Rehoming and Rescue didn’t work out and became disaster, not sure where to turn.

catwheel

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Hello all.
This will be very long but I really need advice/support/knowledge or similar experiences to get through this and maybe find a solution.

I have 5 kittens and a mother cat as well as other house cats that have lived with my family in the family home. Now it’s just me and a relative in the home, as my life has been a very torturous and difficult one which has left me very isolated and on edge.
Most people would not last in my position, it’s not an enviable or even very relatable existence. Basically misery day in and day out and no advantage or beneficial aspects to make my circumstances more tolerable.
However, my love for cats persists and I got myself into yet another sticky situation.

The mother cat was a lonely feral behind our house and we caught her & took her in to assure the presumed pregnancy would not end up in disaster (she was already visibly pregnant in our yard, always waiting for food).
Well 5 babies were born in our home and all healthy and socialized well. But they’re not babies anymore, they’re about 7 months old now.

Why weren’t they adopted as kittens, you ask…well, that was the plan.
From the beginning, as we already have a few cats here in the house who are older and having so many would obviously become stressful..stress on top of stress. But the few homes close to us that I had waiting ended up not coming to fruition.
Since I’m so isolated, I only have so many options. I don’t even use social media and would not be able to navigate it without extreme duress.
So far only one of the kittens is spoken for (another relative is taking), so that leaves 4 left.

The relative I live with is also EXTREMELY difficult and has a history of needless neuroticism and intense cruelty towards myself especially and other human beings, although they still always care a lot for the family pets and other animals. It’s a bizarre dichotomy.
Even while caring for these kittens, I was still reeling from a recent diatribe they sent out against me to other family members..humiliating me at my worst hour, but I still had to get up in the morning to care for the cats. I don’t bother anyone and just try to stay in the background, but I think my vulnerabilities invite further abuse.
The amount of stuff I have on my plate..it’s not good, not for the cats either. I know this.
And my relative in the same home makes it so much worse. But I have nowhere else to go right now, savings are gone, and I don’t feel well with most other people in general , it stresses me out even more. Still, I know I’m the only one capable of vetting the best homes for these babies and knowing what’s right for them.

This relative I share the home with took to the kittens right away and forced their way in to care for them and pay for vet visits, against my better judgement…they began to call the cats theirs and became so controlling that they wouldn’t even let them visit my own mother’s apartment. Called it an attempted “kidnapping” and threatened to call the authorities. (They threaten this all the time for everything.)
This behavior and thought process became even worse the older the kittens got and the more serious conversations I tried to have with them about getting the kittens adopted. This relative began to ignore me to my face and would not give a straight answer about anything, while also complaining about the cost and effort to take care of so many cats, blaming me and being excessively destructive toward inanimate objects. They knew adoption was inevitable but wanted me to be bear the responsibility and guilt of “deciding” to give them away.

I eventually found the best rescue organization within hundreds of miles of me and they offered a rehoming service of no cost to me, so long as we took care of all the vet care and costs for our cats ourselves, until a new and suitable home was found. They promote the cats as pairs and screen rigorously for adopters. A contract is involved once a decision is made, but you have to meet the potential adopter once (with cats) before another meeting occurs to transfer ownership.
It was the best thing I had ever heard of. They even have safety nets for if the new home doesn’t work out. It was almost too good to be true.
I knew this was the only way my heart would ever be able to handle giving them away and I mistakenly believed it would also satisfy my relative’s own stipulations (nobody was ever good enough to adopt the kittens when I was looking on my own, according to my relative).

At these kitten’s older age, the criteria for new homes becomes more severe, because they’ve become too attached to the way things have been.
Basics would be: No dogs, no small children, indoor only, financially stable owners, calm environment with not much coming and going, no declawing, preferably own a home-and a safe one where the cats cannot easily escape, etc. One or two other cats are okay but I don’t want them to end up in a replica of the current situation with too many cats. Good vet references, good history with cats, clear devotion toward their pets and so on.

These “kittens” are like the only children I’ll ever have and the only good thing that has happened in my life in decades, I’m a worrier so my concerns don’t end there but my biggest obstacle was always my relative who is the co-owner.

Once the rescue finally found the first suitable adopter, a meeting was set.
My relative did not make it to the meeting, because of some excuse with needing to fix a major house appliance..which they could have waited a little longer to fix. I told them how important this was, and they were still so difficult about it. Just made my head spin and even yelled at me in the front yard as I was leaving, demanding to know what I was bringing to the car (it was just a donation for the rescue animals at the rescue facility).

Moving on..I felt sick on my way to the meeting, like who on earth would this person be and would I feel comfortable enough to even converse with them, never mind hand over my kittens.
Well the woman arrived with her family member and I was relieved even upon first impression.
She seemed nice and down to earth and even had her own notepad (as did I).

Apprehension began to melt away and I felt really good about this woman and her supportive family member, who also had cats and loved them.
This woman lost her last cat recently and had a good history with the rescue, glowing references, agreed to updates and is eager for me to send the kittens’ “baby pictures” to her through the rescue when the time comes for them to be rehomed with her (something I offered to do at the meeting).
When her and her family member interacted with my kittens, they were very gentle and understanding of one kitten being frightened and shaking while the other was bold as could be!
Every question I had for the woman was answered better than I could have expected, although I did still have my concerns about some things that the rescue seemed hesitant to delve into.

And here’s where I should mention: I had no idea how private everything would be when I first contacted the rescue. I thought I would perhaps get to exchange contact info with the new owners or even be the one to drop off the cats at their new home.
But no, it seemed the more I asked about that sort of thing, the more the rescue seemed to become frustrated with me.
I’m not forceful so I didn’t push much of anything and I still thought they were my best option so I didn’t want to press my luck.
I think most of the rescue’s potential adopters are wealthy (fine by me since it’s better for the cats needs) so maybe they expect more formality and less direct invasive questioning from the foster parent, which is what I would be considered.
I know there’s a million other reasons like general privacy and to avoid harassment but I guess I didn’t get enough information about their process to start with, although it seemed like I had asked them too much already! I don’t know..

All I did know, is that as soon as my relative found out about this level of privacy and not knowing the address of where the kittens were going, they would have a problem. (Apparently you can’t even have the last name of the adopter, you just have to trust the rescue on all of it).
I also already knew they were going to make h*ll for me when the kittens left, regardless. I was sort of glad (at the time) that my relative didn’t make it to the meeting, as they very well may have sabotaged the process or scared the woman off right then and there.

For this reason, I also rejected the offer made by the rescue to talk to/convince my relative over the phone..I was so scared that my relative would act out and ruin the best match we might ever get for two of the kittens.
This is a decision I would later regret but I had good reason to make it at the time, as my relative already had a history of p*ssing off our own vet and of trying to cause mayhem on our way to previous spay and neuter appointments I set up.
I can only get so personal, but my relative basically does the 24/7 equivalent of injecting insanity into my own brain and is probably the reason I have lost most of my hair in the past couple years, compounded with other stressful factors.
Dealing with them is exhausting and yet they find a way to make me feel like I’m the problem.

I also had passive pressure already from the rescue, after the meeting was over..saying I spent so much time with the woman and her family member, implying my answer should be ‘yes’ to the adoption, although nothing can be officially stated until a day or two later once you’ve slept on it.
I felt like it was a yes anyhow, so their subtle strong arming didn’t bother me much. They also warned me about how people have backed out of adoptions before and how the adopters were “devastated”.
Which I found to be an odd choice of words considering “devastation” is probably more often felt by loss, not a lack of opportunity to bond in the first place.

