I’m not feeling good about this choice, but we’re going to try to find a new home for our (formerly younger, now only). I’ve already begun asking people who have wider social circles than mine. We were already worried about the effect of the Taiwan move on the cat; since Taiwan is a rabies-free island, he would have had to be in quarantine for at least 21 days. But now we’ve just officially found out that in order to move a cat or dog to Taiwan, said animal has to have a blood sample taken and sent to a special lab at least 180 days before the move. As I may have mentioned, we expect to move somewhere around the end of October.
I was afraid of even the three-week quarantine for him; this cat is very scared of strangers and of people (any people, even us) moving unpredictably. He’s gotten a bit bolder in seeking out attention in the past year or so (since the other cat died, we think) but he’s still pretty timid. He’s about 16 now and has been like that since we got him, when he was three months old. We don’t know whether he was abused as a baby kitten or if he’s just like that. Also, we really don’t know anyone we can ask to cat-sit for three months, and I think being left with strangers, then shipped off alone, then left in quarantine would be absolutely horrible for him.
Finding him a home won’t be easy, because of his age. He’s in good health, but 16 is fairly old for a cat. Our other one died at 17. I’m feeling especially guilty about it because he’s always thought I was his mother. When I sit or sleep he’s right next to me, generally hollering for attention or pacing around in an extemely irritating way. And that’s the biggest reaason for the guilt; frankly, this cat has an annoying voice and a somewhat irritating personality and we have never loved him as much as we did the other cat. I don’t supposed having favorites among pets is as horrible a thing as having favorites among your children, but it still feels like a shameful thing to admit to. Also, we took responsibility for this cat when we adopted him in 1991 and it seems irresponsible to cast him out now.
On the other hand, I’m not sure what a right decision would be. While I can certainly see choosing an apartment according to whether it accepts pets, choosing not to move at all if you can’t take a cat along seems a bit excessive. I’m pretty clear on the difference between a baby and a pet, though I’m not at all sure the cat would agree on that. Also, we can’t really change our minds now; the part about moving to Taiwan after a year was planned all along when we came here. The best option I can find is to find him a home with someone who will take good care of him and who will hopefully love him for the rest of his life.
(Anybody know someone in the Netherlands who wants a cat?)