Update: I managed to rehome Max with some friends.
I miss him like crazy, but he is hopefully going to enjoy his new home more than he would our limited space, playing second fiddle to the coming addition to our lives.
Update: A few people have asked, Max has just turned 6 years old. He's desexed, microchipped and vaccinated. His breed is a bit of a question, when we got him, we were told he was a domestic longhair, but he is a spitting image of a Nebelung, so who knows.
Any other questions, just let me know.
I have some good news and I have some bad news.
The good news is that my partner is pregnant and I couldn't be happier, there is just one minor exception.
With the very imminent arrival of this third housemate (or as some people more accurately call them, a child) and after 5 and a half years together I am having to look at rehoming my cat Max.
Having spoken to a few people about it, almost all seem to have come up with the same response. Which is along the lines of why can't you keep him? Plenty of people have babies and cats and everything is fine.
I am sure I would have had this response if someone else was telling me the same thing about their cat, but unfortunately I know too many realities of our current situation.
We live in a somewhat small, but open plan house. It has 3 rooms, there are 2 bedrooms where Max already isn't allowed, a bathroom and then the rest of the house as an open area. At this point in time, he spends his days in a single space, with the option of hanging out in the bathroom if he wants a change of scenery. I've tried letting him outside, but the house is near a busy road and he doesn't want to be outside for any length of time greater than a minute or two.
This current home of ours is barely a home for two people and a cat. Two people, a baby and a cat is going to be a compromise for all of us. So something has to give and I am afraid for the benefit of all of us, that is Max needing a new home.
There is talk of us moving, but it isn't going to happen very quickly or in any way that would allow for plans around temporary rehoming.
I want this to be the case and to say that I need someone to take him in for a few months or for however long. I don't have a large network of family or friends in Australia, but someone might be willing to do it. The problem with that scenario is that I have no idea what parenthood looks like and when/if I'd be in the position to take Max back. It feels more like I would be taking advantage and imposing on someone with no clear end in sight.
Another factor to consider, having moved house with Max three times already, is that it would not be a positive experience for him to be put into a situation of repeated upheaval. He does not move well.
The more I consider all the options, the more I realise that rehoming is likely to be best of all of us, my growing family and for him. He gets a forever home and I get to approach first time parenthood without compromises. I love him and the idea of him not being in my life is an incredibly sad and scary thought.
My experience in Australia wouldn't have been the same without him or his companionship. I'm a crazy cat guy and proud of it, but this is going to be the better option for all of us I hope.
Rehoming him is going to need to happen as soon as possible and at the moment I am looking at the options available in Melbourne for doing this.
The point of me writing this, other than the cathartic release of putting into words what a sad thing this is going to be, was to see if anyone else has had experience in rehoming cats, either in or around Melbourne or just in general. If you do and you wanna get in touch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach me on twitter @navitronic, I'd love to hear from you.