I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this so bear with me.
Some of you at least will know I prefer dogs to cats. But I am at work all day and therefore decided it wasn't fair to keep a dog.
I found Toby instead. And now of course I wouldn't swap him for any dog in the world.
When I decided to get a cat I didn't plan on getting a FIV+ one. It just happened.
My experience of cats at that time was that they went outside during the day and come home for their dinner. It therefore didn't matter to them whether their humans were at home or not. It was the logic I used to get a cat rather than a dog in the first place.
Toby of course doesn't have that option.
In a nutshell, it initially didn't occur to me that my new friend was going to find himself in the same position as the dog I refused to get. My question is - and the point of this post - by not wanting to condemn a dog to a sad and lonely five days a week, have I unwittingly done that same thing to my cat?
It bothers me to know he spends a lot of time shut in the flat on his own (anything from 9 to 12 hours during the week).
How do you know when your cat is happy with his lot? How do I know that Toby isn't yearning for his old life back in his previous home? Is he feeling loved enough? Is he feeling happy or sad? Does he feel lonely on his own?
On rare occasions I've wondered whether he would be better off with someone who was home more. But of course I wouldn't part with him. No way in heck. A home without Toby in it isn't worth going to.
And lets be honest. An unfit, middle-aged, timid, nippy (but very affectionate) FIV+ cat would hardly be considered particularly 'adoptable'. Not that I have any intention of ever testing the theory.
I regularly talk myself though it by telling myself most American cats are indoor and some are no doubt left for long periods when Mummy and/or Daddy are at work. I have no doubt that most of those cats are completely happy
with their lot.
So why do I beat myself up over it anyway?
I want a second cat but right now its not practical (couldn't get two cats to my mothers on the train for a start). Its a shame because it would do Toby the power of good I think. I think a second cat would work as he does seem to 'tolerate' Felix when I go to my mothers.
Perhaps I'm thinking too much. Toby is loved, gets the best food my money can stretch to, has lots of toys and some fab cat furniture. In other words - he is ..
The most annoying thing about this of course is that I'll never get a definitive answer. But any thoughts or comments would be appreciated all the same.