What to do about Annie?

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MandyG
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What to do about Annie?

Post by MandyG » 01 Feb 2014, 02:03

Annie is my black and white cat. I rescued her and her brother Mac about 4 years ago and they are now 10. About 18 months after they came to me I got Phoebe and everything changed.

Mac is the sweetest little cat and has become good friends with Phoebe. They sleep on the bed with me, and nuzzle each other. Mac even grooms Phoebe sometimes.

Annie, on the other hand, can't stand Phoebe and hisses and spits if they're in the same room. Previously, the two cats would go out and come back when they wanted. No problem. Now, Mac doesn't like to go out, but if he does he cries to come back in when he's ready. Annie just goes and doesn't come back.

I once lost her for three months over winter 2011 when we had a lot of snow. I'd given up on her when a woman said she'd seen my flyers and thought Annie was hanging around her house. I was so happy to get her back.

When she's in, Annie keeps to herself. She's happy for me to cuddly and tickle and stroke her, and purrs loudly when I do, but she never comes to me for affection, unlike Mac who will sit at the top of the stairs and demand it in a very loud voice!

Now Annie sneaks out at least once a month. She doesn't come back, but I know where she is - across the street in Shirley and Andrew's garden. I go over and try to coax her back but she doesn't want to know. They don't feed her (at my request) but somehow she's surviving by hunting.

She's been out this time for a week and I've been over with bags of tuna to try to catch her, no go. I've seen her running around the street (luckily it's a quiet cul de sac) and called her but she runs away.

My problem is this. I'm moving to Tunbridge Wells in March. Obviously Annie will escape again and this time I will have no idea where she is. She won't come back and I'll have lost her. She'll be in a strange environment - very wooded, fields and streams, and I'm worried something will happen to her.

I am seriously considering giving her back to the rescue centre for her own good. She's obviously unhappy here with Phoebe around and should be in a house with no dogs and a garden she can run around in safely. No worries about Mac missing her - she beats him up and bosses him around so he's much happier with just him, me and Phoebe.

It's a hard decision and I'm not 100% sure yet, but I think it might be for the best.

Any thoughts?
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Love and licks, Phoebe and Mandy

annvinton
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by annvinton » 01 Feb 2014, 09:05

Would the people across the road give her a home?

They always say that cats care about places, whilst dogs care about people.

When my neighbours moved to Spain they left their elderly cat with me.

Ann & Ben
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Jay128
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by Jay128 » 01 Feb 2014, 09:18

This is such a hard one to comment on as each circumstance is so individual. I have two cats and we had a very similar situation when Poppy first joined our family only our neighbors were not so helpful and started to feed our Izzy, despite being asked not to, they even bought her her own bed, toys, food etc, really helpful.
At least your neighbors have respected your wishes.
Several thoughts came to me, you have asked your neighbors not to feed Annie and they haven't but would they like to? Would they possibly adopt Annie so she can at least stay in a neighborhood she is familiar with? If they would you at least have a month or two to see that Annie is happy and settled before you leave and could still have the rescue center re home her if need be.
I know that many rescue centers would rather have the animal back if things are not working out and don't judge as they only have the animals best interest at heart and want to make sure they are safe and well. It sounds like you know it wouldn't be safe to take her with you as the environment would be completely different and possibly dangerous for her.
If Annie has been this cross about Phoebe for so long perhaps it would be kinder to re home her than shut her in when all she wants to do is get out.
You are obviously a kind and loving owner, I say owner but do we ever really own cats? and have Annies' best interests at heart, if it was me I would have a chat with the neighbors and see if they would be willing to adopt her, depending of course how well you know them, Other than that I would look at returning her to the rescue center she came from and perhaps find some peace in the knowledge that she will be well looked after until she is found a good home where she is perhaps the only cat/ pet.

We have been luckier with Izzy, the neighbors brought their elderly, sick cat to live with them eventually and of course they no longer wanted Izzy around so she has eventually come home. They are not bad people and I think they thought they where helping, despite being asked not to. They have spent thousands on their cat as he has diabetes, he has now just passed over but they also have a new baby so Izzy will not be invited back as I have told them how she likes to sleep in the strangest of places which are warm and cosy and the babies moses basket is just like her comfy bed on the bit of floor that has pipes running under it in our house! I must say she still hates Poppy and hisses like mad but she has always been a narky cat and even hisses if you walk by her to quickly. We have had her since she was a kitten and she has never been ill treated or hurt so I think she is just like some people and is very bad tempered. I don't think her and Poppy will ever be friends but at least they manage to co habit without to many problems.

