Is She The One?

As some of you know I have two cats – Petie and Kip – and a rotating foster.  Truth be told, my foster has been more static than rotating of late. Little Haddie girl has been with me for quite some. I can’t lie, I’ve toyed with the idea of adopting her (even the rescue group I work with asks how long I intended to keep up the ruse). But for me the question of whether or not to adopt her is complicated.

Cat hiding in Ikea bag filled with laundry

Where's Haddie?!

Haddie was under one pound when she was both found flea-ridden and with a raging herpes infection (in both eyes). The vet feared she would lose her eyes, but thankfully both were saved after several surgeries and lots of healing time. By the time she got to me she was 4 months old  requiring eye drops every few hours and ointment twice a day (I literally had to rub it into her eye-ball!). She was a trooper and withstood the poking and prodding without putting up a fight.

Haddie when she first came to me (I'm wearing a summer dress so it was def summer '09)

When I first got her she was also batting a cold and since her eyesight was compromised she relied heavily on her sense of smell. I could hear her sniffling loudly through her congested nose from the next room as she gingerly navigated the apartment.

I’ll never forget the day I walked back into the apartment after having been out running errands to find her curled up and sleeping in the exact same spot I’d left her an hour earlier. Upon closer examination it became clear that she wasn’t sleeping at all. Her little eyelids were glued shut and she was quietly waiting for someone to release her from her forced respite.

Sweet Haddie sleeping (I think!)

What followed were multiple daily sessions in the bathroom with the hot water running at full blast. I sat on the tiles surrounded in fog with little Hattie on my lap trying to open up her sinuses (do cats have those?) so she could breathe, and gently pressing warm cotton balls to her eyelids to free her from darkness.

Little Haddie has always had a rather pinched look about her. And I think she quite resembles a mercat or a prairie dog - long neck, little face, caramel coloring.

Haddie was adopted but returned a few weeks later, something about not getting along with the resident cat (they kept her in the bathroom all that time !).  She’s back with me now at about 10 months old. She hates going to PETCO on the weekends and seems to have a sixth sense because Saturday morning find her under my bed even before I’ve taken out her carrier.

Kip always grooms and plays with the foster girls I've had (I'm raked with guilt for not having gotten him a little sister, but instead a rather unsocial brother).

So why don’t I adopt her? Here are a few of my struggles:

  • The tipping point. The cat tipping point that is.  One cat is acceptable. Two cats can be justified because the first cat needs a friend. Three cats = cat lady.  Now this isn’t just a personal theory. The cat tipping point has been validated by highly non-scientific primary research (conducted by me) and it’s interesting to note it also applies to single women with dogs. An equal opportunity tipping point.  Even my catless coworker (whom I suspect is a closet cat lover) recounts his friend’s 70-year-old father warning him to “Beware the Third Cat” when it comes to single women.
  • I’d like to continue fostering and three full-time cats + foster = four cats. Regardless of what people would think, that’s a lot of cats to clean up after in a NYC one-bedroom.  I can barely keep the apartment livable and provide enough loving with three two cats and a foster.
cat with shaved belly

Soon after she was neutered

  • I’ve had other fosters who’ve been much more affectionate. Jasper (aka Jaspy), for example used to literally hug me by putting his paws around my neck, and my dad is convinced he unbuttoned his shirt once. I have two less-than-affectionate boys as it is, don’t I deserve a lap-cat?
  • While she had a rough start she isn’t a desperate case (missing limb, eye etc).  If someone else will take her and love her that’s all that matters  right?  One of the women who does rescue with City Critters ended up getting her fourth cat because this cat was completely evil with anyone but her (talk about a sign!). If I get a third it should be a less adoptable, specially-abled cat.

But I’ve found myself keeping her home from PETCO some weekends, and was secretly relieved to learn renovations mean an end to adoption weekends for a while.

This past Saturday I received a call confirming I was bringing Haddie to the adoption van procured for that weekend in lieu of the space at PETCO. I hadn’t remembered committing to bringing her but felt guilty since they’d gone through the trouble of getting the van.

I went upstairs to look for Haddie who was, of course, hiding under the bed in the corner furthermost from me. I grabbed her rather unceremoniously and with her in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other (I knew I couldn’t leave it upstairs as Kip would have gotten to it in a nano-second and knocked it over) teetered down the stairs on my platform espadrilles (I was en route to brunch when I had received the call).

One step from the landing I tripped over my platforms and the next thing I knew both Haddie and the coffee flew out of my hands. My dress ended up over my head and I landed squarely into the tray of cat wet food with both cheeks. It was like some elaborate booby trap from  “Home Alone.”

Running super late for brunch I had to rinse off and change my outfit.  Haddie 1, Tamar 0.

Of course I have to wonder if that was a sign from an higher power that Haddie is meant to stay…

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121 Responses to Is She The One?

  1. Natalie says:

    Well first and foremost…YES, that is a sign. A higher being is intervening on Haddie’s behalf and yours… Haddie is not just a cat that you have fostered, she is a cat that you mothered and nurtured through some pretty tough times. Your description of the loving care you gave her in the bathroom is something a LOT of people would not be willing to do. You have a special place in your heart for her, and who wouldn’t with what you two have been through. If you didn’t want to keep this precious being, you would not be asking us what to do, or not taking her to the adoption weekends. I am the tipping person ,I have three kittehs…my husband and I fostered 4 little feral kittehs that were going to be put to sleep, simply because the shelter wanted money from the other small town where the kittehs were from (assholes…excuse my french). anyways we adopted one out and cried for 2 days, and needless to say we kept the other 3 and my only regret is that we didn’t keep all 4. Haddie does have special needs, and you are the only one so far that has seen that and provided to her what she needs…safety, a warm place to sleep, food , medical attention(delivered with love)and most importantly…LOVE. When you think of giving her up…do you have to fight back the tears…does your heart feel heavy (like you shouldn’t be letting her go), if you answered yes, then you know what you must do…other than tipping, what really is the difference between two cats and three???? I could not imagine my life without my three little amigos(well ones an amigoette).. Haddie has already been rejected once (and really, abused if you think of it)….#Who cares what other people think of you having three cats???you have three sources of UNCONDITIONAL love…I fell in love with her just from reading your story, so I can only imagine how you feel.. I will say this tho…3 is the LIMIT…(????)
    I wish you nothing but the best with your decision, I know what I would do, but I am not the one struggling with this decision.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Thanks for writing Natalie, I love that you call your kitties the 3 amigos (and 1 amigoette!). Sounds like you and your husband are very caring lovely people. I’m sure the 4th kitty has a good life. I love all my fosters when they are with me and treat them like my own. I’m lucky my guys put up with it (well Petie acts like they don’t exist and Kip usually tries to mother them!).