The rescue staff were already sure that the woman wanted the kittens badly and had already fell in love with them and was making plans for their arrival.
I mentioned to them my relative’s attitude briefly and they told me that they only needed one party to sign the contact..
I am not sure how they thought that would go over at home, and with two kittens still needing to be adopted..it also put more of the burden on me if I were to have to say No for any reason..I already felt sick about that possibility and did not want to hurt the woman’s feelings or waste her time.
(The rescue staff reminded me of how much time and effort they put in for my case specifically, and that made me feel even worse and obligated.)

All of this made me extra anxious to approach my relative about what our decision should be.
I knew I could not make it without them, as they have so much financial control over the kittens now and I no longer have the means to care for them on my own.
Well, things got so bad between my relative and myself..and time was running out..that my mother and I had to try a different tactic.
We decided to type out a list of the good attributes of the potential adopter and the reasons why we needed to go through with this process, as none of us can handle this many cats and we have enough nightmares going on.
We sat my relative down and had an extremely long and turbulent conversation with them, gave them the paper.
By the end, we barely squeezed out a “yes” but they were already going back on it a second later and saying they did not like this at all.

This made me worry so much that I ended up talking to the rescue again the next day when they called me, after I had emailed them an update and how I just wanted to go over my final concerns before I gave the official answer. I also let them know about the conversation that was had with my relative.
The email I sent was at like 1 in the morning..already suffering from days on end with no sleep and any little food I ate was going right through me.

I was only expecting one person to be on the other line when the rescue called me, but it was two instead and I instantly felt overwhelmed and began to sob, all my emotional attachment to the kittens, stress, and pressure had become too much.
I broke down..became an absolute mess, saying all types of things, just a blubbering basket case of anxiousness and fear and uncertainty. I got way too personal because at that point, they weren’t going to understand my reaction unless I laid out enough backstory for them and outlined the difficulties with the other party involved.

I could tell that they were trying to be compassionate but I could also tell that I was likely going to be gossiped about poorly by the time the phone call ended..annoyed that they had to put up with me and my relative’s insane bs-which was feeding attachment I had tried to stuff down and move past for months leading up to this.
I started to worry that even if I gave the rescue what they wanted, and perhaps what really was best for the kittens and all involved..that maybe they would use my emotional outburst and breakdown as an excuse to exclude me down the line, should the adoption go through.
Or that they would consider my relative a hazard and a reason for us not to be the backup, should the new home not work out for some reason, or should something unfortunate happen to the woman who would take the kittens.

Everything was snowballing out of control.
By the end of the phone call, I said I would get back to them with an official answer by the next day, to which they said “okay, by the end of tomorrow”.

I had to wait for my relative to get home and then force another conversation on them..making sure they really knew how things would go down if we said yes, so I could avoid the even worse disaster of saying “yes” and then having my relative go back on it weeks later, when the actual adoption was about to happen.
(The woman interested agreed to wait to take the kittens until after the holidays, because I had never wanted to give the kittens up during that time anyhow, I thought it best for them to go after the holiday mayhem so they could settle in without the humans being distracted and without other excess changes going on. Still, I had to give an official decision and set a date within about 24hrs at this point.)

So I spent that whole night talking with my relative but in the end, I got absolutely nowhere and they insisted on going to bed and just walked out of the conversation.
All night and through the next day I worried constantly about making sure I had an answer by the end of said day-I was shaking and sweating and just not all there.
I texted my relative that they needed to respond or get home on time, so that we could finish this and so I could send an email giving an answer.

My relative continued with their other plans anyway and got home way too late, and by the time we started talking again..they had a million other concerns and it became apparent that I needed to go back and re-offer the rescue to talk to my relative over the phone directly, because this was getting to be too much for me and I was sick of being the one relaying everything and taking the brunt of both sides.
I was already way past my usual limit of social interaction.

My relative’s main concerns were wanting to know more about the legal side of the supposed contract, wanting to see the contact before we said yes, and wanting to know why the rescue was being so “secretive”, why we weren’t allowed to know exactly where the kittens were going, etc..

No way was I going to waste more time and let a phone call happen that might just waste even more..so I emailed the rescue again, that night/end of day, and told them the situation and I summarized my relative’s concerns.
I told them: if these concerns sound like something you could reason with, then please text me tomorrow and I will give you my relative’s phone #..and I also gave them a good time to call.
I also told them, that I agree that there probably won’t be anyone better or a version better than this woman for either pair of kittens..so if they thought that these overall concerns could not be alleviated to my relative, then we would have no choice but to drop out of the rescue services as to avoid wasting any more time and effort.

I said it was up to my relative now..that if they said Yes, I would move forward.
And that if they said No, I would have no choice but to go along with it, as I no longer have as much say financially over the kittens, therefore less control.
I also thanked them and apologized profusely the whole way through because I felt so bad for the woman and for possibly wasting the rescue’s energy.

I was so exhausted and sleep deprived and out of it by this time, that I’m not sure if the way I worded things made the situation even worse, or if they were going to be done with us regardless.
But the next day they sent me a short email saying they never heard from me so they assumed it was a No, and they had to give the woman “the news” and that all 4 cats were out of the program. They told me our cats would not be eligible for their assistance in the future, even if we changed our minds and told me to keep in mind the responsibility $ with so many cats.

I felt defeated and demoralized so I emailed them back one final time and just reiterated how insanely sorry I was and how I understood and that I also should have better set the time to respond by rather than “end of day” which I guess meant something different to the rescue than it did to me. I said they did not have to waste time responding to my final email.
I was so upset but had mixed feelings knowing the kittens weren’t going anywhere for awhile now..still as the hours passed, having them out of the rescue service weighed heavily on me..

At this point, I wish I could just contact the woman myself and meet up with her to figure something out..but that’s impossible. I feel so bad and guilty about over engaging with her and her family member and being so friendly (a bad habit from my anxiety) as to get her hopes up.
They probably thought it was a done deal, as that’s the impression I inadvertently gave.
Now I’m just thinking about how the woman must be “devastated”. It hurts me so much to think of that.
And it also hurts me to think these poor kittens are going to bear the consequences of human nonsense..mainly my relative’s and my own inability to be assertive through my emotions.
I am sobbing as much now over the loss of this resource and good home as I was over the phone anticipating the loss of my kittens and the turmoil my relative had waiting for me.
I wasn’t thinking clearly and communicated inefficiently..now I’m more stressed out than ever and realizing more and more just how much worse off we all are now. This sort of near-perfect opportunity I will never have again.
There is nothing else like this organization anywhere remotely near me, and the more sketchy ones still talk to one another..I wouldn’t be surprised if we are now blacklisted from trying this again anywhere close.

And if we weren't, I would have to make my relative directly in charge and force them to be more involved from the beginning, to avoid the lack of communication and to avoid my own head being on the chopping block through it all..I'm too exhausted to do it on my own again.
But I also don't want these kittens having anything less than what was sought out for them..and I don't think anyone is capable of ensuring that besides myself.

My relative flip flops from acting like they're actually going to attempt to keep all these cats...to complaining and getting angry by the situation, blaming me either way.
I am fed up and extremely angry and bereft after month and months of waste..kittens only getting older and more attached to their environment and one another.
My own concerns and attachment were enough to contend with, my relative's way of being is just beyond any additional road block getting in my way..I can't take it.

I don't know what to do now..I'm just ruminating about every aspect and even about what the rescue must think of me.
But I don't think the kittens deserve to be punished permanently.
I wish I never used up this resource until I was absolutely sure I would not have deal with the upheaval surrounding the necessary decision.


