I Adopted Your Grieving Cat

Ginger is grieving herself to death

Ginger is grieving herself to death

I adopted your grieving cat last week. You said you couldn't care for her any longer because of your health. Your cat would have been better off with you than she is with me. Even if a neighbor or friend had to come in and put down food. Any arrangement where you could have seen her on occasion and let her know you still loved her.

Instead, you took her to the animal shelter. You'd already confused her once by having her declawed. You put her in agony and she didn't know what she did wrong to deserve having part of her toes cut off. You left her at your vet overnight when you did this. The next day you came back and took her home.

This is what your cat thought you were doing when you took her to the shelter last week. Did you know she'd end up on the euthanasia list? She's ten years old and she bites. Neither makes her desirable to those looking for a cat to love.

Your cat watched you say goodbye to her for the last time, believing you'd be back for her in a day or two like before. She sat in a small cage in a room full of other cats and patiently waited for you. In the other room, dogs were continuously barking. Your cat wasn't used to that. It upset her. Add the noise to the abandonment and the strange surroundings and picture yourself in her place.

"What did I do wrong?" she asks herself. Along with other questions such as "will there be pain" and " when can I go home." She doesn't understand this is forever. You'll never see each other again.

I adopted your grieving cat. She's the first cat in over a year who's come into my home without an essence. Her name at the shelter was Saber. I'm going to call her Ginger because she's a beautiful long haired ginger tabby. Now all I have to do is to find where Ginger has hidden her soul and convince her that life is worth living without you.

I'm not used to cats with no essence. They frighten me more than the angry cats, injured cats and unwanted cats. To look in Ginger's eyes and see nothing and feel no emotion coming from her is strange for me. I'm not sure if I can reverse what your abandonment has done to her.

She does appear to like me. Meaning she hasn't bitten me yet. She even sleeps on my bed now. Not in a comfortable position, mind you. She crouches down, head bowed, eyes lifeless. She does like having her ears rubbed.

Ginger won't eat and she's skin and bones. I can't feel a muscle anywhere. I CAN feel every bone along her spine. She sat in the shelter for a week waiting on your return before I showed up to save her. She's now being syringe fed. We're wetting down canned food and mixing it with kitten replacement milk. Anything to get some nourishment into her. She also had a vitamin B injection last night to stimulate her appetite. It didn't work. The vet has always told me a vitamin B injection makes a cat feel better. Too bad it won't heal a broken heart.

She's also going to be given a subQ(subcutaneous fluids) drip over the next several days. This mean I'll have to stick a needle under her skin and administer fluids twice a day just to keep her alive. I don't like needles. I've been known to pass out at the sight of one. Yet I'm doing this to save the cat you no longer wanted. I have to do this or she'll die. She'll sit on a cat tree while my daughter controls the flow of the life saving fluid. We have a nail in the wall behind the cat tree for just that purpose. The fluid bags hangs at a good angle from there.

I'll probably have to move the needle two or three times as the fluid lump forms under the skin on her starving body. She's not going to enjoy this. That's okay. I'm not going to enjoy it either. I'll hold her by the neck with my left hand and pet her while holding the needle in place with my right hand. She may bite me. I'll have to take that risk as there are no choices left except euthanasia or waiting for Ginger to grieve herself to death.

Would it really have been so hard for you to put down a bowl of food and water each day? Did you turn her in due to your bad health or hers? Or did she end up in the shelter on death row because you didn't want an old, skinny cat? I understand things happen in life. If you'd known Ginger would be at risk of DYING, would you still have taken her to the shelter?

Never mind....anytime a cat is turned into a shelter, the risk of death is there. Whether by euthanasia or grief, dead is dead. Should my health deteriorate to the point I can't care for my cat, I'd try desperately to find a friend, a family member, a church member to care for my cat. Did you even ask anyone for help?

I'm in a race here because of what you felt you had to do. I have to somehow convince Ginger that she's loved and wanted. All the while hoping we can nourish her body enough to where she'll want to eat on her own. Right now all I can see in her eyes is death. She doesn't want to live without you. I only hope we can save her. She'll have a permanent home with us if we can. I don't ever want her to go through this again.

I just wanted to let you know, I adopted your grieving cat.