      I love little Haddie girl but the way I look at fostering is that I get them in shape to be adopted and find their forever home. I see myself as a part of the process of getting them to a loving home so it doesn’t sadden me usually, to let them go. But I do always like to know where they go etc. I’m sad when the new family doesn’t keep in touch but happy they are in a loving home.

      I’ll be honest though, my sister and I both regret letting Jasper go…he was a special boy and he used to suck my neck he was so cute! I guess I fear that I’ll feel the same way about Haddie girl too!

      I”ll be sure to keep you guys posted. Thanks again for taking the time to read and post a comment 🙂

  2. perri says:

    I think you have your special needs cat. Haddie clearly needs *you*.

  3. Erika says:

    Sounds like Haddie has found her home. And who is to say she won’t become that lap cat you’ve been waiting for? She may just need to know that she has found her forever home. No more brief stays in bathrooms or Saturday trips to PetCo might make Haddie realize she can really settle in and be cozy with you and the boys.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Awww Erika, I wonder if you are right….I really don’t like taking her to PETCO 🙁
      Maybe I can keep saying I have 2 cats and a foster…just to make myself feel better? 🙂

  4. Judith McLeod says:

    I definitely think you should keep her but this is from a single white female living in Canada who has 10 cats, yes 10. So I don’t know if my opinion is worth much.

    I just know that she probably needs you. You took her back one already didn’t you.

    I was out tonite at a small feral colony and have fallen in love with a chocolate brown male about two years old. If he can be trapped he will become number 11 in my home. I keep raising the bar on my “this is the last cat I can take in” number.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Awww I don’t ever think I’ve seen a chocolate brown cat?! you must post pictures of all your 10 (or maybe 11) cats on the I HAVE CAT facebook fan page!

      well, are all your cats indoor? do you have a house? let’s not forget i live in a 1 bedroom apartment! 🙂

      Thanks for reading the blog and for posting your thoughts 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    I understand your reluctance. But honestly… I think this cat belongs with you. And there’s a good chance she could become neurotic with being forced to go to Petco a lot. It creates so much anxiety for them.

  6. Awww, I definitely think you should keep her.

    I have never cared what others think of me, especially in regards to being a single cat lady. I only have two now, but if another came wandering up to my front door I’d take them in, as long as they got along with my girls.

    It can really be time consuming and expensive (I had to pay over $2000 in vet bills last year for my girls before getting pet insurance), but I’d hate to think of the alternative. I really commend you on being a foster. There is no way I could do it. I’d get to attached to let them go.

    • Ihavecat says:

      I love meeting all the different personalities….sometimes it’s really hard (esp with the cute kittens! since i never had kittens it’s how i get my fix!).

      I like being able to care for them and prep them for being adoption-ready! I am like a proud mama when I talk about them to prospective parents. the rescue agency I work with is kind enough to let me speak with the new parents if i want to b/f the adoption is done (and they listen to my thoughts on what would be a good home etc).

      I’ve been lucky so far in terms of vet costs (had one $350 emergency room trip with Petie last year). Did you do a lot of research on pet insurance? Any tips/recos? I know nothing about it!

      • Yes, I did quite a bit of research on pet insurance. A few of my blogging friends had recommended companies but they were all overseas, so I was pretty much on my own.

        I’ll see if I can pull together my info and write a blog post about it next week.

  7. mimi says:

    Oh…i just think you should keep her. i don’t think i could give her up for adoption after i bonded..but that’s just me.
    i really hoped my next kitty would be a huggy, lovey lapcat. well. my girlfriend brought me this little feral kitty that she was keeping on her porch..knowing i would be the purrfect purrson to raise this little one.

    Reluctantly i said yes…. so Riley [my name choice ] crawled under a small dresser and when i went to say “hi” he bit right threw my finger!!!! yikes..

    So, he will be 2 this Nov and it’s been hard at times to have the patience..but just yesterday he jumped on the couch next to me!!!!! Progress. he loves his brothers and sister and is a very happy and spoiled boy.

    • Ihavecat says:

      awwww! you are a good man to have taken in that little challenging bugger!
      thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.
      i love all my babies…it just gets hard when i have them for a long period of time…and also b/c she so actively hates PETCO and the fact she KNOWS it’s THAT day – crazy!
      seriously when i was sitting in the cat food i was sure of her special powers!

  8. barbi says:

    Oh, this is easy, KEEP HER!!! The boys’ need a (full time) girl sibling around the house and you will still have room to rotate fosters through your loving foster home (you’re parents will never know that you’ve officially adopted a 3rd cat and that there is a 4th foster cat lurking around with the Murray Hill Kitty Squad) …. It’s inexplicable to me how the sweetest and most special kitties are the un-adoptable ones… Perfect example of this is: Bobbycat, Max, Dexter and Haddie… As you know, Bobbycat brought so much love and happiness to everyone he met, especially those non-cat people…. He traveled, sported around the West Village, marched in parades and snuggled like no other… He certainly helped me through some tough times and to think I thought he was the one in need… Of course my Max was in a cage for months with no one wanting him and look what a wonderful nurturing friend he has been to me, Bobbycat and now Dexter…. Max was so gentle with Bobbycat as he groomed him and kept him entertained, and now with Dexter, Max has taught him to trust humans while Dexter has enabled Max to have a companion to look after and play with… Enough said, sign the papers, adopt Haddie…. It is true that they find us, those cats know what’s right and who they need to be with…..