My questions for those here are, do any of you have similar experiences with such a crazy dynamic and over complicated disaster of a rehoming attempt?
Or anything anywhere near close?

Does anyone here work for or volunteer for rescues/shelters who might have some insight or advice on what I should do next?
Any thoughts at all would be appreciated..
I don't think crawling back to this rescue and begging is an option..although I can't say I haven't thought about it.
 

treeclimber

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Get the kittens out of there, then work on figuring out how to get you out of there too.

The best thing for these kittens is to find their forever home as quickly as possible. If your relative is interfering with that, then the kittens need to go somewhere else while they look for their forever home, because otherwise they’re going to turn into 2-year-old cats which are harder to find homes for than 7-month-old kittens.

The people involved in running rescues and shelters do it because they love animals. They will make sure the kittens get a good home. It’s time to let go and trust them to handle this. All you need to do is get the kittens to someplace where finding their forever homes will be possible. Find a rescue or shelter that can take the kittens so they are no longer in your home and your relative cannot interfere with them finding their forever homes.

You may not be able to get yourself out of this situation, but you can at least get the kittens out.

You will probably face repercussions from your relative for doing this, but just remember you did what was best for the kittens. It sounds like your relative is going to berate you for *something* no matter what, and it’s easier to handle being berated when you’re confident that the thing you’re being berated for was the right thing to do.

If you feel like you have to pitch the idea to your relative instead of just doing it, tell them that “we’re both having trouble letting go” so it doesn’t sound like you’re blaming them, and emphasize that being in a shelter or rescue is what’s best for the kittens because it will help them find their forever homes faster while they are still young and more easily adoptable.
 
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treeclimber

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Also, it’s fairly normal for rescues not to put the old home and new home in contact unless both homes ask them to.

When someone adopts a cat they adopt the cat, not the cat’s former people. I would be hesitant to adopt from a rescue that would give my contact info to someone like your relative - I don’t want that kind of drama in my life.

When both the old home and the new home have reasonable, emotionally-mature people then staying in contact could be nice. But rescues do not have the luxury of assuming that everyone they deal with is a reasonable, emotionally-mature person - they can screen the adopters, but they can’t screen the old homes, so they have to be careful about this kind of thing.

The rescue will know the adopters’ details, and a good rescue will follow up and make sure the kittens are OK. You have to let go and trust the rescue to handle it, otherwise you will severely limit the chances of the kittens finding a forever home.
 
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catwheel

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Also, it’s fairly normal for rescues not to put the old home and new home in contact unless both homes ask them to.

When someone adopts a cat they adopt the cat, not the cat’s former people. I would be hesitant to adopt from a rescue that would give my contact info to someone like your relative - I don’t want that kind of drama in my life.

When both the old home and the new home have reasonable, emotionally-mature people then staying in contact could be nice. But rescues do not have the luxury of assuming that everyone they deal with is a reasonable, emotionally-mature person - they can screen the adopters, but they can’t screen the old homes, so they have to be careful about this kind of thing.

The rescue will know the adopters’ details, and a good rescue will follow up and make sure the kittens are OK. You have to let go and trust the rescue to handle it, otherwise you will severely limit the chances of the kittens finding a forever home.
Thank you for responding twice and actually reading that horrifically long text. I only wish I had read this sort of advice outright before the best rescue option (who still gives indirect updates to previous owners, etc) was out of the picture and will not welcome us back.
I wish I did not over share with them, but the insane amount of stress and sleep deprivation obviously got to me. Ugh..
My mother, who is supportive of their adoption but does not live with me, warned me about giving the rescue too much information but I had verbal vomit from the pressure and anxiety.
In my case, this rescue knows as much about me as the adopters, plus they have my address too and all vet records.

I don’t think my relative would actually bother someone after the adoption took place..because that’s what they said when I confronted them about the possibility, but that was only after they realized we were going to be on our own.
(They would, however, bother me and make me pay for it.)
They’re not the type to risk their own skin getting arrested, but they will risk everyone else’s reputation to sabotage well meaning efforts and destroy others’ sanity as a way to do their bidding.
They come out looking cleaner than the person they drove crazy.
I don’t like the over-usage of “narcissist” but their behavior is very much in line with what one would call a malignant version of that term.

For all I know, the potential adopter could have very well been fine with having more of a connection, but it seemed like I wasn’t allowed to ask them. And I certainly didn’t want my relative badgering them or risking my own chance at updates.

And yes, I realize the rescue knows all the details because I looked at their application online, which is the longest I’ve ever seen.
I just thought they might allow for less formality if both parties agreed..as you mentioned.

I’ve seen others here mention that they go so far as to do home visits for those who adopt directly from them, as fosters or similar..so I know it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility.
I just don’t know that my asocial way of being would allow for me to go that far on my own.
I actually began to feel better about not having to ask for updates myself, with the rescue, that they would do it for me so both parties felt comfortable to share back and forth through a safe middle man.
(But now that possibility is probably gone forever..)
Still, no matter what happens next..I would like to know where the kittens go, updates, etc but was willing to depend on the rescue for most of that, indirectly.
My relative though..there’s no way. Their need for control far outweighs my own concerns.

I think my own attachment to the kittens also will only not be a problem if I can somehow find another option that is on par with the previous rescue. I won’t be able to survive surrendering them and I genuinely think that would be bad for the caas well.
I won’t be able to ensure they remain in pairs or continue to have the criteria that will allow for the best home and easiest transition for them.
I also would not be able to bear the worry if I got loose with the types of homes I would allow them into. And I need to attempt to keep my remaining piece of sanity intact.
But I agree that being in this home with my relative, long term is not a good idea..I knew that when I first contacted the rescue but then previous compartmentalization was shattered by my relative’s antics and abusive nature.
Just pure madness.

All cats are well taken care of and not abused, it’s just me who takes the brunt of it. My relative would watch me starve and suffer before they let the cats do so. When we had a dog, she got the master bedroom of the house to herself..and I was berated when my relative so much as didn’t find enough sh*t in the backyard to “prove” that I took her out (she was their dog, yet I was to be the servant).
Most of their frustration with pets is simply redirected at me.

So the animals are not in the type of immediate danger that many other creatures out there are. However, yes..waiting until they’re two years old or something would be very bad for multiple reasons.
I don’t even think my relative would outlive these cats if I wasn’t in the picture, and I cannot be relied upon for that sort of thing. I told them that, but they wanted to drag it out and cause mayhem no matter what.

I’ll probably never make it out of here but still don’t want to let things stay the way they are, with all these cats under the roof with someone who won’t even look past their own nose.
I used to wish my relative would disappear off the face of the earth..now I worry for what will happen to these cats if they die…maybe that’s part of this whole hostage situation, part of the intent.

The near-perfect rescue I had established myself with wasn’t without issues though..if they had been less pushy and guilt-trippy, I would have maybe had more time to regain my composure and have one less thing to worry about.
They also would not even tell me the general age of the person, which I think is relevant for such young cats..and when my relative’s own age is yet another factor in needing to rehome.
They were more worried about being accused of discrimination than of the well-being of my cats in that one area..which was sort of silly when they try so hard in other areas.
I also found out that one major thing they told me about the adopter was a lie, as they must’ve not realized that the truth was easily discerned by a slip up on the potential adopter’s part.
I did not tell them that I caught it, because I was trying to overlook it..as it wasn’t something tang would endanger the cagsbut if even the best rescue around is willing to lie to the previous owner who is crying their heart out, then I don’t have much faith in anywhere else I could go for these cats.

