For some time now, I have attempted to integrate Ruby into my apartment. I kept her (and the other kitty I saved from this disgusting shelter, Candice) in the bathroom for almost a year, switching blankets around, trading toys with my cats (siblings, Dani & Dorie) and I was also well aware that my kitties were sniffing at those kitties under the door. Things weren't going so well though because when I let them out, my kitties would spazz - hiding, hissing, but the biggest issue was them running because Ruby would chase them and with that crooked head of hers, she'd make a mess trying to keep her balance and the noise from that only freaked my kitties out even more.
I felt bad leaving her in the bathroom though because Ruby loves company so much and there wasn't much stimulation in there either even with her toothless buddy, Candice. So, I moved Ruby and Candice into a large crate in the middle of my apartment in the hopes that with everyone face to face, but Ruby unable to chase, that things would go more smoothly. My kitties still wouldn't adjust - hissing and eyes dilating when they saw the new cats and that's when they weren't hiding!
The reality is, Dorie I have strictly because of how very spastic she is. Though I have had her since she was about 6 weeks old, I had to wrap her up and carry her everywhere just to get her to how social she is now ... and she's barely social! No one really sees her and any sudden moves or loud noises cause her to run for cover. So, when overbearing Ruby approached her to check her out, Dorie would spazz and run ... and when Dorie ran, Ruby would chase. Candice did well though - she's quiet and not like Ruby at all. So, my most recent solution was to have the HH pair in my room all day while Dani and Dorie had the rest of my apartment and then, at night, I would put Ruby in the crate and allow Candice to free roam with my cats ... but Ruby would cry most of the night for affection and company. It broke my heart...
I know Ruby could not be in a better place -that's a fact- because TP has the money to further look into her severe head tilt if necessary (though it doesn't seem to bother her), she'll eventually be loose to play with all the kitties that will tolerate her, Ruby will have lots of volunteers to talk to and she'll have a much better chance of being seen & adopted than she did locked up in my apartment ... but I still feel awful. I've had her for so many months now that I've grown very, very attached. She's such a big, soft mush ball and so personable - talking so much that she even talked to herself at times and after surrendering her, I came back to Candice curled up all by herself - no Ruby pushing herself on her to cuddle. I cried all afternoon and still haven't brought myself to go into her holding her while she adjusts to being a sanctuary kitty. If it wasn't for how much Dorie got upset, I'd have kept Ruby and there's not doubt that Ruby & Candice could be the most wonderful pair of kitties a person could adopt together (laid back, quiet Candice and super sweet, glued to the comfiest spot/your side Ruby), but me being upset is strictly selfish. Like I said, Ruby's in the better place right now, even if it's not with me and/or Candice.
On top of feeling awful, I also felt like a complete creep doing her intake. My original plan was to take two of the sanctuary's more aggressive/more outside appropriate cats and the sanctuary would take Ruby. So, I didn't plan on letting her go until the Spring when it is warmer out to put kitties out to adjust to my parents' farm. She is late on getting her vaccinations because I was waiting until the end of the month to get Dani, Dorie, Candice and Ruby on the same schedule - getting the HH pair's a bit late and Dani & Dorie's a bit early so they would all be on track together. Ruby's paperwork from the shelter is unreliable too, for example: they had her as a male cat! Though looked at by a vet and vet tech and never going into heat, it was never actually determined if she was even spayed, but I also wasn't advised to do an exploratory surgery to check. Not to mention, I got her while still involved in my rescue, but within several months I resigned - leaving Ruby & Candice in my care, but with no real way of adopting them out or seeing a rescued discounted vet.
So, I turned over Ruby yesterday because she was spending most of her time in a cage and with her not up to date on shots, along with being unsure if she's been unfixed for over a year in my care and ... talk about looking like a bad pet parent! As if I didn't feel lame enough surrendering her in general!!
For months now Ruby & Candice have been living together (Ruby loves to snuggle with Candice ... though I'm not sure how much Candice liked it). The pair mushed together was and remains in my mind to be a perfect example of their two personalities - Candice always tolerant and Ruby so extremely
Here's the last photo I took of Ruby & Candice in their classic snuggling up together way before surrendering Ruby...