After I started my new job in March, things began to go downhill. Pearl has always loved people, and it turned out that she desired their company to such a great degree, my work schedule caused problems. I simply work too damn long every day for her to bear. As she has become continually frustrated, good kitty behavior has started to turn into several bad habits (i.e., nipping and clawing indiscriminately where there was no such issue before).
1.) She's unhappy five days out of the week, and by the time we get back to normal on Sunday, it's time to get pissed off again;
2.) I'd rather these behaviors not become ingrained;
2a.) As she ages, I don't want to turn her into a cranky cat when she's such a sweetheart;
3.) She's a totally different cat when there's someone home more often or earlier and the bad habits do not occur;
4.) With her good looks and friendly ways, there's undoubtedly a home out there where someone works a regular 9 to 5 or even less;
I decided it was unfair to her to continue to keep her, in order to assuage my doubts about all the potential what-ifs. I've tried many things, from leaving talk radio on, the TV, leaving clothes around with my scent on them, Feliway, giving her a good thing when I leave, etc. etc., but nothing has changed for the better. She hated the bejeesus out of the other cat I attempted to adopt earlier this year, and according to her previous fosters, never seemed inclined to deal with other cats. She didn't really care for dogs, either, which is good, because I'm not equipped nor around often enough to take care of one.
1/2 of the rescue team members I am speaking with about her return are begging/guilt tripping me to hold onto her. I've agreed to keep her until the 23rd, but I've locked myself into another situation, so I can't keep her much longer beyond that.
Michaela/Mikayla, the tortie, is the leader of the pair. Rowena is shyer. If you can figure out why I chose these names, you are either brilliant, or have figured out that the obvious can sometimes transform into strange things. (Still not sure how I'm going to spell the name of the tortie. I like the way Michaela looks better, but Mikayla would fit the theme more.)
I wasn't intending to adopt again so soon. I hoped to have some more time to clean thoroughly, but I guess I'll have to Febreeze everything and hope that removes Pearl's scent. I also debated readopting the cat I tried to adopt back in May as a companion for Pearl.
My mother's vet, however, happened to have three kittens with no home, which got my mother to talking about my situation. The vet suggested I take the two girls. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to go ahead with it. My mother and step father will be bringing them out to the East Coast on the 23rd. I initially intend to keep them confined to the bedroom, and I'll have to for a while if Pearl is still here. While she freaked out and went into combat mode with the previous cat I tried to adopt, she never actually went forth to battle, so to speak. The other cat was bigger and weighed more (and was calmer, to boot). These guys are just out of kittenhood, and one of them is a shy violet. I can just imagine Pearl terrorizing them.
I am attempting to learn from what went wrong for Pearl. These two are bonded sisters, meaning they can be cat friends during the day and not be lonely. They are also much younger. They've been kept at the vet's office, where they have a 3x3 foot crate for a home. They can come out during the day and talk to people, but at night, they are put back in the crate and there is no one in the office. It sounds sad, but this means they've practically been trained since birth for a situation like mine. During the week, I'm gone for about as much time as they're used to being left alone. On the whole, my apartment would be an improvement ... bigger living quarters!
I'm sending some of my things in the hopes that they will become accustomed to my smell before then. The vets are also going to start calling them by name so they begin to recognize them. This means when they get here, I'll have to be good about actually calling them by name so they don't forget, instead of calling them "dood" or some variant all the time like I do with Pearl.
Because they're so much younger, it's definitely going to be nutty around here for awhile. I am anticipating coming home to snagged/torn down drapes and the works, just in case. My hopes are that it will be a good kind of nutty, not the bite-you kind of nutty.
[Edit: I still say you aren't a crazy cat lady until you have more cats than you have limbs, so I'm in the clear.]