Regret giving my cat back to the shelter

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
Hi
I am new to this site today and hoping someone can help me with my dreadful decision. This might be a long post but i want people to see all of the picture first and then hopefully tell me how to get out of this mess im in. I am passionate about cats and have had them all of my life.

Recently i left my hometown and bought a house more suitable for cats than myself, cat friendly, no dogs, no roads, and fields at the back. I adopted a cat which i absolutely adored and spent every minute with. Because i was too soft and didn't want him to feel alone i took him to bed at night instead of confining him to another room, this in turn led him to get me up every night and left me with 3 hours sleep each night. As much as i loved him i asked to return him to the shelter. They said give him more time but i dont think i was truly functioning properly and still asked to bring him back at the weekend before i got too attached. Long story short i think it was too late for fooling myself into thinking there was no attachment so i messaged to say i would give him longer as i was struggling to return him. They replied in a very matter of fact way saying i need to return him,It felt like they were telling me to return him rather than asking.

Reluctantly i did with my partner sobbing my eyes out and immediatley regretted it. I gave them almost 50 tins of cat food and 10 boxes of biscuits back so they could not say i would not care for him. We rang on the same day and was told to think about it first. I said i made a stupid mistake through sleep deprivation and i would do anything to get him back offering them any money or any form saying i would not return him again and i had learned my lesson.

A week later she informed me she had to think of him and put him first then made the decision to rehome him. I begged them said it was my own fault for being too soft with him and letting him sleep in my bedroom. I asked what the decision was based on and they said he would not alter. I realise they were teething problems but couldn't think clearly at the time. I sent pictures to prove he was happy and settled but they still wouldn't listen.I also said this time round he would be confined to another room until he was able to go out normally. They told me to go and get another cat, there were thousands but they obviously thought this was a good idea, so why could i not have him then.

I then learn they have just rehomed him nearby. If i thought i couldn't function properly before that's an understatement now. Im absolutely devastated, ive lost a stone in 2 weeks with worry, and can't sleep. I will never forgive myself and dread getting up each day now. Any suggestions on what i can do would be so kind im litterally at my wits end with it all.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
3,772
Location
Los Angeles
I am sorry that this happened to you but unfortunately am not sure about what you can do short of adopting another cat.

Without meaning to, you crossed a shelter/rescue's policy on returning animals. You might have thought that if you had a change of heart it would not be a big deal and they would return him to you, but most never do once an animal has been surrendered. They don't know you, they are advocating for the animal, and while you could prove that he was cared for, the idea that you returned him was a lightning rod for them.

This is by far not the first time I have heard this or seen it happen first hand. A good friend who does not have a mean bone in her body returned her dog to the shelter after her baby was born because she suffered post partum depression and could not handle the baby, much less the dog. After a consultation with her doctor and a therapist, everyone believed that she was turning a corner and would recover, which she ultimately did. But the shelter refused to give the dog back and rehomed it.

Did they suggest that you could adopt another cat from them or did they mean that you would have to go elsewhere? I don't know that there is a solution to this aside from getting another cat.
 

jefferd18

Ms. Jeff's Legacy
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
1,926
Reaction score
1,282
First of all, don't beat yourself up because sleep deprivation can really mess with your brain if it goes on for too long. I know this because I suffer from it and have also made some bad decisions as a result. Its real and its awful.

Can you talk to these people in person? That is sometimes better because they can see they are talking to a real person and not just a voice over the phone. Can you ask to have him back if his new home doesn't work out? Frankly I sick of the rigid extremes these rescue groups put people through- they know shit happens.

If they stick to their guns then please comfort yourself by knowing that he is in a safe place and that you can always take in another little feline in need.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
I am sorry that this happened to you but unfortunately am not sure about what you can do short of adopting another cat.

Without meaning to, you crossed a shelter/rescue's policy on returning animals. You might have thought that if you had a change of heart it would not be a big deal and they would return him to you, but most never do once an animal has been surrendered. They don't know you, they are advocating for the animal, and while you could prove that he was cared for, the idea that you returned him was a lightning rod for them.

This is by far not the first time I have heard this or seen it happen first hand. A good friend who does not have a mean bone in her body returned her dog to the shelter after her baby was born because she suffered post partum depression and could not handle the baby, much less the dog. After a consultation with her doctor and a therapist, everyone believed that she was turning a corner and would recover, which she ultimately did. But the shelter refused to give the dog back and rehomed it.

