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Leaving my cat behind :(

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default Leaving my cat behind :(

I'm moving across the country this August. The problem is, most places don't allow pets and the carry-on policy is pretty ridiculous for pets ($125!). I don't think I can afford it.

I love my cat. She's my best friend, she's lived in my room with me since she was 6 weeks old and I love her so much. She literally follows me everywhere and is not attached to anyone else in my house. She 100% bonded with me.

I really don't want to leave her...but I might have to leave her in my parent's care. I want her to be happy and I don't know if she'll miss me. I go and visit the place where I'm moving occasionally for 2 weeks at a time and my mom tells me that when I'm gone she's a wreck. I'm also afraid she's going to bond with someone else and if I ever want to go home and get her she's not going to be happy with me. The thought of my cat forgetting me is so sad!

Am I overreacting because it's a cat? What should I do, just suck it up and leave her at home? I can't really put my life on hold because of my cat...but I've considered it!
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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I'd have a hard time leaving my cat behind, too.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:33 PM   #3
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I don't think you are overreacting. Check your new place see if they take pets.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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Not sure if this is doable but could you check with the animal rescue organization in your area and see if they can assist you with transporting the cat across the country Like they do rescue animals? Also, I'm not sure where you are moving to but usually there are lots of places that allow pets if you do some checking around. You are not overeacting. You and your cat have been best pals for a long time and I am sure you will both miss eachother. Best of luck.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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It's a lamp if it is just set on a bedside table. A pet is a part of the family. Perhaps you can send for her after you find a place and are settled.

When I left Pensacola to move to Calif, I had to leave Benny, my cat. I knew that my mom wouldn't keep him. She hated him. She, with my permission, gave him to my sister. My sister had 5 kids, who loved him, and a huge property. They were to keep him until I found a place that would allow him. I couldn't remove him after I heard all the tales of his adventures.

She might settle in with your mom after you are gone and she accepts that you aren't there.
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Old 05-15-2011, 02:46 PM   #6
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My cats are my kids so I would never leave them behind, it simply isn't an option. Keep trying, I bet you can find a way to make it work. $125 is a lot when you don't have it, but I'd hate to see such a small sum of money be a deciding factor in this
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:29 PM   #7
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It's not really a small sum, I didn't tell the whole story. I'm moving to a college town and I really need a place for August but I waited way too long to find one so now my options are limited. Everything is fully rented for the Fall semester. Right now I have two options:

$320 a month all utilities included, doesn't allow pets. Nice area in a nice apartment complex.
$280 a month utilities not included, allows pets but in a bad area. I read horror stories about the management and how there's a lot of crime. My cat probably wouldn't be happy there anyway.

Or move to a nice pet-friendly place that goes up to $550 per month including utilities which I can't afford.

Not sure what to do .
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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Oh man, Linsy. I totally know how you feel and kinda funny how one part of your post is similar to mine- I've had my Shadow since she was 6 weeks old, raised her in my old room (because there were other animals in the house at the time) and she is only 100% bonded to me, no one else. I practically think of her as my child! When I moved to AZ from KS, my mom did not want me to bring my cats but I told her that they were part of the package so if they don't come, I don't come either. She now lovessssss them, go figure! ha.

I know it will be hard but at least your parents will take care of her, it's not like you have to give her away (thankfully!) Maybe later you will get some extra money or be able to find a better place that will allow pets, you can come and get her? I doubt she will forget you.

PS this might be dumb but it seemed to kinda work- when I left for vacations for more than 2 weeks, my cat was kinda sad so I sent a few voice and/or video recordings and my ex played them for her.... Maybe webcam/skype to home often.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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Do you suffer from depression that your cat helps regulate, high blood pressure that your cat helps to lower, etc? Would leaving your at behind trigger a clinical depression? If so and the housing you go rent from is covered under the FHA then you would qualify for a companion animal. This is VERY DIFFRENT from a service animal. You cannot take your cat in public or anything like that, it ONLY applies to the fair housing act. If so then you would need to have your doctor write a statement as to the medical necessity of the cat to your well being and health and your no pet housing must allow your cat and can not charge you a pet deposit. You are still reasonable for any damage the cat makes and the cat can not disturb the neighbors by meowing non stop etc (mostly issues with dogs). If you need to know more you are welcome to privately message me.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
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I know how you feel. When i was in college I had to leave mt cats in my in laws care. They were fine though, I visited weekly. I did it because I had to, but I knew they'd be cared for. Cats can get depressed, after Bunny died it was just me and moe and I had to leave him for a couple months with my mom, he bonded with her and he was fine. But, as soon as I got him back it was me and him again and he ignores everyone else again.