Sorry for such a long reply but your problem touched a nerve as, for a while, we wondered if we would actually have to re home Izzy. Annie is obviously well loved and cared for and I think that just by posing the question in your heart you already know the answer. It will be heart breaking for you if you choose to re home Annie but if this is the path you choose take comfort that this shows how much you love her as you are putting her needs first. A less caring or thoughtful owner may have just taken her and let her struggle with all that's new and possibly never have seen her again when they got to their new home as she disappeared off into the woods. This way not only is Annie happy and secure but you get to enjoy your new adventure safe in the knowledge that Annie is safe.
Thoughts are with you, Jay
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Bid
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by Bid » 01 Feb 2014, 09:48

I also think that if Shirley & Andrew would like to care for her it sounds like the ideal solution. If they would then she can have the best of both worlds - being outside as she loves, and a dog-free home to go to when she feels like it.
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Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron

Doodle Dee
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by Doodle Dee » 01 Feb 2014, 10:10

it seems to me like Annie is a "free spirit" as a lot of cats are and very independent.

When I went on holiday my neighbour used to feed my cat and I mad him a house in my garden and he was fine and always came inside (he was used to a variety of dogs that I had) but then he was a people cat and only wanted strokes (a bit like Mac).

I think Annie is telling you what she wants if only your neighbours would feed her!

Perhaps if not you would think of rehoming Annie again rather than an upheaval to somewhere she doesn't know where to hunt if she does go out.

Good luck I hate decision making
Lulu & Dx

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MandyG
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by MandyG » 01 Feb 2014, 10:36

Thanks guys, I've had a chat with Andrew and, without actually coming out and asking if they'd take her, I've told him my dilemma. Perhaps he'll talk to Shirley and they'll take her. But they are away an awful lot, so maybe it wouldn't be practical.

In a way I feel I've let Annie down by getting Phoebe. She was so happy before the dog came. But I can't bear the thought of her running around strange woods and fields with no one to look after her. She's just had her annual boosters and is in fine fettle, so I think Foal Farm should be able to re-home her. They never put an animal down, so that's not a worry.

I'll talk to some more people about it, but I think it's for the best.
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Love and licks, Phoebe and Mandy

suebedo
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by suebedo » 01 Feb 2014, 10:57

I also have a cat who has some similarities with Annie but my Rosie doesn't appear to like any person - we all get hissed and spat at equally.

My thoughts were along the same lines as everyone else in that your neighbours may be a ready made solution but if that doesn't work out I have another idea that may be a bit risky but worth a try.

I have 5 cats. The last 2 moved in by themselves (Rosie was one of them) and we spent some months trying to keep the 2 interlopers out as the other 3 were getting very stressed about more cats moving into their territory. I had shredded wallpaper and cats spraying walls for the first time in 20 years of cat ownership. We were also getting ready to move house. I had to leave a new roll of wallpaper for the new owners when we moved out - it was one of the more embarrassing moments of my life :oops: :oops: .

However, when we moved into the new house, they obviously all arrived together and they all settled in with no problems. Not best friends but accepting of each other in this strange new place. Rosie still hates us but not enough to move out - she deigns to visit probably every day and she has a lick and head rub with Hamish who she has a bit of a thing for :shock: .

What I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is that if the best solution (your neighbours) doesn't work out, it might be worth risking a trial in your new home before resorting to re-homing her. The change may be enough to shock her into getting over her strop with Phoebe :D. I understand your worry about her running away but there would be that risk in any new home too. You can keep her shut in for a few days when you arrive and see if she is better with Phoebe - if she settles, you should be fine to let her out but if she is the same, re-homing may be the kindest thing for her.

Good luck xx
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MandyG
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Re: What to do about Annie?

Post by MandyG » 01 Feb 2014, 17:04

Thanks Sue, that's a good thought, but I would never forgive myself if I risked it and then lost her. I may have a chat with the folks at Foal Farm and see if their insight into cat psychology can offer any solutions.

All this is assuming I can eventually catch her again now.
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Love and licks, Phoebe and Mandy

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