry and Tonto.

I'm in a constant struggle with myself to avoid emotional attachments to critters of all sorts, especially those with fur or feathers.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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Buckeye,

As a lifelong cat lover and current owner of a 12-year old tabby cat, my heart goes out to you for the loss of 2 such great long-time companions in such a short timeframe.

I don't have an answer for you, but am curious to hear what you decide to do.

Ideally, I' ve thought it woudl be great to have a friend or 2 who are as crazy about my cat as I am (who are pet-less and child-free). Then, when I travel, I could hand her off for her own little 'vacation' with them.

omni
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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I've been at this address and been through many cats (stray/feral/porch cat...); I am down to one indoor/outdoor and I tell myself that when he dies there will be no more.

I will limit myself to local/stray cats.

Maybe you could volunteer at a local shelter?
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:44 PM   #5
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I have had cats all my life. In addition, I have volunteered in animal rescue for a number of years and have talked to many people in your situation. My best advise is to wait a few months and see how you feel. If you are happy without pets in your home that's fine. However, many people do want to adopt again. Just take your time with this decision. After all, cats can live for 20 years so you want to make sure this is what you really want.

If, after waiting a while, you do decide to adopt again consider getting a pair. They are much happier plus you save two little lives. Also, if you do adopt again, please go to a shelter or rescue group in your community instead of a breeder or pet store.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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I am so sorry for your losses. We started our married life with cats and then we had dogs for a number of years. Our last dog was 17 when she died and I said no more pets. Not sure what went wrong, but we now have 5 cats. The oldest 2 are 5 yrs old, 1 is 4 and the other 2 are 3 yrs old. I am thinking that there is a good chance that they will outlive me. It would make life so much easier when traveling to not have pets. There is definitely an expense to having 5 pets also. My least favorite job is cleaning the cat litter boxes (they are inside cats). Those are the cons to having them. However, I can't imagine not having them. They are so much entertainment sometimes and 3 of them are such good cuddle bugs. I have one on my lap while I am typing this. If they do not outlive me, I am saying again NO MORE PETS! It is hard to tell though! They are nice to have.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:05 PM   #7
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Buckeye,
I feel for you. It's been 6 years but we had to put our 26 year old grey tabby "Freddie" down after she went blind. We went without pets for ~6 months. It was soooooo quite. We couldn't stand it. We are now the proud parents of a 5 1\2 year old American Eskimo Dog and a 6 year old Maine Coone. We love them dearly. Life without pets isn't much of a life.

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Old 01-06-2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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Dreamer - I am so jealous of you having a lap kitty! Both of ours were snugglers and I think that's what I miss the most.

Purron - Believe it or not, we don't have a shelter that accepts cats in our county. We will definitely get shelter animals if (when?) we get more cats. We would be looking for an older pair which would also reduce the 20-year committment. We don't want to put up with the kitten crazies and older cats generally have a harder time finding homes. It might be a good idea to put our names in at several of the local retirement homes because people moving in might be trying to figure out what to do with longtime pets.

omni550 - We actually do have neighbors who loved our kitties as much as we did. Unfortunately, they are retired and spend about half the year in Florida. I called them over to say goodbye to Calico. It was very emotional. They just left this morning (about 2 months later than normal this year) for Florida with their kitty, Arnold.

Dreamer - I would love to have 5 cats but I also like being married!

kbst - our friends in St. Pete have a Maine Coone who unfortunately is fighting a hyperactive thyroid, the condition that killed our tabby cat. Beautiful cats.

We slept in until 9 am this morning which has not been possible in the last 20 years when sleeping at home.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:54 PM   #9
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My 15-year old tabby cat died in June and I had to put my 20-year old calico cat to sleep on December 8th. She had lived in four states and 8 different dwellings. It's been about a month now with no cats in the house and I'm not sure how much longer I can go. The engineer side of my brain tells me about the freedom and savings we will experience without pets. The life-long cat owner and lover side of my brain is saying "so when are you getting another cat or two?"

Has anyone been able to make the transition? How long does it take? Is it even possible?
I know your pain Buckeye...

I was adopted by a neighbor's cat, the jerk sold his house, moved, and abandoned her. She came to my door hungry and lonely, and we became great friends. I had not had a pet of any kind since childhood and for three years she was my little sweetheart. I had to put her down last year and it broke my heart (she had feline AIDS and leukemia). Brings tears to my eyes just writing this.

I still miss her, but I am not interested in getting another cat, not yet anyway. I have found that my time away from home is much easier to handle knowing that no one is there waiting for me to return. That was the worst part of the relationship, wondering if she was OK while I was away on a business trip.

