Nov 28 Update: Thank you to L&D for adopting Nelson as a new member of their family. I am sure he will be very happy in his new home.
It is time for our sweet boy Nelson to find a new home. He was our very first foster and adoption but, after two years, we have to admit we are the wrong home for him.
We took the Seattle Animal Shelter foster parent class then went down to visit with the cats needing foster. Nelson reached out through the cage and latched onto Marie’s sweater so we took him home. Pretty soon he was sleeping on my desk while I worked, in bed with us, and chirping for attention. He purred loudly when we pet him and we soon fell in love with him.
And so, we adopted him. A short while later we brought home a new foster cat, Luna. It took a while for Nelson and Luna to co-habitate peacefully. Nelson would follow and chase Luna. Even after months he would attack her now and then. But most of the time they seemed to like each other. There was some contention over beds, but we resolved that.
Luna was a sweetheart and we decided to adopt her too.
Nelson would at times become quite manic and we thought he wanted a more playful buddy than Luna. We took Jojo as a foster transfer with the idea he may be a good buddy for Nelson. Soon the two were playing together and all three settled in together so we adopted Jojo.
Not long after that, Nelson and Jojo started to fight. We tried many different things to get them back together but to no avail. We eventually re-homed Jojo. Along the way we introduced Nelson to several foster kittens and he generally got along with them.
As time passed, Nelson seemed less able to tolerate the presence of any other cats or kittens. We eventually moved all our cat rescue activity to the garage. We talked to several different vets to see if there was a medical issue that would cause his strange behavior and we even hired a cat psychologist. We tried Prozac and all kinds of behavior therapy but nothing seemed to truly help. Ultimately, he did not seem happy with us. To understand why, we took him to cat communicator Polly Klein. Through her, Nelson told us that other cats make him nervous and he does not want to live with other cats. We asked if he could be kind to Luna and tolerate other cats so we could help them like we helped him. Polly said his anxiety was too high.
We love Nelson dearly. He is a great cat to live with. He is very interactive – hopping up on tables for pets and attention, sleeping with us, and seeking out lap time. But all the foster cats make him too nervous so it is time to re-home him. He is now at All The Best pet store on Queen Anne, where the amazing staff watch over him and will help him find the perfect home. Parting was more painful than we could imagine, but even at the strange pet store, with no other cats around, we could see him relax and start to settle into his new space. Our house is much more relaxed now and we’ve already taken on six additional foster cats and kittens to help with overcrowding at the shelter. We sense that Luna misses Nelson and we may eventually find her a much more cat-tolerant permanent companion. For now, we look forward to helping as many cats as we can without fear of upsetting our dear, dear Nelson.