Our Young Cat Is A Senior Cat!

by Elisa Black-Taylor
(USA)

Mia is actually a senior cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

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.

Elisa

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Our Young Cat Is A Senior Cat!

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Feb 07, 2012
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Mia is safe
by: Elisa

She's back at the rescue and will have her dental work done in the next day or so. Thursday my friend and foster mommy Anna will take her to her home since my schedule won't work for me to get her until the weekend. Anna and I help each other out a lot. So Mia will be back with me until someone deserving adopts her. My daughter doesn't want Mia to go to anyone else, but Mia is more forgiving of people than they are of her. She needs someone who has lots of cuddle time. We have a lot of special needs cats here. Cocoa is toothless and declawed. Misty is a senior declawed cat. Samantha is terrified of cages so she's up for adoption thru me and not the humane society. We pulled a young cat named Cam who has quite a few teeth missing. She and Fox are fosters we just bought time for as they were to be pts that day. I really don't think that lady will be allowed to adopt thru the rescue again. Mia is right now caring for a 4 month old kitten waiting to be neutered and go to a forever home. She's a very loving cat.


Feb 07, 2012
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So what if cat is older, he/she needs lots of love !!
by: Anonymous

To all, please excuse me while I vent off "so what if cat is older, he/she STILL needs lots of love & is ready to give in kind, but to return a cat because of trivial problems as mentioned by another cat lover, "It's pure BS".
All cats young & old need & deserve a forever home where they will get the love & care with no clauses, conditions or guaranties till death.
No animal or human deserves to be discarded/abandon just because.

Try to have a nice day while thinking about this.
Anonymous


Feb 07, 2012
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A cat lover loves cats w/o conditions !!
by: Anonymous

A true cat lover loves cats without clauses, guaranties, just like our rescues, they love their humans unconditionally till death, which for most of
us cat lovers is a long painful experience.We provide the best care that we can. When we adopt/are adopted we (cats/humans) are family. Our vet make this remark when our 20 yr spayed/blind Tabby passed away "I wish more people felt that way" after I told him that our cats are indeed FAMILY",
Humans were created to have animals in subjection & provide the best care we can, Genesis 1:28

How would we feel if our grown children put us out with the garbage just because we have aged or no loner useful?
I feel just horrible about MIA, but surely she will find a true cat lover that will give her a "furever" home.
keenpetite


Feb 06, 2012
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Don't let her adopt another cat!
by: Jean Hofve, DVM

While I can understand the reluctance to spend (potentially) hundreds of dollars for dental care for a newly adopted cat, this woman doesn't seem like she'll provide a truly "forever" home for ANY cat, if she threw Mia away for such a stupid reason.

It is very difficult to guess a cat's age by the teeth (at least between 2-10 years if age). I have seen horrendous dental disease in young cats, and perfect teeth in 15-year olds that have never been to a vet.

For example, I had to extract 16 teeth in one of my own cats when he was barely a year old (a rescue with no immune system...).

So, in other words, unless he had more evidence than teeth for her age, that vet is an irresponsible fool. Of course, the shelter is no better.

One age marker that I have found helpful is the thinning of the irises, so that the black retina shows through in a "lacy" sort of pattern. I haven't seen this in cats younger than about 12. Not all older cats will develop this, but if you see it, you can be pretty sure it is a senior cat.


Feb 05, 2012
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Respect
by: Michael

In general people still don't respect the domestic cat enough. There is still that lingering culture of the distant past: a cat is something to own. The law supports that concept to this day.

Giving up a cat for a shallow reason is evidence of what I am saying.


Feb 05, 2012
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@Abby
by: Elisa

Tell your 4 year old to enjoy his new cat. Mia's name at the shelter was Abby so she belongs with you!


Feb 05, 2012
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Mia, beautiful at any age
by: Abby's Animal Angels

I agree with most everyone else. In my opinion, returning an animal because you find out they are a different age than you originally thought and need some dental work is purely a financial decision. Obviously her heart had nothing to do with it. We will be taking Mia to the vet on Monday to get her checked out and get an estimate on her dental work. Doesn't matter how much it is, we will make sure and raise it so she can get the care she needs, this girl deserves better! In my honest, brutal opinion, if you aren't attached to her enough to want to keep her after 2 weeks, you don't deserve her in the first place! And as for it making the rescue look bad? We could care less! Our priority is our animals, and Mia is one of the sweetest, most loving girls we've ever placed. We are grateful for all Elisa (and Midnight!) do to care for these sweet babies.


Feb 05, 2012
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Donna
by: Michael

Completely agree with Donna. Whatever happens, after we adopt, we keep the cat.

The moment before adopting is very important. It is a time when we should have the mindset that says, "this is for life".