Do what you have to do, but if he starts getting depressed you should have a plan just in case. I had to move a lot and move my cats with or without me a lot. The last move, Bunny died a few weeks after. He started getting very sick, wouldn't eat, use the bathroom, drink nothing. I spent over 500 dollars, I can't say if something was wrong no one really knew, or if he was just stressed and depressed.

After it though, I still blame myself. I loved my boys so much I moved them everywhere with me, and that isn't good for them either.

Weigh your options, have back up plans. They are a part of the family, my Moe is like my son- seriously. He has been through a marriage, divorce, death, 7 moves. He is my baby. Do what you have to do, but also do what is best for him as well. Even if it is giving him to someoen with another cat so your cat could have a friend maybe.

Good luck to you both!
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:48 PM   #11
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MAny years ago. while going through a divorce.. I had to give up my golden retriever.. because i knew no one would rent me a place with a big dog..
Thank God we found a nice family for her.. and I miss her a lot every year on her bday i think of her. and i have her pictures..
but the important thing is . she is happy...

Best luck!!!!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:55 PM   #12
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I could never move someplace that didn't allow my pets to come with me. I just couldn't. I'd take the apt that allows pets for now and continue looking for something better.

And I'd sell blood if I had to so I could transport them. They're my babies.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #13
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I carried 2 cats with me on the plane when I moved from east coast to west coast (then back again 6 months later). Was $50 extra each, I used a soft sided carrying case so I could take them as carry-ons. I also had to have their vaccinations up-to-date. That was a good 15 years ago, and it sounds like airline policies and prices have changed.

the separation doesn't have to be permanent. I don't think your cat will forget you, she loves you, though she might get mad and be stand-offish at first when you visit. and she will miss you. when you're in a better situation to take her, you can do that.

hang in there, it's a big change, for you and kitty and parents.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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You know those places that don't accept pets? Ask anyway. Some may argue that a no-pet policy means NO PETS, period...but I've found that a lot of places are simply sick of cleaning up the mess when people refuse to discipline or look after their animals...it can be expensive to replace carpets/clawed things/flooring ruined by animal waste.

Ask if it is possible to pay an additional fee or monthly charge on top of the rent in order to have your cat. If you can obtain one, be sure to mention that you can provide a letter of reference from your current landlord regarding the animal's behavior. Also, before you call, look into the maids-for-hire options in that area (Merry Maids, for example)...if you can afford it (or can realistically save to afford it by the time you'll be moving out), offer to have the apartment professionally cleaned upon move-out, and have that written into your lease. Places like Merry Maids often have a reasonable flat rate for places under X sq ft.

Even if they ask for an additional $100/month, it's still cheaper than renting the animal-friendly place that you mentioned...and since it's a cat that will not potentially bark through the night, you have a decent chance.

Essentially, you need to make your to-be landlords feel that the level of risk associated with an animal has been significantly reduced due to your willingness to assume some of that risk. The additional fee/rent, the letter of reference, the maid-clause...while you don't necessarily have to throw them all on the table at once, it's good to know all of the options that could help you achieve your goal.

They can still always say no, of course, but being polite and willing to negotiate/cooperate can often get you pretty far. I would also look for rooms to rent in personal homes...see if I could find a cat-friendly place to live, if only until something else opened up.

I know that this is a difficult process, but stick with it! Good luck!

EDIT: I just realized that you live with your parents, not in a rental situation. That may prove problematic in the "letter of reference" department, but I'd offer it anyway.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:41 PM   #15
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If you can't afford the $125, you have to make sure you can afford to move at all. There always seem to be unforseen expenses in a move, and if the difference between making it and breaking it is $125, a move right now might not be feasible.

From experience I can tell you that leaving her behind is going to break your heart (and hers).

I've had to give up pets in the past because of illness. Once because I had to choose between my cats and my sister (who is dreadfully allergic) and once because of my own illness (as it turns out, it wasn't an actual allergy. Sinus surgery and other treatments eventually resovlved the issue).

Even though at the time I thought I had no choice, it still haunts me. I would do anything to undo those choices if I could, even though I can't imagine circumstances under which it would have worked out.
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