Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Illinois, United States
Posted Mar 13, 2014
I hate to admit it, but my cat Mabel was a rescue who I think might have been feral. I had a cat at home when I brought her into my life from a great shelter and I did everything by the book as far as keeping the two cats separated, slowly introducing them to each other's scents, having them play with each other on opposite sides of a door, introducing them on neutral ground, etc. Unfortunately it was all for naught.
I tried everything I could think of and consulted every source I knew, but Mabel was just naturally violent, aggressive, and, in hindsight, did not seem to be fully domesticated.
This might not have been an issue if she was my only cat, but the true tragedy was how much she hurt and abused my other cat. She was constantly attacking the other cat and did not seem to have any line between playfulness and outright fighting and mauling. After a particularly bad altercation resulting in my original cat's need for veterinary attention, I unfortunately had to consider other options.
In the end I had to return her to the shelter in hopes that she could find a home more conducive to giving her the individualized and solitary attention I think she may have required. I still miss her and occasionally second-guess my decision, but I did the best I could at the time and I can't think of anything I could have done better.
To be fair and clear however: I've had three American Shorthair cats and Mabel was the only one who wasn't an absolute joy. It just wasn't a good fit in the end.