One of these days, when I am no longer regularly away from home, I will go to the Humane Society and adopt as many cats/kittens as I can afford.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:03 PM   #10
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My heart goes out to you. Time will tell as many posters have responded. I have been four legged furry child free for three years now...(mostly due to living arrangements since - no pets allowed either place since) - and look forward to getting a couple dogs in the future. I miss Samantha terribly - and sometimes the emotion comes from out of the blue. On the other hand, when I travel for work, there are no sitting or boarding issues to deal with. My bank account also has thanked me. I'm also dating a dog lover in the same situation - not enough time to be good pet parents. So, deep down, I know the time will come for more!
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:36 PM   #11
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Those are 2 great ideas that you have: adopting older cats that would have a hard time being adopted and contacting a retirement home. It would be so hard going into a retirement home, but much, much harder if you did not know what to do with your pet.

Best of luck in making your future decision. There are definitely pros and cons. Be sure to let us know if you do adopt.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:00 AM   #12
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We've been pet-free for about three years now. Paddy O'Kitty was the last of a string of adopted strays we took in over the years and she left us after an enormous investment trying to have her be the world's oldest calico kitty. We're past it now and there won't be anymore.

We tried to do it all in our lives....... dual careers, raised a family, house full of pets, lots of extended family activities, involved hobbies, you name it.....
In retirement, we decided it was time to simplify and redirect energy. So, no more pets was one of the decisions. No regrets.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:23 AM   #13
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My 15 year old cat died about 5 years ago. My lease at the time said I could have my existing cat but not replace her. I didn't want a new cat for a month of so, but after that I was getting lonely without a feline in my life. My sister and talked to my landlord and she agreed to let me have a couple of new cats. I got a new cat a few weeks later and a second cat a month or two after that.

Unless you have a long trip planned or are seriously considering moving, get a new kitten life is too short for a cat lover to be without a cat.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:16 AM   #14
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My last cat had to be put down at 16 a few years ago. With the long drives and stopovers at relatives who aren't cat people, I decided to go cat-less. I miss them, but it hasn't been unbearable. Most likely when I consolidate to one house this summer I will get a cat, or more likely a pair, again.

For the savings part of the equation, maybe you will offset the expense by not taking long vacations, and you can always share their food!

If you felt the cats were a burden when they were around, give youself more time.

If you really feel a void, I'd say get a new kitten or two. I've seen studies that say people live longer and happier with pets.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:58 PM   #15
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Here's a thought. If you like a companion animal in the house, would "fostering" be something to consider? I have heard of rescue organizations (mostly for dogs, though) and I've considered that for the flexibility it could allow when I travel. Yeah, I'd expect some behavior problems, pet staining, etc., but it doesn't seem like too much of a risk.

I am down to one cat, the other one had cancer and was put down last year.
He's my four-legged pal, but they do tie you down a bit.
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:38 PM   #16
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It's been about a month now with no cats in the house
time's up! go get one (or two)
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:57 PM   #17
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RunningBum - great idea on food sharing! We did buy them very good food so it probably wouldn't be too bad for us although it was quite "aromatic."

I cooked catfish for dinner tonight trying to feel like I'm down south for the BCS Bowl championship game (Go Bucks!). The first thing that crossed my mind was that the cats were going to be all over me wanting a taste...no, that's not going to be a problem. I never thought I'd miss being pestered so much.

I'll go a little bit longer to see if the sadness gets better or keeps getting worse. I think I'm going to end up agreeing with Clifp that life is too short to live without kitties! I think there are one or two kitties out there for me. They just need to find me.
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:13 PM   #18
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Check Petfinder: Petfinder.com: Adopt a pet and help an animal shelter rescue a puppy or kitten.

Lots of good rescues waiting for good homes
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Old 01-07-2008, 07:41 PM   #19
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Purron - Thanks for the link. Crack for the crack addict. Lots of adult kitties located in neighboring counties who need a home. I think that probably seals it.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:05 PM   #20
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Ah, yes, Petfinders. As a very busy rescuer of Border Collies, I spend a lot of time on petfinder. You won't be able to resist!

We have five cats right now, ages 10 down to 2. In my tiny office right now, there are two cats and two dogs keeping me company! My persona lap cat is Henry, we didn't know she was a girl until too late!

And I second the two cat idea--you have no idea how much fun it is to have two, and they keep each other company so well.

Keep us posted, and I'm so very sorry for your loss. As many times as we have to do this, it never gets easier.
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