I guess I was hoping there would be other ways for me out of this mess..like would a vet help facilitate an adoption where I could be involved?
Can someone like me really find forever homes for these babies in the same way that the rescue would have done?
Even if I have to force myself, once again, way out of my ‘comfort’ zone?
I might try distant family members one more time, or maybe close friends of other family members..idk.
I only want the kitties to have to be uprooted once.

I wish the rescue I was using would have at least left the door open…but I think that’s done now.
 
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catwheel

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^wow typos, can’t edit for some reason

*bad for the cats as well

*as it wasn’t something that would endanger the cats
 
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catwheel

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Oh and yea..I did actually use the “kill them with kindness” routine and the “we” instead of “you” tactic but I think that actually made things worse because now my relative just uses that rhetoric to blame me even more for being part of the problem that they created.

I agree that’s it’s easier to be berated when you’re confident you did the right thing..that’s why I need to be confident that I am, and do this the best way possible for these kittens.
I truly want the best for them, and I guess it’s that lack of guarantee that bothers me and makes me look for assurement they the process I choose will end well..very well.
That’s why I can’t stop kicking myself over not just biting the bullet with the first rescue..who I wasted months with and filled out exhaustive paperwork, requirements for.

I should also say that this relative of mine goes far beyond berating and could actually push me completely over the edge if I pulled a fast one on them. They have several things to hold over my head.

As for trust, that’s a hard one..I’ve heard horror stories from rescue and adoption scenarios where people didn’t do their homework or gave the animal away to please the adopter or the organization.
I had a friend who was a vet tech who had a couple of her own adoptions end poorly for her kittens she bottled fed and raised.
And as someone who has a relative who violated their trust and privacy down to the bone..it just makes my trepidation even worse.
Especially with anything less professional than the rescue I was originally dealing with…I should have saved the best for last, but I didn’t know things would end up this way.
 

treeclimber

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guess I was hoping there would be other ways for me out of this mess..like would a vet help facilitate an adoption where I could be involved?
Probably not. Same issue as with a rescue, if the vet puts you in contact with the new adopter they are taking the risk that the old home might bother the new home and the new home might blame the vet for introducing them.

Even if you and your relative wouldn’t do that, the vet has no way of knowing for sure that that’s the case.

Can someone like me really find forever homes for these babies in the same way that the rescue would have done?
Honest answer: No.

I know you want to protect the kittens and find perfect homes for them - but you can’t. Not with your relative in the picture, not with difficulty with social interaction, and (very important) you also don’t have as much experience with screening homes as a rescue or shelter would.

Unfortunately you are not in a world where it is possible to carry out all of your best intentions. Sometimes it’s necessary to figure out what the best realistic option is and go with that. Very few cats have perfect homes, not even mine. But most cats are happy in a “good enough” home that loves them. And rescues have a lot of experience in finding cats good homes.

Many rescues also have another huge advantage - the ability to offer (or even require) that if the adopter can’t keep the cat the rescue will take the cat back. A life-long safety net for your kittens that if anything ever happens they will end up in a good rescue that will get them safely through it. That sounds like something you can’t be sure your financial/living situation will always allow you to offer.

I know it’s really, really hard to let go. I used to be a foster volunteer, I’d spend months coaxing a shy cat into trusting people or following an elaborate drug regimen to try to save the eyesight of a kitten with severe eye problems, then just when they were finally doing well it was time to say goodbye and send them back to the shelter where they’d be adopted by people I might never even meet. But I trusted the shelter I was volunteering for, I had seen how hard they would work to make sure their animals went to good homes, and I had to be willing to risk letting go or my fosters wouldn’t be able to find their forever homes.

And cats are a lot more resilient than we tend to give them credit for. No matter how much I cared for them or bonded with them, none of my fosters ever died of trauma from leaving my home. Rehoming does cause short-term stress, but most cats go on to be happy and well-adjusted in their new homes - otherwise shelters and fostering would not exist. Most of the grief involved in rehoming is on the part of the humans, and we may project how we would feel in that situation (betrayal, etc.) onto the cat, but that doesn’t mean that’s what the cat actually feels. I think cats (especially older cats who were with a person for a long time) can feel sad and miss someone, but cats live in the present, they’re not capable of dwelling on the past thinking things like “why did they rehome me, didn’t they love me?” the way humans sometimes imagine.

I also found out that one major thing they told me about the adopter was a lie, as they must’ve not realized that the truth was easily discerned by a slip up on the potential adopter’s part.
I did not tell them that I caught it, because I was trying to overlook it..as it wasn’t something tang would endanger the cagsbut if even the best rescue around is willing to lie to the previous owner who is crying their heart out
If it was a lie and not just a mistake, they may have had a reason for it.

Their job is to find the best adopter for the kittens, not the best adopter for the kittens’ owner. If they found a very good home that didn’t perfectly match a smaller detail on your list of characteristics you wanted an adopter to have, they may have felt it was in the kittens’ best interest to gloss over that detail in order to get them into the good home. They know enough to see this is a complicated situation, and after weighing things a small lie that got the kittens into a good home may have looked like the best course of action.

Most scenarios where they might lie would be because they are acting in what they consider to be the best interests of the kittens. And that’s assuming they lied at all and didn’t just misspeak/misremember a detail when they were communicating with you.


That’s why I can’t stop kicking myself over not just biting the bullet with the first rescue..who I wasted months with and filled out exhaustive paperwork, requirements for.

Do you have the contract that the rescue wanted you to sign? Sign it and send it to them, along with a *short* email apologizing and saying that if the adopter still wants the kittens you want the adoption to happen. If anything can get you back on good terms with the rescue, it’s an apology accompanied by a signed contract.

Leave any interpersonal interactions with your relative out of the email, it will just make the situation sound more complicated/uncertain to them. Just say something like “We were both surprised that we would not have contact with the new home, but after discussing it we understand why it has to be that way, and we would really like the kittens to go to a good home with (adopter’s name) if she is still interested in adopting them.”

This assumes the incident was very recent (within the past week or so) - if it has been longer than the chances of fixing things are slimmer unless the rescue can take custody of the kittens and no longer have them living with you, so they can be sure there will be no issues the next time they find a good home that wants them.

Whatever you end up doing, try to focus on what’s best for the kittens. It may be emotionally painful for you, or scary to let go and trust a rescue to handle screening the new homes, but it is their best chance of finding stable and loving forever homes.
 
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catwheel

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Do you have the contract that the rescue wanted you to sign? Sign it and send it to them, along with a *short* email apologizing and saying that if the adopter still wants the kittens you want the adoption to happen. If anything can get you back on good terms with the rescue, it’s an apology accompanied by a signed contract.
Nope, they never gave me any contract or showed it to me. I think they wait until the very second you are to pass off the cat to the next owner, which is a bit much considering it sort of forces your hand even if you have a problem with it.
My final email to them was mentioning how my relative wanted to see the contract and know more about it (valid request surprisingly). But we never got to that point simply because they considered “end of day” to mean middle of the day when I thought I had until the actual end of the day to get back to them.

I asked many questions in the beginning but the person working on my case had only been with the rescue for a few months, and I think that was part of the problem perhaps..with not being informed enough from the start. Besides my relative behind the curtain.
I have already apologized profusely even though I didn’t do anything directly that really required me to apologize, but their last message to me was more abrupt than I had expected and with a touch of snark, which really wasn’t alright with me.

