Today was the day. He hadn't gotten back in touch in any way. trystan_laryssa's phone was down when I tried calling. We swung by, and I asked him to come with us. hcolleen was holding the cat in the car. I told him we were taking the cat to the shelter. He said that his mother was willing to come up with the $20 to get the cat put down, but wouldn't come up with the $35 to get the cat taken in. I said in a very small voice that I thought the cat deserved a second chance, and tried not to say another word to him until we got to the shelter. It was a very silent drive. hcolleen talked to Hermione-cat, who had her claws sunk into the dress hcolleen was wearing.
I was glad we had brought the human with us, because the first thing they asked was whose cat was it. We made it clear that she was his cat. I sat holding the plastic cat-crate they brought out to put her in (lest she escape) and petted her through the holes while he filled out paperwork. They asked him why he was bringing her in. He said it was medical: blood in her stools. The woman told him that then the cat would be put down. I was too appalled to speak. The primary reason for her coming in was not medical. It is that we just cannot take care of a cat in a studio apartment any longer, and he does not have his shit together. I didn't have that clear enough in my head to get it out my mouth. I sat there in stunned silence that he wasn't speaking up more about the exact nature of the situation, and petted her. Some more people came in, and I scooped up the cage and held it in my lap so someone could sit on the chair next to mine.
He finished with his paperwork and they were ready to take her. He didn't have a donation. I did. I didn't want a receipt. I didn't want change. Tears had been trickling out of my eyes despite my best efforts to keep my dignity in public. At this juncture I started bawling and curled around the cage. I wanted to say that it was all a horrible mistake and we wanted to keep her even though dipshit couldn't. But I knew we just. can't. keep. a. cat. like. this. Not her. Not any cat. It's too small in here for us and a cat, especially a cat with any kind of issues. One of the ladies stuffed us into a little room so I could say goodbye to her (and not make a scene). hcolleen followed.
The lady said that they'd have one of their vets take a look at her and see if she could be treated and placed. I let them know (in what was left of my voice) that she needs constant access to a litterbox, and she likes to sleep on people.
We left. I stood up very straight as we walked to the car. He wanted to know if I wanted him to come up with the money to pay me back for the donation I made. I shook my head violently, then clarified in that small voice that he should pay the money to where it does the most good. Pass it on. (I would more likely punch him in the face than take his money at this point.) He wanted to know if he should take the bus home. I drove him to the place where he is staying in dead silence.
hcolleen tells me it is not my fault, and that I have done more for the cat than he did. So is Dawn. Darkside made comforting noises. note_to_cat and assorted friends have made comforting noises. hcolleen said that if we had a two-bedroom apartment we'd be able to keep her, easily. There would be enough room. But. There is not here. We just cannot. Dawn says that we win some and we lose some, and this time we lost. And that I gave her more of a chance than he would have. That I was willing to give her up for adoption, and not just have her put down. That she has a chance. That she could well find a home. I'm just hoping that their talking about a vet taking a look at her is not just talk to make the madwoman feel better. I'd rather have the truth than a comforting lie. I'm clinging to the hope that it was the truth. That's all I can do.