    • Ihavecat says:

      Tell me how you REALLY feel 🙂
      I am so happy you are the one that adopted Bobbycat. I miss him too, sweet boy. And I think it’s WONDERFUL that you took in Dexter and Max! What lucky kitties. There are so many special kitties out there!

  9. cindy j says:

    Sounds like she’d got your heart.

  10. Sierra says:

    You really should keep her, She seems to have a bond with you. I have three cats and i am not known as “the cat lady”.

    well, of coarse we have 8 other animals, but still

    keep her. <3

    • Ihavecat says:

      omg Sierra, you made me laugh out loud for real! maybe people call you the crazy ANIMAL lady?! LOL

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to post. I will keep you updated on Haddie-girl!

  11. Judy says:

    Its such a simple decision (keep her), yet a really hard one (no more fostering). The unfortunate truth of the matter is that we cannot help every cat. Cat by cat, we do what we can for that one and that is one less cat in harms way. Being involved in foster/rescue, I have found that I MUST come to terms with this or else constantly struggle with the ‘should I’ or ‘shouldn’t I’ nagging question. Every time I have to leave all our babies after a visit, it hurts my heart something fierce until the next day when I see them again. So I have to just keep ‘shaking myself’ and remember that I am doing what I can and that visit that I just made w/ them touched them in some way, no matter how small. Good luck with your decision, Tamar, and thanx for sharing 🙂 .

    • Ihavecat says:

      I think what you do is even harder – seeing so many kitties. i can’t stand seeing them all in those cages…..i think every time you interact with them it DEF makes them more social. I hurts my heart to see them in their – those sweet faces. Especially the adults. 🙁

      You summed up my situation very well Judy. This is a tough one.

  12. Sarah says:

    I have a couple of shy kittehs, the oldest age 10. With patience and understanding, you begin to celebrate every move forward with a deep sense of accomplishment and trust. Maybe she’ll turn into a lap cat, maybe not — but you will develop an intimate relationship that will manifest in ways you can’t imagine. You obviously have that in your heart. Could you really live with your emotions not knowing what becomes of her?

    • Ihavecat says:

      Hi Sarah, thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I do love her. It’s hard because I do have a hard time keeping the apartment clean with the three of them there, and it def gets crazy when i have four!
      But i do love that little face of hers. She still sniffs people to identify them since she can’t see that well. And i have to clean her massive eye boogers constantly!

  13. animalartist says:

    I’ll side with your other side on this one, Tamar. I’ve healed and nurtured plenty of other cats and still let them go when a good home came along, and I was actually joyful about sharing a kitty I’d loved and who I knew would love the new home so that I could then help more. You have that gift and patience for nurturing and in the fostering world that may be more important than giving a home to a kitty because a potential adopter typically will not do that. In the long run, you will probably save more lives that way.

    I’ve had my own home for 20 years so I let the number go much higher some times, unconcerned about the catlady thing (back in the day, you were a crazy cat lady with one cat if you were single). The Petco thing would probably put me off, but I have always let the adoption process choose who has stayed with me and I’ve never had any regrets.

  14. Rosana says:

    You seem to have a stable life in NY city, you have a job an apartment, family and friends, so you can afford to have another cat. Keep her.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Hi Rosana,
      Thanks for visiting IHC and especially for taking the time to post. It’s nice to hear someone describe my life as “stable with an apartment, friends and family.” I like that : )
      Isn’t it interesting how we never see ourselves as others do (esp when it comes to the good stuff – at least that’s MY problem!!)
      Thanks again and hope you come back soon!

  15. This post had me in tears. You’ve been such a kind mama to Haddie. 3 cats is a lot in a small space, but you’ve cared for her and made her a home — and she’s obviously very nervous about leaving; she’s already been through an awful lot with her eye problems and the adopters who locked her into a bathroom for 3 weeks. Please keep Haddie. You never know; she might become a lap cat. Our little one (we only have one kitty girl, at the moment) is very active and showed no signs of ever being a lap cat for nearly 3 months but then one day, last week, she unexpectedly climbed up onto my outstretched legs and now I realize that things change. She becomes more relaxed and comfortable with us, every day.

    Our Fiona was abandoned, fostered, adopted, unadopted and fostered before she found us. Thank you for being a foster mommy.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Aw, sweet Fiona, Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so glad she finally found her forever home. How sweet that she came up on your legs….so you have only had her for 3 months?

      • Yes, just 3 months. Our older kitty, Miss Spooky, died in January after 6 months of decline (we had let her stay an Only Cat after our Sunshine died — they never really did get along). I lasted a whopping 4 or 5 weeks without a cat. That was all I could take. When I first picked up Fiona, I knew she was right for us. She was frightened — the claws held tight to my t-shirt — but I rubbed her head and she tipped it back and purred. She’s a total cuddle bunny, but on her own terms, of course.

        You can see photos of her at my blog, Each week I post a pic on Friday: “Fiona Friday”. A friend recently told me it seems like Fiona’s been with us for years. We’re fortunate; she settled in quickly and it really does seem like she’s been here much longer than she has. Someday, I hope we’ll find her a friend.

    • Ihavecat says:

      I was wondering who that kitty on your masthead was! how lovely!

  16. Sue Smith says:

    I’ve had as many as 4 cats (now down to 2) and every so often I think about adopting another 1…or 2. Haddie looks like she “belongs”. She’s obviously very smart – she figured out the Saturday PETCO routine and shows you what she thinks of that! I’d say that after bringing her through the worst, both of you should enjoy one another. She has playmates and a stable home and you have a trusting, faithful cat. If I had to make the decision, I would vote to keep her and love her.