Did they suggest that you could adopt another cat from them or did they mean that you would have to go elsewhere? I don't know that there is a solution to this aside from getting another cat.
Hi Fionasmum, thankyou for taking the time to reply. They said it was in their policy to not return animals and all shelters were the same. Nothing worked, no amount of tears, begging or money they simply refused. As an animal lover i can understand those rules but i think in this instance they could see i was genuine and could have made an exception. I know in my heart i won't get him back.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
First of all, don't beat yourself up because sleep deprivation can really mess with your brain if it goes on for too long. I know this because I suffer from it and have also made some bad decisions as a result. Its real and its awful.

Can you talk to these people in person? That is sometimes better because they can see they are talking to a real person and not just a voice over the phone. Can you ask to have him back if his new home doesn't work out? Frankly I sick of the rigid extremes these rescue groups put people through- they know shit happens.

If they stick to their guns then please comfort yourself by knowing that he is in a safe place and that you can always take in another little feline in need.
Hi Jefferd Thankyou for your reply, i honestly have never suffered with sleep deprivation in my life, and it must be real for me to make one of my biggest mistakes as of yet. I look back and can't believe he is gone after all i've sacrificed to get him. Heartbroken really isn't the word.
I rang and emailed them countless times as they wouldn't let me make an appointment to go in. I honestly would stop at nothing to get him back and think sometimes, in cases like mine, they make people suffer unneccssarily. I am glad someone can understand what led me to that stupid decision as they or i for that matter certainly didn't.
I went on here as a last resort to try and get answers from cat people for this crazy dilemna im in and truly appreciate your support.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
I have to agree with jefferd18 jefferd18 that you unfortunately did encounter a rigid extreme policy with this shelter and many function that way. Hopefully you can get another cat eventually, when you are ready, as it sounds as if you have a lot of love to give to a pet.
Fionasmom thankyou for your advice. I have since read many stories regarding shelters rules and policies although it didn't help making me wait a week, that was tough but not quite as tough as the final decision. I will one day go on to get another cat and learn to not be as soft with him at nighttime. I had no problems with my other cats as they were strays and chose me so just used the catflap to come and go, but another story when you go out and get one and have to keep them in for a while. I will definately let you know when i do and thankyou very much for your help.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
11,369
Reaction score
21,696
Our last cat reminds me a bit of your adopted cat. She kept us up non-stop and we were sleep deprived to the max. Every day my husband would say, "that cat is going to be gone by the time you get home from work." I knew a little bit about her background and that she was an owner surrender so I told him I would not return her for fear they would put her to sleep. In the end, my patience won out and my husband adored her. :hearthrob:

I understand your deep disappointment and regret but give yourself time to grieve.:alright: I would not recommend looking for another cat right away. Take your time and you'll know when you're ready again. We are always here for support so please feel free to check out other sections on the site as well as read some of the excellent Articles.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
Our last cat reminds me a bit of your adopted cat. She kept us up non-stop and we were sleep deprived to the max. Every day my husband would say, "that cat is going to be gone by the time you get home from work." I knew a little bit about her background and that she was an owner surrender so I told him I would not return her for fear they would put her to sleep. In the end, my patience won out and my husband adored her. :hearthrob:

