So, about a week and a half ago, right after we’d gotten Smudgie and HG, I got an email from the shelter manager. One of her other foster parents had two semi-feral cats in her house, they’d been there for a while, had been spayed and had all their shots, but she wasn’t having any luck taming them. The shelter manager asked if I wanted to give it a try. I said yes, and talked to the woman who had them, and we decided that she’d capture the kittens (who were about 6 months old) and bring them over when she could. That was last Saturday, and she wasn’t able to get her hands on them (she said they’d follow her from room to room, but if she tried to touch them, they’d run away) and said she’d keep trying and would let me know when she had them.
Meanwhile, Smudgie went to the pet store on Tuesday (she was adopted on Saturday, by the way) and HG was by himself and he was getting marginally friendlier, just a tiny bit more each day. This past Thursday, the woman called and said she’d gotten one of the kittens, and was it okay if she brought it over? I said yes, of course, and she showed up with this little black and white kitten and we put the carrier in the room with HG (who was very curious and like “Oh, did you bring me a friend?!” – he really likes other cats a lot) and opened the carrier and just left them alone.
Ten or fifteen minutes after the woman left, I went upstairs and the kitten – whose name is Splash – had come out of the carrier and moved into a padded pyramid, burrowed under the cushion on the bottom, and wanted me to leave her alone, which she communicated by looking at me in terror if I lifted the cushion to look at her.
I was worried that HG would take on her unfriendly manner, so I moved him into the guest bedroom Thursday evening, and mid-day Friday, he broke and gave up his scaredy-cat ways. He’s turned into a total lovebug – a little wary at first, then once you pet him once or twice he paces back and forth and demands to be petted and “talks” and flops against my leg and kneads and lets me pick him up.
When I went into the foster kitten room (where Splash was) Friday morning, she was hiding behind the closet door. I touched her on the head once or twice, and she stared at me and shook. I put a little plate of soft cat food on the floor and left her alone. I went back later in the morning, and she had moved to hide in the litter box. I’ll let the scared kitties do just about anything they want to do except hide in the litter box. There are plenty of other places to hide, so I lifted her out, and she ran under the dresser and hid there. I spent a couple of hours in the foster kitten room talking to her, looking at her, and reading aloud to her so she’d get used to the sound of my voice. The entire time, she stayed under the dresser. Later that day she was hiding in the litter box again, so again I took her out. I tried holding her and she allowed it, but she shook the entire time.
Pretty much since Friday afternoon, she’s been hiding under the dresser. I finally put a cat bed under there for her, because I didn’t like the idea of her lying on the cold floor. After ignoring it for a day, she climbed in, so maybe that’s progress. I know she’s been out of the bed, because she used the litter box and finally ate some of the soft food I left for her (there’s dry food available all the time) and at one point I heard the sound of a cat toy jingling. Any time I go in there, though, she’s under the dresser.
HG continued being perfectly friendly toward me (a little less friendly toward Fred, but I suspect that’s because Fred hasn’t spent as much time with him) and mid-day Saturday I thought that maybe if I put him back in the foster kitten room with Splash, he’d kind of lead by example. I did that, and she continues to hide under the dresser. I got her to eat a kitty treat, and she hissed at me, which I consider a step forward, because at least she’s not just sitting there looking terrified.
At this point, all I can do is spend lots of time in there and try to get her used to being around me and hope she comes around.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.