    • Ihavecat says:

      She has certainly made herself quite at home. And yes, the PETCO 6th sense is unbelievable!

      I’ll keep you updated on the situation but all my friends tell me (and the Petco people) that I need to get on with it and drop the ruse!

      Thanks for commenting Sue – hope you come back soon!

  17. jmuhj says:

    There are nine beloved cats in our family, all rescued. I would wear the tag, “Cat lady” more than proudly; quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what people call me, and if they’re not cat lovers themselves, I wouldn’t want anything to do with them anyway.

    Haddie is gorgeous, and yes, I agree with your other posters. I couldn’t even think of giving her up if she were part of my life.

    In time, she’ll probably grow into the loving cat you seek. She has to be confident that she can trust before that happens. Why bond deeply when the bond is to be broken?

    • Ihavecat says:

      It’s true that everyone has “something” that people perceive as undesirable – even if it’s not really. And I know I should have faith that the person who falls for me will accept my kitties. It can be hard sometime. I’m not good about keeping my mouth shut so of course everyone I know hears about the blog etc! I just wonder if sometimes I need to let the guy fall for ME first before getting turned off b/c of some stereotype…we are all guilty of making snap premature judgements about people yes?

  18. jes says:

    One of my present cats was a feral kitten I socialized & previously found another home for. I felt I had enough work with the cats I already had. I put off a few steps here & there I usually did to home previous kittens/cats. I wondered several times if this little guy was the one, but continued looking for an an owner. Each time said someone said no, I was secretly relieved. When my boyfriend told me his co-worker fell in love with the kitty videos/photos I emailed to prospective owners, I was a little disappointed. I followed through, hugged kitty goodbye and told him I dearly hoped his life would be happy. I had previously found homes for other kittens/cats, but this was different. I missed him a lot, but I couldn’t ask for him back. It was too late. The new owner said she was enjoying her new family member. I realized that as much as I was aware of little signs before he left, that I didn’t really listen to them. It was simply too late.

    A few weeks later the new owner said her dog had tried to attack the kitty several times. She had been keeping kitty in the bathroom daily to keep him from being killed. Would I take him back, she asked? Yes!! I got very LUCKY.

    Fast forward 1.5 years later: Last night I heard my boyfriend say “Love you, buddy” to the now-adult cat I told you about above. One day, the guy who is right for you will be fine with your cats, too.

    You may already be doing one or more of these things (I wouldn’t doubt it), but you can give other foster owners time off from adoption days when they need it. Volunteer at a shelter. Give a little money (no matter how small) to another foster parent or a rescue who really needs it. You already helped spread the word of the owner needing help in California due to Hartz flea products. You’re getting the word out about adopting with this blog.

    I’ll end the longest comment ever (ha!) by saying I have 4 cats (including the cat above). Sometimes people say negative things. It’s a little annoying, but also amusing. People continually try to control others with the way they assume things should be. If it’s not pets, people find something else to be negative about. If one person doesn’t, another will. If it’s not me, they’ve got a negative label for someone else. It’s never ending! I don’t use the “cat lady” label for myself because I see it as giving power to others who cling to it negatively. But if someone else calls me that…oh well. *Every person* has one or many things in their lives that others wouldn’t approve of. I finally stopped making decisions in my life based on worry of what others might think — because they do what they want in their own lives.

    Based on what you’ve said here, I think this little girl is yours, and the signs are there. She’s adorable. 🙂

    • Ihavecat says:

      That you for sharing your story Jes. Yes, when I take her to Petco I worry someone will inquire about her, but I tell myself if she is meant to stay with me no one will inquire?! But that clearly cannot go on forever. I don’t take her every weekend b/c she hates it so much and she’s not herself there anyway so it’s not the best representation of her.

      I love that your kitten came back to you – now THAT was TRULY a sign! If you haven’t yet, would you post pics of your babies on the I HAVE CAT facebook page? We’d love to see them.

      PS _ i LOVE the part about your boyfriend telling kitty “I love you!” awwww

      PPS _ how many cats did you have when you met him? i can’t help but ask!

  19. Meowm says she know how you feel about a small apartment and two cats. She doesn’t foster, but we are betting that if the right kitty came along…she would end up with a third. We certainly can’t tell you what to do, but it sounds like Haddie is purrty comfy where she is. Purrsonally, we hope you keep her.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Thanks for you and your mama’s thoughts. I’ll keep you posted. She feels like she belongs here 🙂

  20. Simba says:

    Reading between the lines, you would not let her go unless to an adopting home -i.e. you wouldn’t have her move to another foster home, or be put to sleep because too much time had gone by without adoption. Am I right? It is sad for her that she may have to go to lots of Saturdays at Petco before being adopted 🙁

    Are the vet bills for a cat you are fostering covered for you? How does that work?

    • Ihavecat says:

      Oh no, i can’t imagine her going to a different foster home….she was in one for a week when I couldn’t take her b/c i was traveling and didn’t want to burden the cat-sitter (a friend of mine) and i wanted her back the next week – i was jealous of the other foster! LOL!

      The organization I work with, City Critters in NYC never ever puts down animals once they rescue them. Ever. They are amazing as they will work with vets to get discounts and will pay for ANY treatment the cat needs from orthopedic surgery to eye surgery like little Haddie 🙂

  21. meowmeowmans says:

    I think the only tipping point is when your heart went past that magical line. I think you should seriously consider keeping her. FYI, we recently adopted our long term foster (she’s a young 12-year old), which brings our HCC (household cat count) to (gasp!) three. 🙂

  22. Grrreta says:

    We think you are absolutely wonderful for fostering cats and getting them ready for their forever homes. It is an amazing gift of love and caring you give to each foster. We think Haddie would be the luckiest kitty in the world if she got to live with you forever, and if it is meant to be, it will happen. It sounds like she has been through a lot and is one very lucky kitty to have such wonderful people helping her. We don’t think you should worry about the tipping point. Being a kind and compassionate person who shares her home with a few furry, pointy eared roommates doesn’t make you a crazy cat lady.