I understand your deep disappointment and regret but give yourself time to grieve.:alright: I would not recommend looking for another cat right away. Take your time and you'll know when you're ready again. We are always here for support so please feel free to check out other sections on the site as well as read some of the excellent Articles.
Thankyou neely i now realise im maybe not the only one who had this problem. It was such a strange situation to be in at the time because i loved him so much but i kept saying I can't live like this at the same time. I don't think i had any rational thoughts when i arranged to, and then took him back. I wish to god now i hadn't but in that moment i had a completely different way of thinking.
I had to come on here to reach out for any answer i could possibly get as i was going out of my mind with thinking of any way i could get him back,and still am if im honest. But the lovely people that took the time to respond to me with their kind words have helped me feel a little better and i really do appreciate that.
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
14,760
Reaction score
13,168
Location
USA
:grouphug:
TCS has an article on how to sleep without being bothered by a cat: How To Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night (step-by-step Plan) – TheCatSite Articles It might come in handy in the future. An adult or senior cat would be less likely to keep you up at night than a needy kitten. If you absolutely must need undisturbed sleep, it's best to not allow the cat into the bedroom at night from the start. Wear ear plugs, use a white noise machine, etc to drown out the initial meowing complaints. Don't feel bad about a (temporarily) unhappy cat and don't give in and let the cat into the bedroom. The cat will just learn that if she / he complains long enough, she / he gets what she / he wants.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
:grouphug:
TCS has an article on how to sleep without being bothered by a cat: How To Stop My Cat From Waking Me Up At Night (step-by-step Plan) – TheCatSite Articles It might come in handy in the future. An adult or senior cat would be less likely to keep you up at night than a needy kitten. If you absolutely must need undisturbed sleep, it's best to not allow the cat into the bedroom at night from the start. Wear ear plugs, use a white noise machine, etc to drown out the initial meowing complaints. Don't feel bad about a (temporarily) unhappy cat and don't give in and let the cat into the bedroom. The cat will just learn that if she / he complains long enough, she / he gets what she / he wants.
LTS3 I really wish i had come on this site when i had him,i probably would still have him judging by the replies from everyone. I was far too soft with him for my own good and i did feel bad about leaving him alone all night but i paid the price in the long run. It made it harder to confine him as we had this little routine going off at night. Every night i would call him and he would come running, then he would follow me upstairs and wait patiently watching me brush my teeth then finally he would follow me to bed. I loved that but i also dreaded the nighttime as i knew it was only for a short while. I wish i had done things differently as i know i'l carry that guilt forever. Thanks for the great advice and i will have to be sure to follow this advice if i ever get another cat.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Super Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
887
Reaction score
3,083
I am so sorry this happened. I know you were sleep deprived and thought that this is what you needed to do, but honestly we make our worst decisions when we are not in our best state of mind. I have learned to never make major decisions in state of anger, fear, sadness or when sleep-deprived. Not if I could help it. Some of my worse decisions came when I was in these states of mind.

In regards to the sleep deprivation, I have seen on a Jackson Galaxy's show a situation very much like yours. The cat had to be trained not to demand entry into the b.r. This cat would scratch at the door and howl all night. A device had to be put in front of the door that has motion detention and let's out a burst of air deterring the cats from scratching the door. That is just one solution.

I was thinking maybe you can get a friend or some family member to try to adopt the kitty and that way you can visit her. It's too bad that the Shelter is so rigid and doesn't offer 2nd chances. It is not like you neglected or abused the cat. There are so many cats out there and only so many adopters. They should have tried to offer advise, so the adoption went much more smoothly. I think they should have eased up a little. Their are plenty of people out there who should be ruled out for adoption or 2nd chances. My sister who worked in a No Kill had a woman come in to the shelter looking for a dog whose fur matched her furniture and carpet. I kid you not! 😬 It is because of idiots like this woman and neglectful, abusive and crazy people that these shelters make up these strict rules. However, the downside is that people like you get shut out from having a second chance.😕

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. You are welcome here at TCS. We are a caring online community of cat lovers. There is so many helpful people here and so many helpful threads. I hope you find the support you need. Best of luck. 🙂
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
I am so sorry this happened. I know you were sleep deprived and thought that this is what you needed to do, but honestly we make our worst decisions when we are not in our best state of mind. I have learned to never make major decisions in state of anger, fear, sadness or when sleep-deprived. Not if I could help it. Some of my worse decisions came when I was in these states of mind.

In regards to the sleep deprivation, I have seen on a Jackson Galaxy's show a situation very much like yours. The cat had to be trained not to demand entry into the b.r. This cat would scratch at the door and howl all night. A device had to be put in front of the door that has motion detention and let's out a burst of air deterring the cats from scratching the door. That is just one solution.

I was thinking maybe you can get a friend or some family member to try to adopt the kitty and that way you can visit her. It's too bad that the Shelter is so rigid and doesn't offer 2nd chances. It is not like you neglected or abused the cat. There are so many cats out there and only so many adopters. They should have tried to offer advise, so the adoption went much more smoothly. I think they should have eased up a little. Their are plenty of people out there who should be ruled out for adoption or 2nd chances. My sister who worked in a No Kill had a woman come in to the shelter looking for a dog whose fur matched her furniture and carpet. I kid you not! 😬 It is because of idiots like this woman and neglectful, abusive and crazy people that these shelters make up these strict rules. However, the downside is that people like you get shut out from having a second chance.😕

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. You are welcome here at TCS. We are a caring online community of cat lovers. There is so many helpful people here and so many helpful threads. I hope you find the support you need. Best of luck. 🙂
Whenallhellbreakslose (sorry have not learnt how to tag just yet) Thankyou so much for your kind words. Yes looking back it was not a rational decision especially with all my history of cats, i felt like i just didn't have a choice but straight away realised that was a massive mistake. At the time as id never had sleep deprivation before i honestly didn't realise what i was doing, people tell me to put it down to experience, but as i didn't really do anything wrong it seems like a hard pill to swallow.