NOTE:
This article is different than any I've ever written. Ginger is in very bad shape. She reminds me of Misty at the time of her rescue last year. Ginger is heartbroken, won't eat, won't stretch out to sleep. Her owner supposedly turned her into the shelter for health reasons. It would have been better to have found a family member to care for Ginger.

I think of all the cats turned into the shelter by their owners. They sit there and wait for the one they love to come back and take them home. For many, no rescue is ever coming. I wonder how many cats are euthanized with their last thought being "where is the one I love and why am I here?"

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I Adopted Your Grieving Cat

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May 07, 2012
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RIP
by: Kat

I just read the comments and am disheartened to hear Ginger passed, but at least she was loved. Elisa you did a wonderful thing for her, by bringing her home and saving her from the shelter and showing her what family and love is.

It saddens me further to know people drop off "strays" and "ferals" at shelters.

I worked for a no-kill shelter that only took in cats, and when they reached max. capacity (several HUNDRED cats) people continued to drop them off in boxes....it's sickening. I also worked for a kill shelter, but didn't stay there for more than a few days..there were only ~7 cats in their 'adoptable' cat room, and I saw nearly 30 cats come in that day. Only 1 or 2 people came in to adopt, and both were there for a dog. At the no-kill shelter no one EVER came looking to adopt.. In reality, people who surrender animals (especially cats) are usually NOT their owners. More than half of them are people dropping off animals they "found". Every time I wonder if there's someone out there with a lost pet.

In my personal opinion, cats should never be in a shelter, even if they are found wandering outside. It would bother me more to dump an animal (that may be a lost pet or pet ALLOWED outdoors) off at a shelter, saying they are stray or wild simply because they were outside and may act unfriendly. That doesn't mean anything, and they may only be friendly with their owner, but it doesn't mean they are wild or abandoned just because they are outside. I couldn't live with myself knowing that animal may already have a home.

We feed all "stray/feral" cats and other people's outdoor pets (and have our own cats that we've had their WHOLE lives and are indoor-only), but would never DREAM of taking any of the ones outside to the shelter or even in our home, unless they were injured or kittens, because any adult cat that is found outside could have a family already. I would get them fixed and other vet care, and let them back outside where I found them. But I would still put up tons of FOUND flyers and be willing to give them back to their family if they have one. If shelters did TNR with all cats entering their shelters as stray or feral at least, then none of those cats at least would be put down or re-homed because there's always a possibility they have someone out there looking for them. Then people wouldn't have to worry that if their lost pet is at a shelter it may have been put down. TNR would mean that the only cats at the shelter are actual owner surrenders, and with half as many coming in that way, it would give them twice the chance to be adopted into a loving home.


May 07, 2012
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Soo so sad but too often true 🙁
by: Kat

I'm in tears as I write. This is so moving and so sad..I don't know how anyone can bring their pet to a shelter and abandon them for some stranger to kill or take home. It's heart-breaking. Hopefully Ginger will realize that even though her last owner gave up on her, it's not her fault, and that you love her and always will. Thankfully she ended up with someone caring and understanding, and patient enough to wait for her to be back to herself. Most people would have only added to her trauma by returning her to the shelter again for not being 'happy and affectionate' etc. which I find deplorable. They were left there for dead and people want to adopt the happy cat there. Most people don't help the ones who need it most.

Our one cat, Virgo, we got from someone in an apartment who'd gotten the 'cute kitten' for his new girlfriend, and when they broke up, he threw her in the trunk of his car to drive to the pound and was going to 'personally request' she be euthanized. It disgusted me, and she was still only a few months old.. and my sister's ex who lived in the same apartment caught him put her in the trunk and said he'd take her. When my sister moved back home she brought her here and here she still is and much loved and happy, nine years later. <3


May 07, 2012
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One of the saddest stories I've ever read
by: Leah (England)

I cried when I read about Ginger Elisa; I'm so sorry the poor little girl at least she is now at peace no more pain no more anguish and fear.

I hate with all my heart those who just give up their animals because it no longer suits.

I had my last cat for 17 wonderful years and I loved him with all my heart he never knew a day of fear or what it was like not to be loved.

I pray for all those poor lost souls sat in cages wondering what they did that was so wrong that they ended up there.