    • Ihavecat says:

      i love “furry pointy eared roommates!”
      Thanks for your sweet comments Grrreta 🙂

  23. Cherri says:

    awwwwwwwwwwwww really how can you not keep her!? I DO think it’s a sign, and it sure gave me a good laugh remembering similar cat related incidents.

    Who cares what people think, I don’t consider someone with 3 cats a “cat lady” now 4+ yea!

    Go for it girl, Haddie has already chosen you to be her mommy! :0)

    • Ihavecat says:

      Hi Cherri!
      Thanks so much for visiting IHAVECAT and taking the time to post a comment.
      Seriously I was looking around for the hidden camera when I busted out like that! IT was too perfect!

  24. Christina says:

    My vote is that you keep her for Kippie’s sake and just keep calling her your foster for decades to come!

  25. prisca says:

    i think both of u have that special bond already, and i’m afraid u’re gonna regret it alot and keep thinking about how haddie is being treated in the new home…

    • Ihavecat says:

      Hi Prisca, thanks for taking the time to stop by and post a comment. I do love that little face of hers!

  26. Tamar, I totally agree with Natalie. You should keep her. Think of all you have been through together. She doesn’t want to leave you. And, sorry my friends, cats choose us, not the other way around.

    I know becoming a cat lady is a concern, but there are other things in life more important than that. Here’s a story I wrote about a friend who asked me what I thought of her getting another cat, since she was single:

    • Ihavecat says:

      It’s true, i love her. I just read the story you wrote about your single friend contemplating getting a 3rd cat – you could have been talking about me! crazy! so, did she take the plunge?

  27. Mojca says:

    if you ever come across another kitty with infected (glued, inflamed, etc) eyes try some home remedies.
    Research the use of these herbs: :
    – Euphrasia officinalis (eyebrigt – has been used for centuries as a rinse, compress, or bath against eye infections and other eye-related irritations) — make a mild infusion from half a teaspoon of the herb for about a cup of hot water (always make fresh tea, never reuse),
    – tea from Matricaria chamomilla (camomile – alleviates symptoms of the disease), Euphrasia officinalis (eyebrigt) and Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary – disinfects) — 10 grams of each herb, 1 liter of boiled water, leave to soak for 20 min. Soke a compress and dab the eyes,
    – plain camomile tea is fine when you’ve got nothing else (rinse, dab), much better then just plain water.

    Hope it helps, but I hope even more that you never need it.


    PS: doing a wave, victory dance and any form of cheering you might wish for for all the TLC, compassion and love you show through every pore of your being :-*. Thank you.

    • Ihavecat says:

      Thanks Mojca,
      She is good now but this is good information. And thanks for your kind words and encouragement 🙂

  28. Everycat says:

    Fostering is one of the kindest and most difficult jobs to do. Props to you for doing it.

    It’s a shame that the epithet “Cat Lady” carries with it so many negative connoctations, because as I see it, if someone cares for creatures in need of care, there is nothing to deride and everything to be positive about if the animals are getting good care and the carer is able to cope confidently.

    With Haddie, you have proved that you can cope. You’ve done more than cope, you’ve brought her back to good health and you’ve gained her trust (and love)

    Over the years, I’ve fostered and taken on cats no one else would touch. I’ve been called Crazy Cat Woman by the same people who’ve begged me along with lots of emotional blackmail, to come and catch injured/sick cats in their gardens or cats they don’t want. I don’t care what I’m called anymore but I do know my limits.

    I think if you had really reached your own limit and the cat living limit in your home, you wouldn’t have made this post

    Three cats? Well, three is a magic number they say.

    Keep her. It’s what you want, and it’s what Haddie wants too

    • Ihavecat says:

      Thanks Everycat for your kind words. I appreciated it when people say I am doing a good thing, but for me it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice but a pleasure.

      Bless YOU for taking in cats that no one else would touch.


  29. Ingrid King says:

    I can appreciate how difficult this decision is. While I’d take the “crazy cat lady” part out of the equasion (who really cares what people think about you? The only thing that matters is what you think about yourself), your other points – wanting to continue to foster, wanting an affectionate cat, and the fact that Haddie is an adoptable cat, are much harder. And the hardest part has to be that, from this post, it sounds as though Haddie already has a hold on your heart. I don’t envy you for having to make this decision.

    I suppose maybe it comes down to this: could you live with yourself if you didn’t keep Haddie?

    • Ihavecat says:

      Ingrid thanks for understanding the complexity of the issue for me. I would have to know that someone was as in love with her as I am..she’s a sweet thing. She deserves the best. I’m making a decision out of default i feel like….I am off the hook for a bit since PETCO isn’t allowing cats there during the renovation…..i will keep you updated. Thanks again 🙂

  30. Amy says:

    My Lucy, who is a special needs cat, three legged and hyper thyroid started out as a “foster”. She took to our home immediately and has been w/ me 12 years now. i could not imagine life w/out her. She is not a social cat, resembles Petie in that way. But she has claimed the dining room as her spot. My Eddie, is very patient with her fear of men and has even been able to give her her medicine. I started out w/ four cats as a single girl,lost two, back to 3 now. I agree that the cats find you not the other way around. And eventually you will find the right man who will love you whether you have 2 cats, or 3, or 4( always hoping that you will adopt Autumn too) Get out of your head about the single girl with too many cats and just relax and enjoy the special love that your babies give you. Eddie always says that he is 5th on my list, the 3 cats and the dog are my 1st loves. Go give that little girl a hug and let her know that she now has a forever home.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Awww Eddie sounds like a great man! Lucy is a very lucky kitty 🙂 August (I think that’s who you meant) got a lovely home with an older fursibling, so she is good 🙂
      You are right, I need to make her official – – she is quite a doll. Not the most cuddly thing but I still love her and she has her tender moments 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting and for the support in general! =^^=

  31. Sharon says:

    Well, you know how I feel about the issue of “cat lady.” I think it’s ridiculous and anyone that would judge someone based on how many cats they have is someone not worth knowing. Personally, I wish I could have a houseful of cats (and dogs), but it’s not in my life plan at the moment. Having 3 cats is a statement of your loving and generous nature. And, these cats reward you every day for it in their own ways.