As you say there are so many cases of cruelty and neglect and i detest people like that. I adore all animals and often think i was put on this earth solely for that reason. Their punishment did not fit the crime in this case, as said i litterally begged them and offered them a substantial donation towards the keep of the other animals. Despite hard times ahead for the rescue centres plus the fact that i was genuine they still stood firm. They knew, and i later realised they were just teething problems and there wasn't a logical reason to make me suffer for being too soft. This just reiterates my point earlier regarding being an animal lover.

It has helped me tremendously reading all the messages of support and has eased the heartache slightly and awful feelings of regret. For that i will always be grateful, thankyou.
 

Whenallhellbreakslose

Living in Kitty Paradise.
Super Cat
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
887
Reaction score
3,083
Everytime you have pangs of regret, shut it down. You did at the time, what you thought was right. You only meant the best for the cat. I think the shelter should have offered some guidance, instead of directing you to give the cat back. I think they could have done a better job there and as you said hard times are coming and unless you are doing something terribly wrong, that should of offered you a second chance.

Well, I wish you all the best. Have a blessed day. 🙂

P.S. To tag someone on the forum, place the @ before typing their name. Usually the person's user name and avatar pops up when it recognizes who you want to tag. You can then click it to tag someone on the forum.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
Everytime you have pangs of regret, shut it down. You did at the time, what you thought was right. You only meant the best for the cat. I think the shelter should have offered some guidance, instead of directing you to give the cat back. I think they could have done a better job there and as you said hard times are coming and unless you are doing something terribly wrong, that should of offered you a second chance.

Well, I wish you all the best. Have a blessed day. 🙂

P.S. To tag someone on the forum, place the @ before typing their name. Usually the person's user name and avatar pops up when it recognizes who you want to tag. You can then click it to tag someone on the forum.
Whenallhellbreakslose Whenallhellbreakslose Thankyou for that, im not sure if it's worked yet!

Bless you for your kind words, hope you enjoy your day too!
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
3,772
Location
Los Angeles
There are several shelters/rescues in the LA area with "strange" adoption policies. I wonder if they know how many people have gone in and adopted an animal for someone else? I myself did it for a friend 16 years ago and the cat just passed away a few months ago after living a charmed indoor only life.

I agree that you should try to shut down all the pangs of regret. You are did not know what you were dealing with at the time with shelter policies and attitudes.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

Kittylife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
23
Reaction score
56
fionasmom fionasmom
As i was going out of my mind with worry i did think of that, after all i would have stopped at nothing to get him back home. However i then learned he had been rehomed. The very latest on this update is one of the volunteers had fallen in love with him so presumably she has rehomed him. This latest news means i would never get him back now.

However there was a question i forgot to ask. He was microchipped to me and i've read countless times that in order to transfer ownership the microchip company has to get in touch with the previous owner. They have not contacted me so have the shelters got the power to transfer ownership if i signed him back to them or does the company still get in touch.

I know im clutching at straws but i have to try every option i possibly can before having to give up and accept it.
Thankyou for all your help in this thread, it's very much appreciated.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,431
Reaction score
3,772
Location
Los Angeles
Every time I have had to deal with a microchip company, they acted as if they were the FBI or CIA. While I was able in a couple of cases to have my name put on as a contact for friends who were hospitalized and whose pets were left with a caretaker, I don't know how easy it is to just call up and say that you are the new owner, no confirmation from the previous owner, and have them change the registration. If that worked that easily, dog and cat napping would be pretty easy. I don't know if a shelter has any further clout when it comes to something like that. Probably calling the microchip company and telling them the story is the best solution unless you don't want to disclose that ownership has been transferred. The other side to that is that if you tell them that you no longer own the cat they will probably remove you from his registration. Microchipping can be proof of ownership; I know this is getting legally complicated.

The way it works around here is that if an animal is brought into a local vet clinic as a stray, they will check for microchipping. If an owner is found they will not give the animal back to the person who brought them in but will call the owner to come and get him.
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
11,369
Reaction score
21,696
He was microchipped to me and i've read countless times that in order to transfer ownership the microchip company has to get in touch with the previous owner. They have not contacted me so have the shelters got the power to transfer ownership if i signed him back to them or does the company still get in touch.
Since there are different microchip companies I surmise different policies. Call the company you had him microchipped with yourself, don't rely on the shelter. This way you will get a straight answer. My motto is, "when in doubt, check it out." 😉 Keep in mind some companies want you to pay an annual membership fee but this is not necessarily a requirement.
 
Top