While the title of this post might imply that Arnie is dead, he isn't. But Arnie is gone from my life, and I know I won't see him again. And boy does that hurt. Arnie was in my life for 11 months and made a big impression. I love him dearly.
I adopted him in November 2012. He was lovely and cuddly in his enclosure at the store. When he got home, he hid under the bed until night time, then came out and cuddled with me in the bed. He showed himself to be quite affectionate, although he started nipping and biting for what seemed like no reason. Perhaps he wanted a friend, I thought. I moved to a bigger place that allowed me to have two cats, so Willow moved in with us on the day that we all moved house. She instantly wanted to make friends; Arnie wanted to bite her on the butt and attack her.
I thought it would be fine, but it kept escalating, until Willow had to be taken to the vet twice for injuries inflicted by Arnie. I ended up with large scars from scratches, gouges and puncture wounds. We took him to two different vets, tried a variety of different medications and techniques, but his bad attitude remained.
He could be so snuggly and purr so much and love cuddles, so I was confused by his seemingly random attacks. 11 months of these attacks was getting too much though. It was getting to the point where I didn't want to touch him for fear of being hurt.
The cats were having to be kept seperate constantly; one in the bathroom and one in the loungeroom, swapping at mealtimes. This left Willow meowing some nights for company, and Arnie not getting as much contact as he needed. It also left me having panic attacks after he almost got out and attacked Willow a few times. Things got a little better when we got a mesh enclosure that took up the entire loungeroom but reduced the risk of Arnie getting to Willow.
Stress levels lowered. Willow stopped being as terrified of Arnie and even tried to play with him sometimes through the enclosure walls, although he was still intent on attacking her. After talking to the local vet, it was decided that Arnie needed a new home. We searched for about a month but no one wanted to adopt him. I decided then to contact Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue. I knew they had a good reputation and I had followed their facebook posts for a while. I knew that they would take care of Arnie and would have the experience necessary to understand what his problem was and find him the perfect home.
When we took him there, it was all I could do not to bawl my eyes out. When I said my final goodbyes and Louise left myself and my partner in his new enclosure, I barely managed to stop myself from making those loud terrible noises you make when your heart has broken.
Louise from BVCR has been lovely enough to keep giving me updates. Apparently he hasn't shown his rough side yet (of course!) and has made a friend (yay!). He is snuggly with everyone who shows up to the shelter I've been told. Like he was with us the first time we met him. Louise is waiting for him to show his bad side so that she can figure out what to do with him; what help he needs, that sort of thing.
I'm so glad that shelters like BVCR and people like Louise exist so that Arnie can be given a real chance at finding happiness. I just hope that he doesn't feel like I betrayed or abandoned him because I love him so much. This was one of the hardest things I've had to do and it hurt so much. I love you Arnie.
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