    I think you should keep her…she’s been with you for so long…and I feel like she’s already part of your family. But, I understand your other points. It’s up to you, but I vote for KEEP HER!

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Hi Sharon 🙂
      I think she is mine….common law! LOL! I think she has been with me since before May! She’s made herself quite at home… mom would freak though if I added her to my christmas card!

  32. Laura says:

    Hi Tamar,

    Honestly, if you can afford it, and you have the time and space, keep her. It’s rare to bond in such a way with a cat and to have it be so affectionate and grateful. I had a similar experience with Pita, when I got her- she had severe rhino and had to be hand fed for a few weeks. I laughed when I read about your bathroom “steamings” because I went through the SAME thing with pita, trying to open up her passageways so she could breathe. Pita and I have a bonded in an amazing way since, and she still considers the bathroom a place where she gets love, so now, if i leave the door open, she is ALWAYS in there with me wanting up. She is the suckiest, most affectionate cat I have EVER seen. She literally sucks on my earlobes – if i let her!!! Anyways, I could never have even imagined Pita being with someone else, especially after what we had gone through together. She loves people, but it is clear that I am HER mommy, and if she is picked up by someone else, and I am near by, she will reach out to me to take her. So Back to Haddie, this bond you have with her is special- I know because I have a similar one with my cat – and you should jump at the opportunity to have at least one really SUCKY kitteh. Besides, 3 cats is NOT much more trouble than 2 – just as long as you have time to keep the litters clean and the space.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Awwwww Pita sounds so sweet. I really love that name, it makes me smile when i hear it. I like pita bread too! Glad you got a kick out of the story and that it reminded you of times you spent with Pita.

      That’s so sweet that Pita associates the bathroom with loving time! Haddie likes the sink but more for drinking the tap water – – not much else!
      I had a sucky foster once – JASPER. Awwww he basically gave me hickeys on my neck! It was verging on perverse! LOL he was a special boy.

      Thanks for writing Laura – and for reading the blog of course !

  33. Brian says:

    Sounds like a sign to me, and you just need to accept that ya love her 🙂 You brought her back from the brink of death, you have earned her love. She obviously does not want to leave, hence the hiding every saturday, cats know these things.
    My cat, Callie, knew saturday was when she got her fancy feast, and woke me up at 5 am on saturdays, and would not relent until I got up and got her fancy feast for her. Like Callie, Hadie knows saturday is PETCO day, and she runs, because she wants to stay with you.
    So I sy you should just keep her. As the adoption people tell ya, time to give up the ruse heh.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Hi Brian! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to post a comment!
      I think the adoption people knew all along! They are trying not to rock the boat! tehe!
      Awwww your Callie knew too? Sweet!

  34. Lu Anne says:

    ok if i knew it was going to “error” my comment i would have copied it first darnit! thanks wordpress! they don’t like me much lately! grrr ANYWAYS>>>>>

    As you and I know, I previously thought Haddie was a permanent resident at House de Tamar lol. So I don’t see why you don’t just go ahead and take the big jump. (cats are sooo much easier to commit to than bfs these days! LOL)

    Coming from a home that has 4 dogs, 7 cats and 3 kittens (2 of the adult cats are fosters and so are the 3 kittens) I don’t see that much more work between 3 and 2 cats. You’ve been doing it so long that I would think u were used to it, and you have gone ahead and done fostering of kittens along with having Haddie there.

    (Btw, haven’t heard anything about it but am assuming that August got adopted?)

    None of my permanent cats are cuddly cuddly. They all have their idiosincracies (sp?) and I wouldn’t change any of them for it.

    Cesar Milan says we get the pet we need, in this case Haddie not a dog, and not the pet we think we want or need. I think this theory is tremendously profound and hits the head on the nail.

    Deep down I think you’ve already decided as well. You just needed to get it reinforced from us! lol Haddie already knows where her home is: who her family is. Time for you to ackhowledge this as well! =D

  35. Connie says:

    I really feel you should keep her. I will say this in regards to your fear of becoming a “Cat Lady.” It’s not that bad. Just beware the “Cat Man.” Sometimes they don’t even know it when you meet them, and point out how they love wolves, but cats? Pshaw, not them. Then you catch them with a cat or two in their lap, and notice how FAT your cats are getting despite their strict diet. Then, sadly, someday you’ll lose your kitties to old age, and after some time has passed you’ll decide it’s time to adopt. DO NOT BRING CAT MAN WITH YOU. I walked in wanting ONE, specifically a lovely mature flame red floof of a gal…and came out with FOUR…kittens!!!!! Why? Mr Cat Man fell in love, Mr Cat Man can’t make his mind up and they are all so cute…

    I was a Cat Lady until I met Mr Cat Man, now I really do think I qualify as Crazy Cat Lady…but I won’t blame that on our 12 cats and 2 fosters…no…it’s not their fault at all.

    At least I make HIM do the litter boxes… 😉

  36. Paula says:

    Strangely, if she hadn’t been so compromised in her early life, she may never have found you – or you, she.

    So, to echo nearly everyone else on this page, YES – she is *yours* and, think of it this way, two males and one female + you = a family.

    Oh, and btw, just a quick check list – think of this:
    Could you endure ‘not knowing’ if she was getting along well with another family? Or, worse! Wondering if she was STILL being kept in the BATHROOM?

    She needs love, you have plenty of it to give – there should be no question.

