by Elisa Black-Taylor
Mia is actually a senior cat
Good morning readers. I have a serious situation going on at the moment and I'd like to ask your opinion on how you would handle this if it happened to you.
Our young cat, recently adopted out, is actually a senior cat.
As most of my friends know, our cat Mia recently went to her forever home through a local rescue. We rescued Mia in December of 2010, along with her son Lucky. On her paperwork, Mia was listed by the shelter as being between 2-3 years old.
Mia worked really hard winning over her new adoptive mommy. She showed her affectionate side quite well between staying in her new moms lap and wanting to be petted.
To make a long story short, Mia will be returning to us because she's a senior cat. As it turns out, her new vet says she has a few bad teeth and she's at least ten years old!
This is really messing with my head in the worst way. Mia isn't the only cat we've been told the wrong age on by the shelter. Our Cocoa was listed as being two years old and we later learned from his vet that he's at least seven.
Misty is supposed to be our only senior cat. According to her paperwork from the shelter she's ten now. Yet when I look at her I find myself wondering if she's closer to being a geriatric (at least 15) cat. She has an ancient wisdom behind those green eyes.
We rescued a cat today and took him into foster care. His name is Fox and he only has a few teeth and he's listed as being under a year old.
Now for my dilemma. I never dreamed of returning any of my cats when I found out they were older or had a problem I wasn't aware of at the time of rescue. Perhaps those who adopt see things differently.
Cocoa, Misty, and possibly even our foster son Fox may be with us forever. We love them unconditionally. To us age is just a number. Minor health issues are something to be dealt with. Meaning we keep the cat and get rid of the problems. Not get rid of the cat for something the cat has no control over.
We lost Leigh, who was only two, to a stroke back in the early fall. When we love a cat, we really never know what's in store down the road. Young cats may take sick and die while the very old keep on keeping on.
The lady who loved Mia, who has had Mia for two weeks now, is placing her back with the rescue and she'll be coming back to us next week. How can anyone return a cat because they find out it's older than they were told? I simply couldn't do that. Not only would I not want to put the cat through the trauma, I couldn't stand losing the love of that cat. To have it out of my life forever and never see it again for what is essentially a number that means very little in the grand design we call life.
The regular readers here know what we went through with Cocoa the first month with him. He had an undetermined infection and nearly died. This on top of being told he was at least seven when his paperwork stated he was three years old. It never even crossed my mind to look at him and say "back to the shelter, old boy. You're sick and you're old and I don't want you for those reasons."
Is a ten year old cat less deserving of a good home and love than a three year old cat? Even with the possibility of a little dental work, Mia probably has another ten years or more of life left in her.
She's a model cat. By that I mean she's loving, gets along with others and has good litter box manners. Yet her age is now her downfall.
None of this was meant to deceive the lady who adopted Mia. We simply went by what age we were told by the shelter. And we've never noticed any issue with her teeth.
It's very upsetting that Mia knew the love of a new mommy in a home with only one other cat and now we have to start all over with her. I feel she'll adjust easily. She's a great cat. It's just so unfair!
We'll pick up where we left off with Mia. The rescue will raise funds to treat her tooth problem. We also want another opinion on her age. After all, she had a four month old kitten in December of 2010 when we rescued her. Lucky is still with us. So is she really a senior or is this all a big mistake?
How do all of you feel about this situation? I don't think the adopter feels deceived. She probably had a mind set of a two year old cat living with her for the next twenty years and realized that Mia's time left on earth has been cut in half because of Mia's true age.
It may even put the rescue in a bad light. Just keep in mind we passed along information on Mia that we were given by the shelter.
We've also had sexing mistakes from the shelter. Our Cassie started out as Casper and Sammy was listed as a female on his paperwork. So mistakes are nothing new to us. We've learned to accept that sometimes mistakes are made.
My question in all of this is COULD YOU DO THIS? Could you bring yourself to give up a beautiful, sweet, loving cat for a miscalculation of age and the expense of a little dental work? A cat who you've slept with and held in your lap for the past two weeks. A cat who's done nothing wrong except quadruple her stated age according to the opinion of a vet.
Maybe I'm just a crazy cat lady, but I couldn't even consider giving back a cat as an option. On the other hand, this adopter paid good money and didn't get what she was supposed to get. Meaning a two year old cat with perfect teeth. So in essence she didn't get what she paid for.
I'd love your opinion on this situation. I'll be the first to admit I've really missed Mia. But to get her back under these conditions is just heartbreaking for everyone concerned.
Forgive me for rambling. This is just tragic beyond words. I can see both sides of this issue and it still doesn't put my mind at ease.