Well, unlike you, we unfortunately were unable to negotiate with our cat and make him an indoor cat. We live in a small city, and we've never been very comfortable with having an indoor/outdoor cat in our area, although there are about 15 cats in the neighborhood that are in that situation (which is why we vax, and get him checked up with the Vet every 6mths), so at least people drive VERY slow around here and are aware of the cats in the area.
He REFUSED to be an indoor cat. We could only stop the flow of urine from him to our furniture by letting him go outside. I tried to just let him go out with us in the morning when I took the dog out, but he would literally cry all night. I never knew cats could cry until we got him.
He was soooo miserable, and I couldn't find a country family for him to go live with that would regularly interact with him and bring him to the vet and such. I tried, but seriously, people who take their pets to the vet to get vaxed and checked out are so slim around here even with indoor cat owners, finding someone who wanted a relatively high maintenence outdoor cat was impossible.
The little boy needed his trips to the vet to make sure he was ok.
I couldn't think of any better situation, and once we installed a cat door, he was literally the.happiest.cat.EVER.
I just feel, like you, so guilty (only I have more to be guilty about than you do since you kept yours indoors). All I wanted to do was to give this sick little runt a home where he could get the care he needed. I'm not saying this as a bad thing, but I spent $2500 on him in 18 mths getting him all fixed up and healthy again. That was over 10% of my yearly grad school fellowship income.
I REALLY wanted to do right by him, but now this.
I called the Humane Society tonight, and there are two new male orange tabbies that have come in since I was there on Sunday. I'm going over there tomorrow when they open at noon, but I'm not very hopeful. They were both found fairly far from our home, and each across a major street.
Thanks for the support mama. I'm really just glad my little one is too little to miss him. I think, however, my 10 yr old Lab misses him. She's been moping since we got home from Thanksgiving (when we discovered he hadn't come back).