I think you may underestimate just how much people who are a part of these organizations are in it for reputation rather than the betterment of animals.
And you certainly cannot paint all rescues with the same brush, regardless.
I have volunteered before and the amount of drama, immaturity and cliquey attitudes were worse than dropping myself back into junior high.
The superiority complexes can overtake empathy and other sorts of judgement calls.
I have seen it happen before, back when I was too naive to believe those who worked with animals were somehow less capable of that sort of behavior.

If it was indeed a lie and not a mistake, they may have had a reason for it.
Well that’s the thing, I don’t really care what the reason was, as it was a totally unnecessary lie and easily verifiable by something the adopter said very clearly.
To me, it’s just the fact that they showed they are capable of it..which always diminishes trust.
Tbh it seemed like the rescue’s main priority started to become the adopter as we were nearing the end..not even the cats, never mind myself.
As I tried to make clear in my previous statements.
This alone is one thing, but it was aggravated by other facets of my predicament.
It is really the rescue who should be trusting me as the one who knows what’s best for the cats since I’ve had them for so long and know what is agreeable or disagreeable to them, etc.
I did try diligently to get them out of here properly, after all.
I’ve grown up with cats all my life, most lived to a ripe old age, I’ve even helped to administer IV fluids and insulin to our family cats, so I’m not exactly an uneducated rube…I’m just without the networking and such.
Wasted a lot of mental energy


Probably not. Same issue as with a rescue, if the vet puts you in contact with the new adopter they are taking the risk that the old home might bother the new home and the new home might blame the vet for introducing them.

Even if you and your relative wouldn’t do that, the vet has no way of knowing for sure that that’s the case.
Maybe they could simply advertise?

Perhaps another lesser known rescue then, one which allows the previous owner to act as a foster and have more involvement with the process.
It’s just that the recuse I already tried to use has such a monopoly on everything anywhere close to me..

I almost wish these cats were dogs..as it seems with dogs, the fosters are always the ones bringing them for a home visit/trial.
Cat adoptions have less expectations and thus certain check-ups are not required.


Honest answer: No.

I understand you want to protect the kittens and find perfect homes for them - but you can’t. Not with your relative in the picture, not with difficulty with social interaction, and (very important) you also don’t have as much experience with screening homes as a rescue or shelter would.

You are not in a perfect world where it is possible to carry out all of your best intentions. Sometimes it’s necessary to figure out what the best realistic option is and go with that. Very few cats have perfect homes, not even mine. But most cats are happy in a “good enough” home that loves them. And rescues have a lot of experience in finding cats good homes.

Many rescues also have another huge advantage - the ability to offer (or even require) that if the adopter can’t keep the cat they will take the cat back. A life-long safety net for your kittens that if anything ever happens they will end up in a good rescue that will get them safely through it. That’s something it sounds like you can’t be sure your financial/living situation will always allow you to offer.

I know it’s really, really hard to let go. I used to be a foster volunteer, I’d spend months coaxing a shy cat into trusting people or following an elaborate drug regimen to try to save the eyesight of a kitten with severe eye problems, then just when they were doing well it was time to say goodbye and send them back to the shelter where they’d be adopted by people I might never even meet. But I trusted the screening process of the shelter I was volunteering for, and I had to be willing to risk letting go or my fosters wouldn’t be able to find their forever homes.
No, I don’t need perfect homes, as no home is really that.
Even my current situation could be considered “good enough” for the cats by plenty of people so I’d rather shoot for better than that.

Yea, the safety net thing..that’s what I mentioned in the previous posts, the rescue I was using offered that, even secondary to the cats ever needing to come back to me. And their facility is not caged, it’s like a home setting. So that is something I will be missing if I don’t use another rescue and I lost out on the best version of it, even so. True.

It seems many people have claimed success while rehoming on their own as long as they follow rescue type guidelines though.
I was just looking at someone else’s posts on this site about it, who seems to have had major success.
The rescue I was using actually has an online pamphlet with extensive instructions on how to rehome on your own. Which I just revisited in the past hour.
Honestly, if I have to do it, I will. If I have to shut down my social avoidance somehow, I will.
These kittens already pushed me further than I thought I could ever go, so maybe I can do it.
I really don’t know.
I just know that straight up giving them away at this point is not an option that would end well, also it’s the holiday season..so I’d rather them not get swept up in that elsewhere.

I mean, even our own permanent family cats don’t have that sort of safety net. So I guess I could do without it so long as the person I gave them to still had a backup plan.

I understand that you fostered, but I think that’s a bit different considering it’s something you sign up for and know what you’re getting into, so you can mentally prepare yourself.
You have also got an obligation from the very beginning to adopt them out, as again-that’s what you signed up for.
Whereas this situation of mine sort of fell into my lap and it snowballed and dragged out from there.
I was much more prepared to give the kittens away by 12 weeks as that was the plan, and that would have been without any rescue.. but now they have been here much longer than most foster cats that start out as newborn kittens. A routine forms.
I literally had to handle these babies when they were minutes old (mother had them in a bad spot) and heard their cries as they were born. All while working around their feral mother as to not be attacked. I have never had such a raw experience like that and it certainly leaves an impression on you.

I appreciate you trying to relate though, I just think I may be in a position where all the stars align in the most messed up way, that it’s probably impossible to understand my exact stance here.

The stupid thing is that when they were much younger, there were even more family members who had interest in them..but with my main relative being a PITA and an intimidating force that would bleed through into my own conversations with people..it led to my other family members getting cold feet or no longer wanting them because they weren’t bona fide kittens any longer.

I think I’m really going to try AGAIN to find them homes with some family connection and a person willing to at least speak with me and offer vet references (which I will call), etc.
Rescue locations and shelters are overloaded right now and honestly, I really don’t think relocating them is good if I can manage to find a better option to get them directly to forever homes that I can trust.

I wish that adopt-a-pet website wasn’t so sketchy because if it was more reputable, I’d probably give something like that a try.
 
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catwheel

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*Again, sorry for any typos..must not be able to edit because new member or something.

And thank you for taking the time to write out these responses to me, if anything..it’s helping me to work through what I may or may not be capable of..which right now probably just needs to be getting some necessary sleep.
 

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Catwheel.

First of all, wow! You have a predicament.

Second. The situation for those kittens is not "good enough."
You are surviving in a hostile environment. When the kittens become adult cat's, if they remain in that environment, they will be affected by it regardless of the amount of care your relative gives them.

You should have quietly given the yes and given those kittens up for adoption when you had the chance (24 hours after the visit). Only one signature is needed. You took them in initially when you cared for the momma cat.
Once they are adopted out, your relative would likely have a tissy, but it seems they will regardless. So what's the difference? Getting yelled at for doing the most humanely responsible thing for the kittens or getting yelled at for doing nothing? You're going to get yelled at and berated by that relative regardless what you do. So perhaps you should try to do what you feel is right in your heart.

Lastly, you are in a verbally abusive situation. Whether you feel it's possible or not to leave, you need to find support in the form of a group or individual who can assist you with getting you out of that home and some safe. No one should live in any kind of emotionally abusive situation.
I can say "been there done that" and I have been thankful for the one friend who believed in me and supported me through the process of getting out of it more than 30 years ago. Today you can join support groups and live feeds anonymously. You don't have to say anything in the chats, just watch, listen, and read. You will find you are not alone.
And at some point you'll realize that your situation really isn't a "good enough" situation for the kittens too.
 
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catwheel

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Catwheel.

First of all, wow! You have a predicament.

