Last year when my 22 year old kitty died I was devastated. She'd been with me almost half my life. Her 12 year old brother, Mel, was also having a hard time so a week after her death I went to Humane -- just to see if they had any cats -- they might run out, you know. I met Bogie, an 8 month old feral who they felt could be socialized. What I didn't know at the time, but they told me later, was they found him in a feral colony when he was maybe 2 months old. They are a no-kill shelter but they do pick up ferals and spay or neuter them. Because he was so sweet they kept him instead of re-releasing him into the wild. He lived at Humane for 2 months but no one took him so he went to foster care for two more months and then back to Humane. He'd been there about 2 more months when I met him -- apparently every time someone picked him up he lost his home. He's a pretty smart little guy.
Well we hit it off -- I spent about 2 hours with him, pet him, he let me comb him and when I told him I was having a hard time reaching him on his high shelf he moved, on his own, to a lower shelf. I decided against bringing him home at 5 on a Sunday when I'd have to leave for work the next day and he'd be in a strange home with just him and Mel and who knew what they'd do. So I said I'd pick him up the next Saturday.
Saturday morning, June 26 I set the alarm and as I was leaving for Humane to bring Bogie home I was hit with that overwhelming feeling of loss when someone you love dies. I just sat there crying for Molly and told her no one could ever fill the hole left by her death.
I got to Humane and this little black kitty came running up -- insisting quite loudly she was ready to come home. Her bags were packed, bring on the carrier, she was ready to go. She climbed up my leg and hung on. I held her a minute and she gave me mega kitty kisses and I put her down to go to Bogie. She climbed up on me again and meowed to beat the band -- I'm sure she was saying "It's me! What's the problem? Let's go." I put her down again and started again for Bogie...and she was right back up my leg.
What is a mere human to do? So I went out front and said I'd take both of them. We got home and Bogie ran and hid. For two days I had no idea where he was, just that he was in the house. Missy, however, made herself right at home -- it was if she'd lived here all her life -- all 6 months of it. Two days after they came home I saw Missy herding Bogie downstairs for breakfast. She figured out the "rules" and made sure he knew them. He's a quick study -- especially when it comes to food and most especially when it's treats or his all time favorite, whipped cream.
But since the day I brought him home he has never let me touch him. He runs from everyone. When the vet comes we have to plan ahead and it takes 3 of us to catch him. He's been determined not to let anyone touch him because if they do, he will lose his home -- or so he thinks. It's really quiet sad because he's one of those kitties you just want to pick up and cuddle.
Bogie hangs out in one of the front bedrooms -- he has this little corner where you can't reach him for beans. It's his safe little kingdom.
Well this week, being home on vacation, I decided every day I'd go in there and at least get him to sniff my hand.
Sunday I touched his front paws and he let me pet them for oh, maybe a minute before he pulled away.
Today I went in and I was able to pet his tummy, his ears and under his chin and he didn't run for almost 2 minutes! That's pretty huge, you know? He turned after that and I'm not sure if he was moving away from me or giving me the other side of his body to pet him but I figured we'd accomplished a lot for one day. He didn't panic, just laid there while I told him he was a good boy and this is his forever home.
It may seem a small thing to a non-pet owner, but if you've ever loved a kitty who is afraid of everyone (or other animal) and they finally let you near, it's one of the best days of your life. (That's Bogie in the front)