The Taming of a Kitty pt.2

Sammie in her cat cave

Sammie in her cat cave

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.

Sammie's new "safe" area in the livingroom

Sammie’s new “safe” area in the livingroom

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.
sammie10Later 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!


Sammie meeting one of Pam’s kitties.

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.

Still nervous but doing very well with all the activity in the house.

Still nervous but doing very well with all the activity in the 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!


About colvillevalleyanimalsanctuary

The Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned, neglected, and otherwise homeless companion animals. We provide both crisis and long-term sheltering, medical care, fostering, and adoption services - all with the goal of placing our animals permanently in safe and loving homes. We spay and neuter all of the animals in our care and actively promote, through financial donations and community support, the effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Stevens County. By example and through education, we promote and advance the values of responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals.
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2 Responses to The Taming of a Kitty pt.2

  1. Heather says:

    Pam, thanks for sharing your amazing story. We adopted Casanova recently (renamed Huey) and he was/is pretty skittish. He enjoyed being in his safe place-a cat bed in an enclosed porch-for the first few days. We gradually introduced him to the other cats, with some hissing and growling from some of them. He has become a part of our home since the adoption a few weeks ago. Right now he is playing the our other young cat and last night he slept on our bed with the other cats. It’s a good thing we have a king size! He accepts petting and loves to have his back scratched. We need to approach him slowly still, but even that is improving all the time. Thank you so much for al you do! I wish we could do more.

  2. Pam Smith says:

    Hi Heather, I’ve been meaning to call and ask you how Cassanova, now Huey, is doing. Your phone number has been on my desk since you adopted him. I’m delighted to hear that things are moving along so well. Thank you so much for all that you are doing. Wish we had a dozen more like you. You are helping me prove that these shy one, with some extra patience and love, can make wonderful loving members of our families!

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