Second. The situation for those kittens is not "good enough."
You are surviving in a hostile environment. When the kittens become adult cat's, if they remain in that environment, they will be affected by it regardless of the amount of care your relative gives them.

You should have quietly given the yes and given those kittens up for adoption when you had the chance (24 hours after the visit). Only one signature is needed. You took them in initially when you cared for the momma cat.
Once they are adopted out, your relative would likely have a tissy, but it seems they will regardless. So what's the difference? Getting yelled at for doing the most humanely responsible thing for the kittens or getting yelled at for doing nothing? You're going to get yelled at and berated by that relative regardless what you do. So perhaps you should try to do what you feel is right in your heart.

Lastly, you are in a verbally abusive situation. Whether you feel it's possible or not to leave, you need to find support in the form of a group or individual who can assist you with getting you out of that home and some safe. No one should live in any kind of emotionally abusive situation.
I can say "been there done that" and I have been thankful for the one friend who believed in me and supported me through the process of getting out of it more than 30 years ago. Today you can join support groups and live feeds anonymously. You don't have to say anything in the chats, just watch, listen, and read. You will find you are not alone.
And at some point you'll realize that your situation really isn't a "good enough" situation for the kittens too.
Thank you for replying!
Indeed..it is a lot.

Yea I do wish I could go back and say yes at this point but I was also worried for the other pair of kittens that still needed to be adopted (and they already proved to receive less interest than the other ones) and there were so many factors in the mix, I just became overwhelmed.
I believe my relative may have more legal ownership at this point versus myself though, which is part of the problem.


I wish the rescue had just given me more time to sort things out, I had too much pressure from every angle and my emotions in the mix as well, which I never got an opportunity to get out into the open, until the very worst moment, as I was trying to be robotic whilst getting paperwork done and moving forward with the rescue for months..
I spent so much energy worrying about what my relative would do that I did not get the time to deal with my own attachment as well, and then I believe my relative’s hellish nonsense just fed into that.
I do think I’m probably also one of those people who needs more of a connection with the person adopting the cats, I would still prefer a rescue to facilitate communication, contract, etc but I’d like to at least know where they are, even if my relative doesn’t.
I am sick of being restricted and further punished for their bs, when my life in general is already so diminutive.

Unfortunately due to other factors about my situation and unrelated detriments, reaching out to any group or random individual is just going to cause me more pain and suffering.
At this point, I would just like to be alone.
I do not relate to most who claim this sort of abuse as I guess I know even worse things, and those other things result in a large gap between myself and others.
So even with a connection on one thing, I always find there is too stark a difference in what has damaged me versus most around me.
I have spoken with others before who have similarly specific woes, in small supportive corners or the internet, but they are so distant from me and have enough to deal with on their own and vice versa.
The only way I’ve been able to cope with my situation is by removing myself from society, but it would be nice for my home to be a safe haven rather than another layer of sh*t.
There’s nowhere else to go that’s not a worse trade off. That much I can say with certainty at this poi
But I can only get into so many details here, you know..

What I want now is really just another way to rehome these kittens in pairs and just as diligently as what was about to happen previously, with slightly more involvement/less pressure than the rescue allowed.
I am not sure if any other organization around me works like that or if I’ll be on my own.
I think rescues should probably have more conversations with some owners before the process is started, to better prepare them.
One size does not fit all.
I think it’s important to treat ALL living creatures involved in the process with tenderness.

Sure, “good enough” certainly not for me, but that’s true even without my relative in the picture..there are reasons as to why I am even stuck here in the first place, and my relative merely exploits them and compounds them, adds to my nightmare and is a general storm of cruelty, gaslighting, scapegoating and adult tantrums.
As for the cats, they still live a better life than what I witness in both shelters and rescues, so I would like to still do a direct rehoming so they can at least go from one home setting to another.
I am so angry at my relative for causing so much behind the scenes HELL for me leading up to the possible adoption, I think they actually intended to drive me up the wall and use my own attachment against me so that I would look like the main responsible party for making the whole thing a wash.
Too much going on at once, add the time of year into the mix and just..yikes.

Thank you for your kindness in validating that this is not a good situation..I will still do my best to get these baby cats out of here, and somewhere I can be confident that they are well cared for, loved and with one of their siblings.
I already had their “piece of home” packages ready with all types of goodies old and new I bought & gathered for them, and I was so well prepared for their departure with tangible goods and formalities yet I neglected to address a couple elephants in the room before it was too late.
 
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catwheel

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Thinking more and more about this..staying up all night..part of me wants to contact the rescue and ask if the nice woman is still interested in these kittens (I also still feel guilt for being too friendly to her and her family member), but I just read the rescue’s message back to me again and I don’t think they will respond well..
I wish I could know how they would respond though.
I just don’t want to go crawling back for nothing and perhaps be stipulated and demanded by the rescue to work with them in a far less desirable manner, should they say yes at all..which I don’t think they will. I could just make things worse for myself by begging.
The very good match and experienced adopter may be long gone anyhow, or they may not have told her that the decision wasn’t black and white.
..And my relative won’t shut up about how much they hate the rescue organization and this and that.
The rescue’s last message to me told me if I “changed my mind” (I was prepared to move forward if they could convince my relative over the phone) that these kittens will not be eligible again for their services.
The message was cold and a bit biting.

Today has been a miserable day and I just wish I had said Yes, despite all of my other concerns..what an absolute disaster.
I’ve been looking and asking around at vet offices and other rescues and most of them don’t reply OR they suggest the rescue that permanently booted me.
I just don’t think my kittens deserve to be punished for human turmoil and reactive pettiness.

I keep looking into the main rescue trying to find more red flags to make me feel better about no longer being able to utilize it (yea..I know lol)..
but even when I find quite a few, I still can’t picture any better option.
There was a review where someone said that the rescue is “for show” and actually used most of its donations for staff paychecks, and the amount of actual staff they have is very small compared to the hundreds of unpaid volunteers..that the amount of animals they helped was minor at best, and donations would be better served to smaller rescues.
It was a pretty scathing and well written review with figures regarding where the money went.
(It’s a very large organization that is not just a rescue, multimillion dollar facility.)
I still don’t know that this being true really takes away from the legitimacy and safety nets of their thorough application and rehoming service though.
But I really don’t know.
The organization caring more about their reputation could be both good and bad..hiding red flags but also perhaps being more thorough to avoid mishaps that would be publicized (which would include something bad happening to my kittens

Hope people don’t mind my rambling..I may just continue to comment and work out my thoughts..and maybe others will come along one day and relate to my experience.
I need this nightmare to be worth something.

I wish the woman interested in my kittens was on this site!
She would definitely be able to tell that this was me..ugh, if only such a happy accident could occur. I am hoping for a miracle for these babies.
 

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I just don’t want to go crawling back for nothing and perhaps be stipulated and demanded by the rescue to work with them in a far less desirable manner, should they say yes at all..which I don’t think they will. I could just make things worse for myself by begging.
I don’t think it’s likely you’ll make things worse by begging.

At worst they say no in a hostile way and your feelings get hurt again, but at least you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you did everything you could to try to make this adoption happen.

And at best they say yes and the adoption happens and two of the kittens get a forever home.

As for concerns about working with them “in a far less desirable manner” - if they say “yes, but” and the but is some stipulation you can’t stand, you can say no again. And the risk of that happening is low - you are a lot more likely to get either a “yes” or a “no” than a “yes, but”.

I think begging them is worth a try. As soon as possible - the sooner you do it the more likely the prospective adopter will still be interested.