If we don't have that, we should not adopt.


Feb 05, 2012
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Couldn't, wouldn't...
by: Donna

I could never return a cat for age or any other reason. My Zippy cost me thousands of dollars when she came here, heck, I had to sell my car to pay her vet bills and still, 15 years later, here she is. I think if you adopt a cat, or the cat adopts you, it's for life. Good, bad, cheap, expensive. I have one with dental problems, one with IBS, one that it took almost 4 years to get to come out of hiding and I never once considered giving them back or getting rid of them. Zippy thinks outside the box, as in, she pees on my carpet in the office and bedroom. I clean it up and go on, Speedy gets runny poop and sometimes doesn't make it to the litter box, I clean it up and go on. What difference does age make, or bad teeth. Unless she didn't want to spend money on Mia...and her vet may have made the mistake, not the shelter. Our vet guesstimated Speedy's age as 5 when we brought him in but after contacting the woman who rescued him (from a barn on her property where he was born) we knew for sure he was 8 months.


Feb 05, 2012
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@Pam
by: Midnight Munchkin

Stitch says he got a ride to you by early summer so he see you then. Mia good cat. She gives kitty baths to any of us like we wuz her own. This was sposed to be good cat lady. She passed all the written tests. Hoomans sure can weird out over nuthin.


Feb 05, 2012
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Poor Mia
by: Diane

I think if you take an animal in you're taking the responsibility no matter what and you do your best for that animal. Maybe it's a good thing she (Mia) was returned, if that was the only thing the person had against her was age I hate to see what would happen when any other difficulties came up. I have a cat I got as a kitten from a shelter and she will be 17 in two months, I had a cat who I raised from a kitten who died suddenly from a blood clot at age 7, I had another cat I got as a kitten from a shelter who got cancer at age 7 (we treated him and had another 6 months where he was able to run and play but it spread throughout his lymph nodes...). There are no guarantees about length of life, or health for the human or the pet. They become a member of your family and deserve to be loved unconditionally. As for the age mistakes, I guess the best way to handle it is to let people know where you got your info about the cat when they adopt them?


Feb 05, 2012
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Mia the Cat
by: Miryha

What a beautiful cat!


Feb 05, 2012
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You know my opinion!!
by: Pam Stark

It is so sad for Mia that this person gave her back due to her teeth! I could not imagine giving back Tink to her original owner, she is my love and my buddy!! She turned 11 on Feb 2, so she is a senior cat, and it would break my heart to give her away even after having her for only two weeks! What happened to unconditional love? Has it not occured to people that they give it to us, and we need to love our pets unconditionally!!! So, I do not fgeel you are wrong and I am sure in my heart Mia will do okay! After all, she still has you to love her!! Hugz and kitteh kissez!


Feb 05, 2012
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Age makes no difference!
by: Christine Belk

I would never return a cat because of age! Maybe her issue is that she didn't get what she paid for, but this isn't an appliance or a piece of furniture- this is a living being- the welfare of the cat should be the primary issue! One of our dogs is a senior (a rescue- her owner died and the daughter couldn't have pets in her apartment) and we think she's around 14. She is the sweetest, most loving dog you could imagine, but still full of spunk! Even young cats can get sick or have health problems and seniors are usually more settled. I really don't see age as being an issue.


Feb 05, 2012
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Young Senior?
by: rebecca Ventouris

I have two senior cats 11 and 12 years old. I adopted them when my friend died. You would never know they were that old by the way they look and play. They were picked up on Foreclosed Upon Pets Page when she first passed away and they listed them as young. Don't feel bad about the mistake, if they are well taken care of, they are forever young. I am dismayed that the adopter is returning her but, maybe it is for the best. She will be happy in a new home where she will receive the love she deserves.


Feb 04, 2012
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Our young cat is a seniour cat.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

This is definitely a "Commercial Decision" by the owners who adopted the cat from the shelter. Maintenance of a cat with "Vet Bills", "Food Bills" and personal care is very expensive in the Developed World as also in Developing country's like India. Hence numerous pets are abandoned on frivolous reasons, most common being that the pet, either a cat or dog outgrew its kitten or puppy charm.Its a sad fact of life of most abandoned and stray pets .


