Friday, April 29, 2011

Hard Decision

Tomorrow Marshall and I are returning our female Sphynx Winky to her breeder. Since we got her, she's been marking areas with urine all over the house. Unfortunately many places we didn't discover until long after the fact, and when we did discover areas, we didn't know which cat was causing it. We didn't know if one of our older cats was causing it in reaction to the new cats or if one of the new cats was doing it. One thing was certain... If any of us accidentally left our bedroom doors open, we could be certain our beds would get peed on. Every time.

For the Ethiopia Reads Charity Event, Marshall had nine of his photos printed out poster-sized and mounted, to donate for their silent auction. They were in our closet. We found out the day before we were supposed to drop off the pictures that the cat in question urinated on the stack of photos, ruining them. We had to put a rush order in to get the replacements done in time for the event.

When we were packing for Orlando, I found out the cat peed in my new suitcase & all over my clothes. While the suitcase was drying out from being cleaned, I finally caught the guilty cat in question, in my suitcase, peeing AGAIN. It was Winky. We were shocked.

We have kept her locked in a bathroom, isolated from the other cats for the past week, while giving full access to the regular marked spots to the other cats. There has been no more marking, which means Winky is the sole culprit, and none of the other cats are copying her. (thankfully)

As you can imagine, this has caused a lot of stress in our family, and clearly something about our home life is causing stress for Winky. The breeder said she was the most hyper of the litter, which was evidenced by her higher than normal anxiety during vet trips, nail clippings and baths. It is really a shame we did not find the culprit sooner, when we had a chance of re-training her. But now the problem has escalated to a level we just can't handle.

Thankfully, the breeder has been very supportive. She offered to take Winky back. She will re-train her and find a new family for her where she is the only cat. When she has another litter, she will give us a new, calmer kitten, though it will likely be 4-6 months before she has a new kitten ready for us.

This has been hardest on Haven and Dobby. Dobby keeps searching the house for her. Thankfully they are finding comfort in each other. (I took this picture today of Dobby and Haven)

Though Haven was sobbing when we told him she had to go, he now said he feels better knowing that at least she's alive (unlike our loss of Buffy) and will go to a new family that will love her.

You may recall our one cat Ollie had an issue with Winky from day one. When our eldest kitty Yemen died right after Buffy, we found that Yemen's buddy Norbert, in the outdoor enclosure, was very lonely. We moved Ollie to the outdoor enclosure and now he and Norbert are great friends. Even though Winky will be leaving, Ollie will stay with Norbert outside.

We've had a lot of guilt over this, but now we're looking at it from the perspective that it just wasn't a great fit for us or for Winky. We hope Winky finds a family where she can be happier than she was with us.

And perhaps next time we'll refrain from naming a pet after a neurotic house elf.


  1. It's sad you have to say goodbye to Winky, but I don't think keeping him would be good for anyone. And though "anonymous" people might not understand, the situation is a lot different when there are multiple cats. Things just aren't the same as houses that have 1 or 2 cats. It's important to cater to the household as a whole.

    Also...ew. Ew, Winky. The beds? The clothes? The suitcase?! Ew

  2. Christine, yes, beds, clothes, suitcase, and yes, ewwwww.
    I can only imagine what "Anonymous" is thinking. I'm waiting for her to chime in that it's sending the wrong message to my kids. But perhaps I should put my kids on notice that if they start peeing all over the house, I'll have to find them new homes too. (that was sarcasm, "anonymous")

  3. I'm sorry that you have to return Winky, and can understand how upsetting that is. In the end it's the right decision for you both. It's definitely not fair to have your home and belongings peed on, nor is it fair to Winky to have him being stressed. Not that you are the cause of this stress of course, but allowing him to be re-trained is best. I am sure he will be okay and will be adopted by a wonderful family like your own. You have so much love to give and are teaching your children such great values. I truly commend you on that and wish you the best :)

    Lucie (pink_lolly)

  4. That is an extremely difficult decision to have to sounds like the right one for all of you. I do have a question about your "outdoor cat inclosure" though. What is the point? You may as well just keep them all indoors indoor/

  5. Anon, our outdoor enclosure was built when our outdoor elderly cat started getting attacked by a new neighborhood cat. He had a hard adjustment to the enclosure, so we got him a kitten (the black and white one) to keep him company. They became great friends. The elderly cat died at the beginning of this year and the black and white one is not yet mature enough to be out on his own outdoors (we think) and a bit too rambunctious to be indoors. (his father was named Lucifer because of his personality) Ragdolls (the longer haired one) are too passive to be fully outdoor cats, so it works out for them to be buddies and the enclosure keeps them safe from cars and other cats.

  6. Thanks for the explanation. However, you do know that it's nobody's business but yours why you do anything. You make the best decision for your family and the animal and the hell with dissenters! That's what I think,anyway. Guess your Mom is glad you did not discover while you were there or you might have abducted her cat! Lol