Several people asked in yesterday’s comments about Emmy, since I hadn’t mentioned her in a while, which I’ve been meaning to. I’m blaming it on Vacation Brain. I can still do that, right? Right!
Emmy is still with us, still upstairs in the foster room, and has made no progress. This isn’t through lack of trying on our part, believe me – I’ve spent hours upon hours in that room with her and tried every trick I know. We caged her after she was spayed, intending to try the slow process where I’d lure her in with food, continue on to getting her to play with me, and then we’d become BFFs, but she freaked out so badly when we put her in the cage that we had to let her out (we tried covering the cage with a towel, to no avail). I was actually afraid she’d hurt herself. I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought maybe she was reacting to the whole surgery thing, so we tried a few days later with the same results.
Girlfriend does not want to be caged or crated in any way.
I actually spent a couple of nights in her room with her, and she moved around the room easily enough, my presence doesn’t really bother her (though I get the definite sense that it displeases her), but I cannot get her to let me pet her. She shies away, she gives me dirty looks, she is NOT having it. Fred can pet her a little, but after a few pets, she nips at him to let him know that she’s done with the nonsense.
I’ve tried to play with her, and had no luck. In fact, no matter the toy (feather teaser, jingly balls, toy mice, catnip kickers), if I spend too long trying to get her to play, she fixes me with a LOOK, stands up and turns her back to me. We can hear her in her room, playing by herself, but as far as playing with Fred or I? Not happening.
Since she lived with a bunch of other cats when she was found and we thought maybe she was lonely, Fred tried taking our ambassadors (Tommy and Jake) into the room with her (not at the same time). She was fine with them – in fact, she “talked” to Jake – but they were scared of her, and demanded to be let back out of the room immediately. And they can’t be convinced to go back in that room for anything. Her kittens can get to the outside of the foster room door, and they have – they followed Fred upstairs – and they will sit outside the door and stick their paws under the door. Emmy will walk over to the door, sniff the paw that’s sticking under the door, and then hiss.
She spends her days curled up in the wall basket or sitting on the shelf by the window watching the birds and squirrels in the tree out there. She spends her nights (as far as I can tell) doing the same, and occasionally playing.
So what’s next? Well, we’re going to keep trying. I don’t honestly expect to make any more progress with her, but that’s not going to stop us from trying.
I think that she would make someone a really good barn cat, is what I told the shelter manager. So she’s put the word out to her contacts, and Fred has put the word out to his coworkers, and I’m putting the word out to y’all. If someone out there would like a cat who is a sweet girl but has no interest in being your BFF, who doesn’t like to be petted, but is really no trouble to care for at all, and you have a safe place for her to stay, please let me know.
(I hope y’all understand that when I say “barn cat”, I don’t mean that we’re going to place her in any kind of situation where she’ll be booted out the door and barely cared for. Wherever she goes, she’ll be cared for, be fed and watched over and regularly vetted. If that’s you, I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen.)
Until then, I guess she’ll be here with us, suffering our presence with barely-concealed irritation.
Are you disappointed? I’m disappointed too. Every little bit of progress we’ve made with her has been hard-won and has encouraged us to keep on trying. But not every cat can be tamed, no matter how much we want it. I believe she’s as tame as we’re going to be able to make her, but that’s not going to stop us from continuing to try.
So put the word out, would you? Good, sweet, wonderful cat (who was a fantastic mama) needs a home where people will love and care for her and won’t expect her to snuggle or like being petted or play with you. Surely someone needs a cat who is NO trouble, to catch varmints in their house or their back yard or their barn.
If we didn’t already have a house feral, or if we had a safe, fenced-in area for her to be, I would love for her to stay here. But we haven’t got room for another permanent resident, and so we need to find a home for her.
(On a too-much-information side note, Emmy’s litter box leavings have been A+ perfect since day one. I’ve only had one other foster with such unwaveringly perfect poops, and that would be Cindy Brady. All of Cindy’s siblings had issues (that eventually went away), but I used to say that Cindy Brady’s innards had to have been made of Teflon, because nothing on earth put her off her stride, so to speak. Same thing with Emmy – she’s used the litter box perfectly since the day we brought her home, and she’s been a solid girl the entire time. Is it odd that I really appreciate that in a foster?)
So, the routine for the kittens these days, is this. Fred lets them out of the guest bedroom when he gets up in the morning, and they run around the house like their tiny little butts are on fire. Before he leaves for work, he comes upstairs to kiss me goodbye, and they follow him upstairs. Then when he goes back downstairs, they follow him.
For the first few days, they then stayed downstairs and played until I got up, whereupon they gave me the puppydog eyes of “WE IS STARVIN'” and followed me around while I scooped the litter boxes and then got them their morning snack. Yesterday morning, though, after Fred left for work they all followed him downstairs, and then Logie came back upstairs and meowed sadly.
“I am so sad and alone,” she cried.
“Come here, baby!” I called in high-pitched baby talk.
“Where are you? I can hear you, but I cannot see you, and I am sad!” she cried, a bit closer to me.
“Come on! KittyKittyKitty!” I said.
“HERE I AM! ACHOO!” said Miz Poo.
“Am I close?” Logie said.
“Come here, baby. Come on!” I called. And a few moments later, she climbed on top of me and stayed there while I snoozed. When I got up, she followed me into the bathroom and watched with interest as I showered and dressed. Then she followed me around the house while I scooped litter boxes, etc. I imagine it’s only going to be a few more days before all four of them are laying on me while I snooze, and following me around snoopervising.