Thursday evening we try something different. After her initial bites of baby food, so I don’t get swatted, I bundle her up in her little kitty cave and carry her into the living room. The TV is on, the dishwasher in the kitchen is making noise and the fireplace is blazing. She is quivering in fear. After about 45 minutes she starts to settle down. She pokes her head out of the kitty cave and surveys the room. She is very interested in my kitty Hope, who jumps up beside us to investigate, and licks Sammie’s mouth enjoying the residue of baby food she tastes there. There is no hissing.
I cuddle Sammie to my chest and kiss her sweet little face. She always seems to enjoy this. Finally she crawls back into her kitty cave and stretches out relaxed and comfortable – even purring a bit. After two hours I take her back to her closet and she rushes back to her “safe” bed. I think we are making good progress but might have to rethink my hope that this can be accomplished in 10 days.
I think it was good keeping Sammie in the closet during the first couple days. It was safe and quiet and she needed ME for comfort and it forced her to bond with me. But it was lonely for her most of the time. I could only spend three hours a day at the most in the closet and she needed to be introduced to the sounds and activity of a house. So Saturday morning we tried something new.
I had been bringing her into the living room in her “kitty cave” but I had to keep a hand on her constantly to make sure that she didn’t bolt. That was hard on both of us. Saturday morning I brought in my medium sized dog crate and put her kitty cave in that. It made her a safe place within a safe place. I put that on the dining table and just sat with her while I worked on my lap top. My sister came over and my husband was in and out too so she had some exposure to other people as well.
Later I put the crate on the living room floor and kind of crawled in with her. I’ve done this before with other shy kitties and it works. Then a few of my kitties crowded around to investigate. I was surprised how well it all went. She had been in the living room in her kitty cave the two previous evenings so my cats had caught some glimpses of Sammie as well as her smells. There was no hissing at all – just genuine interest. My kitties played with some toys and Sammie enjoyed watching them. After this I kind of lay in the crate with her again and she CAME TO ME AND HEAD BUTTED ME! YEA! Several times actually. It was great. I let her explore the room a bit but eventually she hid under the sofa and then ran up the stairs. I went after her and she darted through the upstairs, back downstairs and back into the kennel on the living room floor. She wanted her safe space back. She’s sleeping in her kennel in front of the fire place as I type this.
It’s Saturday night and I think both Sammie and I are pretty happy. This is her 5th day at my house. I think there is real hope that Sammie will soon be adoptable – but only to a great family. She is my girl now!
Sunday morning Sammie was back in the living room in her kitty cave and dog crate combo. My sister, her husband and even her dog came over and Sammie did great. She is still spooky of course, but did not overreact to anything. I keep a gentle hand on her when she is out of the kennel or she will still slowly work her way under the sofa but I am still thrilled with her progress after only 5 ½ days at my house.
It will be difficult for me to give Sammie up at the end of this time. I’ve been working with her at the shelter for five months now. It’s hard because I am bonding with her as she is bonding with me. I’m hoping some wonderful family steps up to adopt her so I can more easily let her go! If you think you are that special person or family, please give us a call! 509-684-1475
We have as many as 12 other kitties at the Sanctuary right now, who desperately need a foster home to help them become use to humans so they can find a home of their own some day. If you are interested in taking a kitty like Sammie into your home and helping the kitty learn to trust and even love being with humans, please give us a call, we need your help!
Stay tuned for more with Pam and Sammie!