Feb 04, 2012
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Cats come with unconditional guaranty !!
by: Anonymous

As cat lovers/rescuers/helpers that we are ( I'm speaking for everyone that owns/owned by a cat we accept them as they are & do the best to care for them as family till the end of thier lives.
In the past 50 yrs we have adopted, rescue & helped cats young & old, we love them as part of our family
without clauses or conditions, cat are very intuitive & as soon as the enter their furever home they are more than ready to show deep gratitude to their humans.
I shudder to think that due to a minor problem I'd be coerced/forced to return my furry friends, eg one of our rescues Panchita was quite older than we tought but she remained with us till the last day, even waited for my husband to come home, few minutes later she passed away in the comfort & love of my husbands arms. A rescue goes way beyond to show appreciation to her/his rescuers. Altruistic indeed !
Cats deserve unconditional till they die!

keenpetite


Feb 04, 2012
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I could never do that
by: Aimee

I have one baby who is just a month shy of his 21st birthday, the youngest I'm not sure of as my neighbors left and left the cats as well. IF there was some life threatening problem that I couldn't afford that turning the cat to a shelter would help.. then I MIGHT consider it.. but because of age? NEVER. Though as another commenter pointed out.. we don't really know all of the other side. Still.. They are MINE day one. LOL Though I admit my goal was to foster Indy and Libby.. the are indeed foster fails.


Feb 04, 2012
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Who are they?
by: Michael

Elisa, you say "I've been there in the evenings and people be lined up down the sidewalk to throw away their pets."

Who are these people? Can you categorize them or are they from all walks of life?


Feb 04, 2012
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devil's advocate
by: RavynG

First let me say that I would never consider returning a cat that I have come to love and love's me back because of age. I have 4 inside cats now who are 15,11,10 1/2 and 6. But having just gone thru having to have my 14 year olf Akita put down last year after a few months of bad health, I can understand the not feeling that you can go thru the heart-ache.

Maybe Mia's Mommy is not emotionally prepared to think of losing her so quickly, or dealing with senior issues. (I know that no one has ever explained to me anything about older pets and the health issues and how a pet comes to old age and death. It is davastating to watch someone you love decline and suffer.) And maybe Mia's Mommy thought it would be better to make the break after only 2 weeks then to prolong the inevitable. Maybe she was thinking it would give Mia a better chance without taking up any more of her precious time?

I would consider these things myself under the same circumstances, but I know my decision would be different than hers was. Do not despair someone making a decision based on self-wisdom and compassion, if indeed it was more than just being a flake (and who would want that lovely girl to live the rest of her life with a flake anyway?)


Feb 04, 2012
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the shelter mistakes
by: Elisa

This shelter took in more than 20000 animals last year. Then a neighboring county closed its intake so my shelter I rescue from also gets those now. You're easily looking at 50000 abandoned pets for 2012. They have a rescue coordinator who works very hard to get the cats off of death row. I've been there in the evenings and people be lined up down the sidewalk to throw away their pets. I don't blame Mias adopter for anything. I just couldn't do it myself unless faced with large vet bills I couldn't pay that would put the cat at risk. I wonder how many shelter adoptions are returned for similar issues. At least Mia isn't facing shelter abandonment. One thing I will say is if an adopter is looking for a playful cat I have few of those. Mine are lazy lap cats who follow you to bed at night. Cocoa would have been difficult to determine his age because of his teeth. He has 1 tooth in his entire head. And declawed on all 4 paws.


Feb 04, 2012
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Sad
by: Anonymous

Since we are only getting one side of this story, it's hard to judge the woman returning Mia. She may have several reasons for returning Mia, or age could be the only reason. Money for vet bills for a senior cat could be a problem for her. Maybe Mia didn't turn out to be the kind of cat she was looking for and is using the excuse of her age for the reason she is returning her. We just don't know what is going on in her mind. Looking at Mia's photo she sure doesn't look like a senior to me.

I'm more curious and concerned about this shelter that keeps making mistakes with ages and sex of their rescues.


Feb 04, 2012
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young at heart
by: rat

This brought tears to my eyes. Mia or any other cat are beautiful no matter wot age. I have taken on kittens an old cats other the years, an wouldn't dream of letting go of any of them.


Feb 04, 2012
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crazy
by: Jeannine Lafrenière

When I comment "beautiful" I though you were asking about the photo... I find this cruel and disgusting. I have a 18years "young" cat and I wouldn't never think of ending his life because he is getting old... What is wrong with this people?
She is a gorgeous cat and deserve more better than them...


Feb 04, 2012
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She's not a cat lover
by: Ruth

I don't know how this person can be so cold hearted as to return Mia because of her age. I don't think she should ever be allowed to adopt a cat again.
To take a cat into your home and win her love and trust then discard her because of her age isn't the action of a person who truly loves cats. She obviously hasn't given a thought to how Mia will feel being one of many cats again.
One of the 15 cats abandoned here was diagnosed with cancer not long after being adopted, so did the lady return him ? No she didn't, she cared for him and made him happy for as long as he had quality of life, then she had to see the cat she had grown to love PTS !
That's what I call a true cat lover,putting the cat first, not someone like that person rejecting poor litle Mia !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Feb 04, 2012
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no return
by: Anonymous

I would not return an animal in such a situation, UNLESS it was financially the only option that would be in the animal's best interest, as I am not wealthy by far. Fortunately though I have a vet who gives us a break on treatment, which allows us to keep our 12 y/o Golden who has a growth on his tongue and swollen lymph nodes and our 11 y/o cat and 15 y/o cat, who have not had any major health issues thank goodness. Regarding Mia, it doesn't seem to me that her age and teeth issues should be any good reason to return her to the shelter, it seems pretty cold to me.


