I’m cat sitting this weekend. I know, it’s not exactly news but this little cat’s story is an interesting one and unlike many stories about abandoned animals, this one has a happy ending…
A few years ago a close friend of mine (The Bloke) decided to get another cat, having lost his first in tragic circumstances and he figured the best way to go about getting a new feline friend was to pay a visit to a cat shelter and save a little life. He’s like that, which is one of the reasons he’s my friend.
Anyway, having made the decision he took himself off to said cat shelter to choose a new little mate to join him out on his rural property. He found several potential little mates there actually who were all affectionate and cuddly and one little tortoiseshell who was none of the above. The shelter didn’t have a lot of history on her other than that she’d had kittens and had been desexed but they were fairly sure they would never be able to place her in a home as she was very aggressive and unpredictable.
No one really knows for sure, but it’s my guess this little cat had a very bad start to life and her only exposure to humans had been traumatic which would explain why she would lash out if you got too close. Even if you didn’t get too close! Chances were she may have been just plain feral but everything about her screamed just plain cruelty case! The staff at the shelter added that the only thing they felt they could do was to have her put down. Anyway, her fate struck a chord with The Bloke and being the kind of guy who tends to stand up for the underdog (in this case, undercat) he decided to take her off death row and cart her home with him instead and the people at the shelter were probably relieved to see this pussycat get a reprieve but to be fair, they did offer to take her back if it didn’t work out.
And so began the process of showing her that life could be good after all and that there were decent humans in the world who would not hurt her or frighten her or do any of the things that we think must have happened to her before she ended up at the shelter and, over time, she started to believe it. It’s been a long road though. Sure, she still has her little ways but hey, what feline doesn’t, but she no longer sees everyone as a potential foe who needs killing and maiming etc. (We didn’t call her Lightning Paws for nothing, hon!!!)
Initially she was the hissiest, bitiest, scratchiest little bundly of feisty fury you ever saw in all your life! Admittedly she did have the odd calmer moment that could deceive the unwary but touching her was still akin to dicing with death and, well, it was often better to just talk to her in soothing tones from a really safe distance. We all did that for quite a while actually. But time can heal many things and it eventually began to work on this cute little cat.
Today she is no longer as inclined to take your face off as she used to be. Still could if she wanted to but she no longer seems to see it as the only option. You can actually pat her now with no fear of losing an arm and even pick her up for a (cautious) cuddle! Pretty amazing for a pussycat who would kill you as quick as look at you when The Bloke first brought her home.
It’s all been so worth it though and to see her playing with toys, coming up for a pat or a cuddle with no fear in her eyes and generally running around like any happy puss does is really something. Right now she’s rubbing against my legs while I write this and I can’t help thinking that had it not been for The Bloke, she would not be here at all and I’ve come to the conclusion that “something” must have sent him to that particular shelter to find her. I believe in things like that.
See what I meant about the happy ending?