    I’ve had rescues, and I know that the challenges are great – but, so are the rewards. They are measured in purrs…

    Good Luck – Hug Haddie and your boys for me! 🙂

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Paula, she is pretty special and I love her little face. I couldn’t believe she was with me a YEAR AGO (Realized when I was re-reading my HAPPY MEW YEARS post from last year). I think she is my common law cat by now! She WAS on the holiday card this year after all (to my Mom’s chagrin!) Thanks for commenting and HAPPY NEW YEARS!

  37. Jeremy says:

    I would keep her. My kitty Jewel came into my life quite suddenly after two weeks of being cat-less. She has the same kind of sixth-sense about her cage as Haddie does about Petco.

    I am facing a difficult decision too. Jewel is not spayed, but she has a heart murmur that might prevent her from waking up from the anesthetic. It does get extra noisy at times, and I know she’ll be healthier in the long run, but should I risk it when it could mean losing her?

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Hi Jeremy, thanks for posting a comment. Is Jewel an indoor/outdoor cat? Wondering if you can just not spay her if she is an indoor kitty?

  38. ReBecca says:

    While it doesn’t look like you need my 2 cents of advice based on the amazing # of comments above, I think the Universe is clearly sending you a message that Haddie is YOURS! You’ve given your heart and soul, blood and money to this sweet girl’s survival. (As you can see, I am in favor of you keeping Haddie).

    I keep hearing Tim Gunn’s voice in my head saying, “Make it work!” I think it IS working….despite the other issues you mentioned, LOVE is the greatest and most powerful reason. Imagine her gone and feel those feelings. That is where your true answer resides.

    Haddie already knows who her mom is.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Yes, I think given that she made it on my holiday card this year, it’s pretty much official….she must be common law by now! LOL Thanks for posting Rebecca! Happy New Years!

  39. Sharon says:

    I think it would be a real shame if you couldn’t keep her. She must love it there.

  40. Pingback: Interview with Tamar Arslanian of

  41. Tony says:

    Deserve to stay
    I take care of now
    In 5 cats
    I see no problem never
    Especially with the patient never
    Or injured, he needs to take care of
    More than any
    Another cat

  42. Connie says:

    So what is wrong with being a CCL? Is it because you fear not being able to find a person to share your life with? Well it just ensures you weed out the non cat lovers faster and you waste less time 🙂

    Says the woman with seven cats and fosters litters of kittens.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      LOL! I can barely keep up with 3 and the fosters I have. It’s tough in a 1 bedroom apartment I tell ya! It’s going to the CATS! 

  43. Hello! I’m a random fb fan!
    I live in a 2-human household, so when it comes to cats I always divide by 2 and get the cat-per-person ratio so it sounds less cazy-cat-person-ish when I give the total number. We were a 3-cat couple for a long time, and we knew that we couldn’t get anymore cats because my elderly grumpy lady cat has adaptation problems. Then one rainy morning I found a skinny black mewling boy in the middle of a traffic-heavy city and took him home so he wouldn’t be run over. Both my husband and I said a thousand times that he was only a foster boy, that he’ll be leaving as soon as we found him a home.
    Well, you can see where this is going. When we actually got an adopter for him, we deemed her not appropiate for our cat, and after some soul searching we got to the conclusion that no one was going to be good enough for Foster Kitty and he was meant to stay. We have been a 4 cat household for almost 4 years now and it is a lot of work, yes, a lot of cleaning and fear over vet bills and crazy cats running all over the house and eating the furniture, but I don’t regret adopting our fourth kitty. Sometimes you just belong together.

  44. Andreamwright says:

    This poor cat has been through so much and trusts you. I believe that every thing happens for a reason and you not going on Saturdays to show the cat for adoption that means  you are to  keep this cat. Yes its hard to have 3 cat. I have them, but I wouldn’t change that for anything.

  45. Ozcatmum says:

    I think you know the answer really. Haddie loves you and needs you. She belongs with you. If you keep her, she’s a long term foster in the extreme.
    If she leaves, she has to find her way with someone new and learn to adapt all over again. And you will have to start again with each foster cat. 
    Good luck and happy times with your kitties.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Hi Ozcatmum, don’t worry, since this article was first written last May Haddie has become official 🙂 AND i still foster! LOL Crazy Cat Lady title coming my way! 

  46. I also think you already KNOW…Haddie is meant to stay with YOU…don’t fight it any longer!  I have 4 kitties and, guess what, met a man who also had 4!  I think a cat lady, in the derogative use of the phrase, has a lot more than 3 or 4.   And do you really think it matters anyway?  Haddie is meant to stay with YOU!  SHE IS THE ONE!  Accept and enjoy…she loves you and wants to stay with you.  I hope I’ve swayed you  into keeping her and not putting her through any more fearful Saturday mornings…remember, she was already returned once and came back to your care…a sign of whom she is meant to be with forever.  Good luck and let us know your decision (keep, keep!).

  47. May I add that Kip deserves to have a sister  he can groom and love.  And look at Haddie…so pretty, I love her coloring! So have I and others persuaded you, for Kip and Haddie?

  48. Lwells7463 says:

    I thought the whole time that, that’s why your Haddie came back the first time she wanted you.  Cats are like that they are stubborn and will get what they want and she wanted you.  You took care of her at the lowest point in her live and showed her love and caring, and tenderness.  She wanted you from the begining.  I am so glad you found an another one and you saved her life.  Thank you for all the work you do for our four legged friends

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Thank you so much for being a fan of I HAVE CAT and for also taking the time to post your thoughts !Sorry it took me so long to respond! 

  49. MaryKahle1968 says:

    I guess the thing to remember is that while we as humans choose a dog… a cat always chooses us!  we belong to them.  So glad you decided… you really always knew, didn’t you?

    As for CCL tag?  We are owned by 4 lovely furry creatures.  Since there are 3 adults I guess we can split the title 3 ways.  I gave up a long time ago and gladly embrace the title!

  50. I have four cats – had five but lost my Sisko this past November.  I don’t consider myself a crazy cat lady, and I don’t care if other people do. LOL

    But I have a similar situation with one…long story short I rescued her from a Walmart parking lot. Hubby kept insisting I find her a home…admittedly I dragged my feet.  Then one day, she’s snuggling with him on the sofa and he says “don’t you think we need to get her a name tag?”