There was a review where someone said that the rescue is “for show” and actually used most of its donations for staff paychecks, and the amount of actual staff they have is very small compared to the hundreds of unpaid volunteers..that the amount of animals they helped was minor at best
This is fairly normal for an organization large enough to need staff. Someone who devotes a workweek’s worth of hours to something usually doesn’t have time to work another job too, so you have to pay them or they won’t be able to afford to keep doing that much work for the shelter/rescue.

If they’re hiring paid staff it’s probably because they need them for something they can’t have volunteers do. Usually staff at an organization like this will be working very hard and not paid very much, so I wouldn’t hold it against them that they spend money paying their staff. They’re buying the animals the services the staff provide.
 
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If you can travel to any of the rescues, how about turning up to talk to them face to face about rehoming the kittens?
 
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catwheel

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If you can travel to any of the rescues, how about turning up to talk to them face to face about rehoming the kittens?
Maybe I will try that, I think a lot of rescues don’t have open door policies or allow visiting though.
Some don’t even have their own base locations it seems and they’re more of a network of fosters.

Thank you for the suggestion.
 
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catwheel

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I don’t think it’s likely you’ll make things worse by begging.

At worst they say no in a hostile way and your feelings get hurt again, but at least you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you did everything you could to try to make this adoption happen.

And at best they say yes and the adoption happens and two of the kittens get a forever home.

As for concerns about working with them “in a far less desirable manner” - if they say “yes, but” and the but is some stipulation you can’t stand, you can say no again. And the risk of that happening is low - you are a lot more likely to get either a “yes” or a “no” than a “yes, but”.

I think begging them is worth a try. As soon as possible - the sooner you do it the more likely the prospective adopter will still be interested.




This is fairly normal for an organization large enough to need staff. Someone who devotes a workweek’s worth of hours to something usually doesn’t have time to work another job too, so you have to pay them or they won’t be able to afford to keep doing that much work for the shelter/rescue.

If they’re hiring paid staff it’s probably because they need them for something they can’t have volunteers do. Usually staff at an organization like this will be working very hard and not paid very much, so I wouldn’t hold it against them that they spend money paying their staff. They’re buying the animals the services the staff provide.
Thank you..you’re right, I can always still say No if they only agree with further difficulties..and I’m no stranger to having my feelings hurt..so I guess it would just be more of the same if that happened too.
My head is becoming numb from all the pain.

I will think about it more then, I probably would not be able to wait any longer than the end of the week.
My mother even offered to contact them herself and tell them that she is “in charge now” (meaning overriding my other relative’s involvement) since she doesn’t take any sh*t from anyone and doesn’t get emotional when people are snarky and short like I may.
She was tangentially involved in the process so she knows basically everything and the staff know who she is.
Usually it would be frowned upon to ‘have your mama speak for you’ but considering how wordy/long-winded and emotional I may get, it might be better that way..
However, my other relative’s general way of being, legal ownership and worsened hatred of the rescue could still pose a major problem.

When someone has their name on vet bills and asserts “MINE status” over all of the cats, and I sign my name on the adoption contract, what is their recourse?
If anybody here knows..

They could really screw up my ability to receive updates and keep in contact through the rescue too.

(I would really still want the best for the other two kittens that are somewhat more difficult to adopt out as well.)

As for the funding into staff’s pockets..I mean yea, I
wouldn’t necessarily consider it a deal breaker as long as they stick to a good standard for their services.
The weird thing is that the main two people working with me gave me the impression that they were volunteers..which made me feel worse, and one of them kept saying how much time and effort they put in to make me feel bad even though I was trying very hard to explain to them the nuances of the situation.
I was so thorough with the paperwork as to make their job much easier in the first place.
Then later on I found out that they’re both paid staff and I’ve somehow never even interacted with any of their volunteers.

My mother’s own job actually involves submitting people into a program too, a healthcare service related one, and she said she can spend all the time in the world answering someone’s questions about the program and entering their information, getting them all set..and even then people drop out and there’s nothing she can do about it.
She said they never make the people feel guilty for taking up the time and that they’re always allowed to reconsider at a later date.
So she isn’t happy about how the situation was handled either and she also had mild concerns about the adoption (but she may just be trying to make me feel better about being barred from using the service, and she’s not one to linger on her own concerns about potential adopters unless I push for her opinion).
Of course her work doesn’t seem to involve a third party of an “adopter” sort, so that could be where things diverge.
It is just so strange that the rescue seemed to want to please the adopter above anyone else..usually adopters have the MOST difficultly with rescues and are the ones that the rescue/shelters are more severe and even unkind toward.
With this situation though, I felt like it was being made covertly clear that I would be hurting this potential adopter’s feelings and “devastating” her if I said No or continued to prolong the process, the latter of which I really could not help.

In my research during the aftermath, I saw another person mention that most staff jobs are taken up via nepotism and are given to a lot of younger people with more time on their hands, who don’t hold “real jobs” because they come from very wealthy families so they do menial tasks for organizations like this.
Idk if that holds any truth either but I admit the two main people working with me seemed very young and I was sort of taken aback that the person who was running the rehoming service could have easily been in their 20’s.
The adopter herself appeared more like the type who should be running the show, ironically.

I think years and years of experience would be needed to navigate the management of this type of service where so many emotions and intricacies are involved on all sides.
The person working my case before the day of the meeting was much sweeter and far less firm than the person in the managerial position.
And so were the other two much older staff who I spoke to during the preliminary paperwork phase.
So I wasn’t expecting to suddenly come into contact with a 4th, very different personality that suddenly made me feel more like I was required to say Yes, like I was an ill-fit mother who needed to gift my newborn to a better family to appease both the organization and blot the tears dry of the applicant.
They were already putting the hypotheticals out there that it would be very wrong of me to not see things through..and that was before I had even thought things would really happen that way.
That sent my anxiety off and also during the last phone call where said head staff member was a surprise second party on the line alongside the less brusque person working my case.
I am not saying the head staff member wasn’t trying to be compassionate-they seemingly were, but I don’t think they realized their tone or just how much pressure they were putting me under and the pre-decision excess guilt that ended up further poisoning my ability to think clearly.
I was between a rock and a hard place so I figuratively just put my head down and died I guess.
 

treeclimber

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made me feel more like I was required to say Yes, like I was an ill-fit mother who needed to gift my newborn to a better family
I hope you don’t feel that way. You did a good thing taking the kittens in, and your intention was always rehoming. You are more like a foster than someone who surrenders a cat that they own. You do not deserve any guilt or shame for rehoming, you gave these kittens a chance in the world and are the reason why they are now able to look for forever homes.

I know you weren’t mentally/emotionally prepared for fostering, but now that you are in this situation you may want to read/watch some resources for fosters. It may hurt, but goodbye is the goal, and if you achieve this goal you are a good foster, not an ill-fit mother.

I will think about it more then, I probably would not be able to wait any longer than the end of the week.
Please do it now. Every day that you wait increases the chances the adopter will have adopted different cats and will no longer be able to adopt the kittens.

She sounds amazing, she had patience with the shyer kitten and was even willing to wait to take the kittens home until after the noise/stress of the holidays… don’t let a home like that slip through your fingers!

If the adoption goes through, write a short note with your contact info and ask the rescue to pass it on to her. They can’t give you her contact info, but they might be willing to give her yours. Someone willing to wait until after the holidays to take the kittens to their new home is probably someone who would reach out and send updates if given a way to contact you.
 