May 07, 2012
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Excuses
by: Elisa

I see people lined up down the sidewalk at this shelter. Waiting to turn in "strays" that smell of perfume and detergent. Do they just scoop them up from a nap to throw them away? There's a good chance Gingers owner wasn't sick. I see lots of excuses at the shelter. No time, plays too much, won't play, allergic. My favorite is "change in lifestyle." What does that mean? I save as many as I can. Ginger is the second adult cat we've lost in a year and a half. She was turning into a great bed buddy but she had a lot of health problems. She weighed less than 5 lbs.


May 07, 2012
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Wonderful story...
by: Anonymous

I love that you told this story. It really made me reflect on the treatment given to shelter animals, and how much they miss their owners.

Thank you...


May 06, 2012
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cool cats
by: Anonymous

i lost my cat i had for 18 years. she was a rescue and in her honor the next two i got were rescues. one is a kitten and the other is 3years old and is missing her front left leg. she is so cool and fast. i have wanted a 3 legged cat for some time. no idea why i jsut think they are cool,and everyday she reminds me why i think this. i hope both will live a good long time and have healthy lives and i hope my old cat keeps an eye on them i told spook before she passed she was welcome to come back whenever she wanted and that to find a nice spot to wait for me because when i die i will come and get her.


May 06, 2012
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what you gave
by: WildCelticRose

You gave what you could, love, and comfort.

Ginger did not die alone in a shelter, she died feeling love and being comforted.

While it is not the outcome you, or anyone else who cares wanted; it was the best you could do and I am most certain that it did matter and did make a difference.


May 06, 2012
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I die before i give my babies up.
by: cathy

it is so sad people do this,cause their never home,they don't have time,the allergic. I would and never could give my babies up. They are my life and i know i am theirs. It kills me to no end to know people do this everyday. WHY??? cats do grieve trust me i know. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and my husband said they were so sad. When i talked to my husband he let me talk to my babies. I know the nurses thought i was crazy but so be it. My husband said they knew my voice and their ears pearked up when i talked to them. I am sick to go anywhere cause i don't think anyone can take care of them like me. I wish i had the places to save cats. I am a huge cat person and the older i get the more i want. But for their safety i have 2 inside a few outside. God Bless the rescues that save and try to help all the kitties. Its a hard job but i truely one day would love to do that too.


May 06, 2012
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Help!
by: Elizabeth Blackwell Anonymous

So sad it made me cry, Elisa.. I, too have took in so many animals that I don't know how I could take in one more. I do wish everyone would help with this problem but don't want their help if they can't love and give them a good home.. They have feelings same as we do.. Love you for what you do, Elisa... Keep up the good work. GOD is going to put a lot of stars in your crown.


May 06, 2012
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Healing sleep
by: Barbara

So very sorry that Ginger didn't make it, I think she maybe couldn't believe that there was anyone to love her. This world is so unfair, why are some beautiful animals treated so callously. Bless her little soul,and bless you for trying to save her. RIP beautiful girl. xxx

Barbara avatar


May 06, 2012
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Poor Ginger, resting @ last !
by: Anonymous

So tragic when an animal is discarded just because she/he doesn't fit in or novelty has worn off. Ginger was betrayed by the one she loved, she died from a broken heart but @ least she was loved & well cared for to the end

We have been cat lovers/rescuers/helpers for over 50 yrs. All cats have been rehomed with loving, caring people. Most cats we have adopted were abandoned by callous people. Our last rescue, a young Tortie was determined for my husband to provide a much needed home, as a cat lover he was ready to provide a loving home. We named her Scarlett O'Hair (Gone with the Wind)she's been with us 8 yrs, loving & well behaved.

Not giving her a loving home never entered our minds.

keenpetite

Southeast Arizona (USA)


May 06, 2012
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Heart breaking
by: Ruth

Elisa I'm so sad for you and Laura and for poor Ginger who came into your care too late to enjoy being loved and well cared for as she should have been all her life.

R.I.P dear little Ginger, I have a few tears every day for cats suffering just like you did x

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


May 05, 2012
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Tragic to let heartbreak a cat !
by: Anonymous

As cat lovers/rescuers/helpers we would NEVER allow a pet to suffer heartbreak just because he/she no longer fits in or novelty wore off.

The number of dogs/cats we've rescued is enormous

the one that comes to mind first was a young Tortie

My husband found her in an abandoned house very close to our home, her teats were hard with milk but apparently her kittens were placed before owner absconded. She took a strong liking to my husband but dislike our son with Mild Cerebral Palsy.Took her to vet for vaccinations & spaying. This was 7/81

In 1990 we moved to smaller town & both our cats came with us. She passed away in my husbands arms in 12/92, as I told her vet " she did great for being 20, then he says "Mam, Panchita was at least 24 yrs old, I wish more pet owners cared for their pets the way you do"

I simply thank him & said we consider them family.