    • I HAVE CAT says:

      THAT IS THE SWEETEST STORY! I’m sorry about the loss of your baby Sisko.  Sorry I didn’t reply earlier….I’m so not used to this Disqus commenting system! It’s gotten away from me.
      So your hubby is a cat man after all! Perhaps you should submit his story so he can be a CAT MAN MONDAY! Check out some prior posts.
      You must include photos and the post should be 500-800 words long. Email submission to ihavecat(at)gmail(dot)com

  51. Kellyjelly says:

    OH, I always want 3 cats because when one passes away, the other two are there for each other. I believe 3 is the norm, 4 is the “crazy” territory…

    I also understand the desire to have space for a flex cat, in case there’s a foster in need or a person calls and asks if you can help house an animal temporarily, but I feel, reading your story, like Haddie needs you and has come to trust you!

    I rescued a dump from the street (cat #4) last august and tried and TRIED to find a home to no avail. For first few months we thought of her as a visitor, not our family, and then after a while I felt it wasn’t fair to her and I just started to love her like my own. She’s quite aloof, definitely not affectionate, but she looks at me with these eyes that follow me around the apt. She’s in love with me for giving her a family & a home & she can’t let me know that except through her eyes.

    I’m hoping Haddie is still with you.

    • Kendal Bayer says:

      BTW, I love her face, and think she is precious. I just saw the update that you adopted her! Yay, I know she is so happy to be yours.

      • I HAVE CAT says:

        Awww thank you. Yes, it’s not easy to have 3 in a 1 bedroom apartment. But it’s an interesting thought, that if/when one of them passes the other will not be left alone. I’d never thought of that . If you haven’t already please do post photos of all 4 of your babies on our FB page!

  52. Sandy says:

    Oh my, I am definitly a crazy cat lady then. I have 7. I never intended to have more than one cat. But one skinny stray happened by one day I fed him, then I named him, then he became mine. He lives like a king outside. A couple of autumns later another showed up and Morty took a shine to her (I named her Matilda) and two litters later I ended up keeping 4 of the kittens. I just couldn’t bear to take them to a shelter and could not rehome them in my area. No one wanted a kitten. So I now have Linky, the resident female, Sam, Spooky AKA Pookie, BooBoo Louise and Marguerite in the house. Morty and his life partner Mama Matilda live outside. I love them all.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Well, don’t forget I live in NYC in a one bedroom! So must take that into consideration! Have you posted photos of all of them on our FB page?! Please do if you haven’t! Http:/

  53. Sarah Menzies says:

    I had to keep myself from shedding a tear at work over Haddie and her poor little eyes glued shut :o(
    You were such a great foster mom, and obviously that bond could’nt be broken, so glad you decided to keep her :o) x

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      Awww you are too sweet. I know, she was a sad sight she was. I still love kissing her face (when she lets me) she has such a pinched face that I can get her eyes, nose and mouth with one big kiss! 

  54. Wren says:

    I know this is an old post and you have since adopted Haddie, but this is why I couldn’t foster.  I’d fall in love with them every time and adopt them. 🙂
    PS, I’ve always wondered, did you have to get special permission to have multiple cats in your apartment?  I did to get cat #3, but I seem to recall pet policies being a lot more lax back east (I’m originally from NJ) than here in Denver.

    • Anonymous says:

      Awww I LOVE it when people read my older posts (the ones I wrote when I wasn’t gainfully employed and had more time to write thoughtfully!). Well, i am not supposed to have ANY cats actually! But I had already been living here for a while when I got Kip….I never brought it up to the landlords and I guess the super never mentioned the time the landlord showed up i had THREE and it was too late b/c I was grandfathered. If you have an animal for a certain length of time in NYC and no one complains, they lose their right to do anything about it! If they wanted to be jerks i supposed they could say no more cats (which might mean no more fosters?).

  55. poet says:

    I found your blog from . we currently have 4 cats. we have had 7. i never before heard of the three-cat-rule. i think that Haddie is meant to be your kitty. I admire those of us cat lovers who can foster kittens, and cats……i love them all dearly but i’d really wanna keep ’em all. Happy New Year and I hope that Haddie remains with you. Besides, Kip has bonded with her as well. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Poet,
      So nice to hear from you! Well, I think the “three cat thing” is more my perception than anything else.
      You’ll be happy to know that Haddie is an official part of the family. I adopted her last January to make it official!

  56. Blue says:

    How precious of a story.  Keep her.  If you let her go you will regret it, you are attached already.

  57. Renee says:

    Awww, I’m so sad to learn that 3 cats is the tipping point into Crazy Cat Lady Land…I have 7 cats….

  58. Celine Oriet says:

    It was a sign!! Someone in the Universe made you trip, made Haddie fly out of your hands and your cheeks right in the cat food. With all that you still got cleaned up and enjoyed your brunch, didn’t you? So, what’s the big deal of one more cat who is the most adorable, cutie pie ever!! I think she is meant to be with you.

  59. Totally late in posting… I have 3 cats and a boyfriend. And besides, who cares if you enter into ‘crazy cat lady’ territory? Whether you do or don’t have the third cat, you either are or aren’t a crazy cat lady. Whoever you date will probably figure that out eventually. I say flaunt your cat loverness! Personally, I’d have as many cats as I could healthily manage if I could, and if someone had a problem with it? I’d tell them where to go. The stigma, I think, is this idea that it’s ok to have 3 or more HUMAN children, but pets? Now you’re supplementing and are unstable! The reality is, some of us prefer the companionship of animals to human children. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

  60. K B says:

    Oh you sooo need to keep her! She has been through so much in her short life and to have to change humans again would just make her more remote. We don’t always get the cats we want but we get the cat’s that need us and Haddie needs you!

  61. Esmeralda says:

    I love reading Haddie so you must keep her period