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catwheel

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I hope you don’t feel that way. You did a good thing taking the kittens in, and your intention was always rehoming. You are more like a foster than someone who surrenders a cat that they own. You do not deserve any guilt or shame for rehoming, you gave these kittens a chance in the world and are the reason why they are now able to look for forever homes.

I know you weren’t mentally/emotionally prepared for fostering, but now that you are in this situation you may want to read/watch some resources for fosters. It may hurt, but goodbye is the goal, and if you achieve this goal you are a good foster, not an ill-fit mother.



Please do it now. Every day that you wait increases the chances the adopter will have adopted different cats and will no longer be able to adopt the kittens.

She sounds amazing, she had patience with the shyer kitten and was even willing to wait to take the kittens home until after the noise/stress of the holidays… don’t let a home like that slip through your fingers!

If the adoption goes through, write a short note with your contact info and ask the rescue to pass it on to her. They can’t give you her contact info, but they might be willing to give her yours. Someone willing to wait until after the holidays to take the kittens to their new home is probably someone who would reach out and send updates if given a way to contact you.
Thank you for your kind words (and same to all others who have commented), yea..I will try not to let that get to me. I put a lot of effort and love and care into raising these kittens alongside their mother (she is a very good mother, was calling for them to nurse way past the age that is reasonable and all 5 births were seamless, despite the bad spot she decided to have them in).
I feel like I was the co-parent to her babies.
I might as well have been bottle feeding them because I was already awake 24/7 worrying about them anyhow. I was relieved when they got big enough for me to no longer feel the need to watch and hover over them every second.

And yea, I never went searching for kittens and never would have, already knowing the confines of my situation.
I was never planning on bringing another animal into this house but couldn’t bear to see a pregnant mother cat have to raise her babies outside and probably have at least half the litter not survive into adulthood.
It was strange because I had never seen a pregnant cat in our yard the entire time we have lived here.
There is no colony around and usually only a couple cats who would come to eat food left out occasionally.
Maybe one other time I thought I saw a pregnant cat just passing by on one occasion but never like this, where it was plainly obvious.

Alright, I will read up on what fosters do in these situations, namely fosters who have their cats for so long. I just haven’t seen another situation where they are there for the birth and then have them for 7 months.
Usually it’s kittens until they’re adopted by 12 weeks..or taking in cats longer term who are already older when they arrive.
Some fosters seem to fail too though..they end up in my situation where they cannot let go, and they don’t even have the other insanity going on with a second human in the mix.

The facility is only open for a few hours a few days a week (idk why I never realized this until now) so I’ll have to wait until they’re open again if a phone call is to be made.
An email is too easy to ignore and I don’t trust myself to be able to say anything plainly and in short.
(I’d rather not create another record of my humiliation either, if I can help it lol).
I am wondering which staff member I should call too, or if I should resort to the general line..maybe start at the top with one of the people who never really got personally involved with the frustrating aspect of my case.

I spoke with my mother again and she still seemed willing to help..but both of us still don’t know if it’s worth it, main reason being if my other relative were to have legal recourse for having their name on vet papers and claiming ownership.
They (my relative) have settled in the notion that the kittens aren’t going through this rescue and they still won’t shut up about how they detest the rescue now more than ever.
(Surprisingly they are not currently bothered by the woman who wanted to adopt..all their vitriol is being focused on the rescue right now.)
I really don’t know what on earth they will do if we were to actually go through with this, if the place even allows it.
It would be the most significant slight toward my relative that either of us have ever enacted.
But I really at least want CLOSURE about whether the rescue would give the previous adoption plans a second chance or not..I think that’s part of the reason I don’t seem be able to dive head first into other options.
Which is essentially what you meant when you said I would at least have the peace of mind of knowing that I tried.

Ugh yea I would do that with the contact info, the woman’s family member was even more engaging than the woman herself so her family member might be open to that too…
God I wish the rescue would be willing to just give the woman my contact info.. even if the rescue organization themselves is done with me.
They wouldn’t have to invade her privacy either, as it would be a one-way offer of MY contact info, and up to the woman if she felt up to contacting me and figuring something out…maybe doing a contract through another rescue that does courtesy listings (and may also facilitate an adoption if two parties come to them..idk).
But I don’t think this main organization likes to have an adoption occur that they cannot claim credit for.
If it was a smaller rescue, or a 100% volunteer run facility, then I think they would probably be more lenient with me.
But this place is like the big boss in town and there certainly seems to be some corporate ego involved.

Well if I’m able to get something done about this and manage to have a call made, I will try to update with the result of it.
I hope others find this thread and still comment if they have any thoughts or similar experiences, I have trouble finding any posts online that are even close to this nightmare.
 
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catwheel

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Oh and to add to my last response..I have another slightly different idea! (which stems off of tree climber’s)

Even if the rescue doesn’t want to deal with us any longer and refuses to provide the services..we could still call or reach out to them and let them know briefly why the situation ended the way it did..but that if the woman is still interested/looking for kittens, then we request/offer to pass along my contact info.
This takes very little effort on their part and-again-will not invade the woman’s privacy as I am only giving permission to pass along my own contact info.
It would be up to her if she wanted to get in touch.

AND if she didn’t want to get in touch directly, to protect her own privacy, I would add the suggestion that she could reach out to a neutral/local vet or another rescue she is comfortable with, who could use the passed along information to contact us on her behalf.
Then maybe we could meet again at the vet or another safe place and perhaps this new place could also facilitate the adoption and even have options for contracts.
My relative wouldn’t have to be involved and they also wouldn’t be able to blame the rescue.

From some other messages I have received while reaching out to other organizations and researching further, it seems it’s not that uncommon for two parties to approach a neutral vet or a rescue to help facilitate their adoption.
And maybe even pass along updates (or we could use impersonal email addresses to stay in touch occasionally).

I think the only way the current rescue would have an issue with this is if they’re really just THAT pissed at me or can’t get over not being the ones to “close the deal”.
Because somehow I highly doubt that the woman already moved on completely.
If the rescue does not want to pass along the info/message then there will be nothing I can do..and it would really make me question their intentions once again and if they ever had my kittens’ well being as the priority.
I would not buy that they have any policies against this unless they already told the woman something unseemly about us, instead of explaining vaguely why it wasn’t going to work out.
(I was careful not to throw my relative under the bus in an irreversible way and worded things in a manner throughout my previous conversations with the rescue that shouldn’t have left them scared or anything like that. I was actually way too nice to my relative, while still trying to explain why they were a difficulty..)

Not sure if there would be any other issues with this idea but I think it’s better than nothing, and a Plan B if the current rescue doesn’t want to welcome my kittens back directly into their services..they really shouldn’t have an issue with helping them indirectly, for innocent animals’ sake.
 

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I can't speak for that rescue, but speaking on the part of a rescue I used to volunteer at many years ago (before I moved), one thing that frustrated us was when people would seem to be blowing hot and cold about whether or not to hand their pet into rescue, us keeping a cage free just in case they decided "yes", meant that a pet who desperately needed to come into the rescue, had to wait for even longer, as I think you can understand that wasnt a option, leaving a pet that could die out on the streets, cause someone was "do I hand my pet in, don't I, I need the rescue to keep a cage free for me just in case" thing

Another thing that used to happen that really gets to me is we had people who would hand pets in for stupid reasons (for example, redecorating their house then deciding the cat was now the wrong colour and "clashed with the wallpaper" or whatever

Reason I'm saying the second thing, is some of their treatment of you could be that other people have given reasons like that before, so they might be letting emotions be getting in the way
 
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