Cat lover/rescuer/helper

keenpetite

Southeast Arizona (USA)


May 05, 2012
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i went to heaven today
by: Anonymous

I went to heaven today. You sat by my side as I drew my last breath. I drew comfort from your warm fur and soft purring. It saddened me to know that I wouldn't be there to be your comfort. What was going to happen to you my furry little love? The only family I have is you and a Niece who is allergic to you. I fear for you my precious kitty. Please don't grieve for me. My neice promised me she would find you a home.

Please be at peace. I loved you as you have loved me. I'm sorry, but I have to go...the angels are here for me.

People, it is so easy to take up the cause of shelter animals. U to think it deplorable. But do not be so quick to judge every case, the same way. You never know the real story behind the animal you have rescued. All you can do is try to live them, and save them. Thank you Elise for taking such good care of Ginger. May you always be her reason for living. And and may she be yours as well.


May 05, 2012
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So sad
by: Ruth

Elisa you have me in tears and like you I really don't know how anyone can ever ever, leave their cat and walk away.
Poor little Ginger, despite all your loving care it sounds as if she has lost the will to live.
She is one of many victims whose cruel or ignorant owner(NOT caretaker because people who do these things do NOT care for their cats, they use them as disposable posessions) had her toe ends amputated and eventually didn't want her around any more.
Rescue Shelters are full of cats who shouldn't be there, dumped by their owners with flimsy excuses, they haven't even the guts to simply say the cat is unwanted!
It makes me angry and it makes me sad.
What makes me glad is that there are people like you and your Laura trying your best to give as many of these sad cats a bit of happiness.
I hope that the person who so callously left Ginger and also any others who have dumped their cats, read this heartfelt page you have written and feel guilty for the rest of their days.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


May 05, 2012
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she didn't make it
by: Elisa

I think at the end she knew she was loved. She was just in too bad a condition to save. She passed peacefully a little after 10am


May 05, 2012
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Such a sad story
by: Anonymous

This is such a sad, heartwrenching story, I'm so sorry for Ginger and I can well understand your anger, thank goodness you saved her. What a selfish, ignorant, uncaring previous "owner" she had, there IS no excuse for casting a cat aside.

Barbara avatar


May 05, 2012
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I cried too
by: Ruth (Monty's Mom)

How sad to be both declawed and abandoned. Maybe had she not been declawed Ginger could find some comfort and relief in the pleasures of using her claws. We all need things that help us cope with life's stresses and strains. I like to read, write, listen to or make music, get some exercise, walk outside or even go for a swim. What does Ginger have? Playing isn't as fun without claws. Climbing isn't as safe. She can't hook into something with her claws and pull giving her muscles a good workout. She doesn't have the pleasure cats get from scratching. I know Monty enjoys it!

If Ginger could be given back her claws I think she'd come back to life. Sadly, we can't do that for her. Elisa works miracles for cats all the time, but that's one thing even she can't do-- give Ginger back her claws. Yet for Ginger I fear it is the one thing needful.


May 05, 2012
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she didn't make it
by: Elisa

She died peacefully a little after 10am. By the time she knew she was loved it was too late. Ginger had some serious medical issues. Her previous owner probably didn't want to deal with.


May 05, 2012
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stupid people
by: kimberly kennedy

why are people so stupid.....i have 4 dogs all rescues...2 stray cats....3 turtles...a g. pig...and 3 hermit crabs...oh did i mention 4 children one of which has brain cancer..and a husband...all are members of our family we would never abandon anyone, my children have been raised we can bring any animal home but then no matter what we are responsible for them everyday of their life. not just while it is conveinent or they are healthy....we take care of one another....animals are to be part of your family healthy or sick, would these people leave a child when they move? get rid of a child when they are sick? my heart tells me yes, if it were legal. i would take in every stray and homeless pet if i could.....pleae start putting these irresponsible ownwers down instead of these helpless babies


May 05, 2012
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Tears
by: Michael

This brought tears to my eyes. The sadness is almost unbearable. I fear she won't make it.

Ginger, though, is not unique. There are hundreds of thousands more like her.



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