Feb 04, 2012
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we don't allow
by: Elisa

We don't allow a cat to leave us that I don't think would survive a situation such as this. I've been accused of being selfish for not wanting each cat I've rescued to have their own home. Cocoa, Misty, Lucky, Tom, Gizzy, Annabelle and Pippa are with us for life. They all have issues that we just don't want to upset the balance we've worked so hard to achieve with them. I just find it ironic we're keeping them BECAUSE of emotional/physical problems yet some can't see the beauty behind special needs or senior cats. When I have to beg for money to continue their care, its not a situation where I can remove them from my home to reduce costs. These cats depend on us. They've been thru hell and it stops here. Yes we spoil them because they deserve it. Mia could probably handle several more transfers. I'm the one having trouble with the issue.


Feb 04, 2012
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Not in my world...
by: Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey

I hate to say it, but I've heard of people returning pets because they don't match the furniture of the house... Never, ever would I return a pet, it is completely deplorable, but I also find it upsetting that shelters feel they have to stretch the truth to adopt a pet.

Senior cats are infinately wise, but statistics show that they are very difficult to adopt. It really is a shame and I don't know what the solution is...


Feb 04, 2012
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SHE DOESNT DESERVE A CAT IF AGE MATTERS NOW
by: Angela

If she fell in love with this cat what does age matter. EITHER WAY an animal may or may not need medical treatment throughout its life so if she is worried about $$$ for dental she probably wouldnt have bothered with other important needs throughout this cats life EVEN if it were a younger cat. TO THROW AWAY this LOVING ANIMAL WHO DID NOTHING except be a little older IS B.S. this cat has another good 10+ years to her!!! AND ISNT PERSONALITY WHAT SHOULD MATTER MOST HERE, how you and the animal interact, WELL THAT SEEMED OK SO WHATS THE ISSUE. Just seems selfish to me, IF ANYTHING I would want to make sure she had the last years sitting on my lap right where she wanted to be.


Feb 04, 2012
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Ages Given by Shelters
by: Karen

I've learned through fostering that you have to take the ages given by shelters as pure guesswork. I've fostered dogs and cats who were determined by private vets to be 2 to 8 years older than stated in their paperwork from the shelter.

I can understand that someone would be concerned about adopting an older cat or dog due to expense and the fear of eventual loss. I've been there many times, and it hurts to lose your babies at whatever age. This woman thought she was getting a much younger cat, and I can sympathize with her, but my heart will always hurt for the cat or dog who is turned away after thinking it had a forever home. They can't understand human thinking, and sometimes neither can I.


Feb 04, 2012
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my opinion
by: Anonymous

That is the most pitiful excuse I have ever heard in my life! If you fall in love with a cat and agree to adopt it and take care of it then age should not matter. In fact, if that happened to me, when I found out she was much older than was thought, I would love her even more and spoil her and pamper her, and APPRECIATE her for being a senior! That lady does not deserve a cat at any age! Just my opinion..


Feb 04, 2012
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Age should not matter!!
by: Cathy McGuire (lynn)

I believe when you pick out a shelter pet, their's an instant "bond" between you. It shouldn't matter what they're age is or if they have a medical problem. You don't get rid of your kid's just b/c they get older and/or have a medical issue araise. That's just not right for someone to return a pet, for any reason, adopting is for "life", your's or their's.


Feb 04, 2012
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If this had been
by: Elisa

If this had been a life threatening illness I could understand her return. Mia is a very healthy cat and only needs some minor dental work. I'm curious to hear what the readers say.


Feb 04, 2012
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Commercial
by: Michael

I find this upsetting really. It is what I call a commercial decision, meaning it lacks heart.

Mia obviously got on nicely and the adopter liked her. Surely that is enough?

Perhaps the adopter thought that Mia did not have that long to live and did not want to go through a death. A cat's death is tough for all to go through.

However, I would doubt that because at ten years of age she should have 5-8 years and more ahead of her.

I certainly could not give up a cat I had adopted for whatever reason. I firmly believe that and adoption is for the life of the cat whatever happens. You can always find a way to stick together but some people find a reason why they have to give up their cat. I don't always believe the reasons.


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