The puppy + kitten experiment is over

Here’s a photo of our kitten Mulder and puppy Scully.

Mulder and Scully

Unfortunately, looks are deceiving. We thought they were getting along, just with the amusing foible of constantly trying to eat each others’ food. But Mulder seemed to constantly be having trouble with her digestive system, fighting diarrhoea all the time, and also occasionally urinating outside her litter boxes. We thought she was fussy about dirty kitty litter, so cleaned it out multiple times a day. She ate a lot, but seemed rather skinny.

Then my wife and I went on our vacation to Tanzania for two weeks. This trip had been booked ages ago, well before we even considered getting a kitten and a puppy. So we had to find temporary homes for them while we were away. One friend of ours also had a puppy and was willing to take Scully, but not Mulder. So I found another friend who was happy to look after a kitten, and we let Mulder stay with his family. I warned him that Mulder was having trouble with diarrhoea and going outside her litter box.

When we got back from our two week vacation, we picked up Scully and Mulder. As soon as I saw Mulder I noticed she’d put on weight. She was no longer skinny. I asked if she’d had any toilet troubles. My friend said she had a bit of diarrhoea in the first day or two, but it cleared up quickly. And she had no problems urinating outside her box.

We thought Mulder and Scully would be happy to see each other again. But they started fighting. Not play wrestling, but full on claws and hissing. When Mulder was sitting or resting, Scully would chase her. When Scully was resting, Mulder would leap and attack. We were forever separating them, or trying to keep them apart. This was causing us a lot of stress.

Mulder’s diarrhoea returned, and wouldn’t go away. She started urinating around the house again. She lost weight and started to appear skinny again.

A few days ago we made the hard decision that for the sake of her health, Mulder had to find a new home. I would have been happier if Scully had been the one to find a new home, but for my wife keeping Scully was absolutely non-negotiable. So poor Mulder had to go.

We offered her to my friend who’d looked after her while we were on vacation. I hoped he would say yes, so that we’d know the new owner and could visit Mulder sometimes. But although he liked her, he couldn’t take her permanently. I tried several other friends, but none could accept her.

Today I returned Mulder to the Pet Rescue worker who we originally got her from, three months ago. She gave me a whole pack of tissues, I was crying so hard in this virtual stranger’s house.

Mulder: I’m sorry we couldn’t give you the comfortable home you deserve. I hope you find one and live a long and happy life.


5 Responses to “The puppy + kitten experiment is over”

  1. Lee Seitz says:

    I’m so sorry it didn’t work out. But good for you on doing what’s best for her, despite your heartbreak.

  2. Steffan Thomas says:

    You did the right thing. Being a pet parent means putting the pet’s interest first. It hurts to give her away, but it’s best for Mulder.

  3. Seth Cohen says:

    Yes, it’s not fun when that happens. I’ve had it happen with cats ganging up on another cat, but when we took in a foster son and one of my cats decided the boy was the enemy, the boy stayed and the cat returned to Siamese Rescue. They did not take it well and actually complained at us for prioritizing a human over a cat.

  4. Bob Portnell says:

    I know this pain. We surrendered a perfectly good cat to a shelter on doctor’s orders a few years ago. And last year decided we’d live with the consequences and adopted again.

    My question, five days on, is: Has Mulder’s health rebounded?

  5. Bob Portnell says:

    I am utterly dim. Please continue to ignore my previous post. Somehow my brain added 2 and 2 and got cat.

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