Give a shy cat a chance…they may just surprise you!
Charlie came to me with one day left before he and many others were due to be put down at the L.D.H. I agreed to foster him, and shortly after adopted him. He had cuts all over his nose, was underweight and terrified. Due to no fault of his own, Charlie found himself living on the streets, then in a cage with a matter of days depending on whether he could keep his life. It will never be known if Charlie was abused or if it was due to lack of interaction with people, other than the ones who trapped him, but Charlie seemed terrified of people, especially their hands.
I had two other cats in my care that Charlie automatically seemed desperate for the affection and support of, to keep him safe from the scary big bad wolf (me). He hid from me for weeks, but smooched my cats and chatted to them (friendly meows). I even thought I should slowly introduce Charlie to my sister’s dog, expecting him to be scared at first, but he was straight over for a head-butt! But people, he always kept a safe distance from.
It took months for Charlie to come within a meter of me. It was a massive deal when I was able to at least put his food bowl in front of his nose, I would try touching him but he would bolt like it had electrocuted him! Many months passed and I managed to at least touch him with my finger while he ate – despite him still being very alert and suspicious.
As time rolled on, Charlie started jumping up on the couch and bed, bathing and sleeping next to me, which was another big deal! I was so excited when he slept near me for the first time, I even managed to pat him lots as he was asleep, and I felt his fur for the first time! I tried to film it but it was dark so my sister joked that she didn’t believe me. Over the next few months Charlie started to realize that I was no threat and 1 year later he is now a lap cat! He is obsessed with pats and loves a good lap to cuddle up on (mostly my boyfriend’s lap!). Friends that haven’t been over in a while can’t believe the same cat that bolted from them and hid is the same one that lets out a friendly meow and rolls over next to them for a pat. He has turned out to be the most affectionate out of my cats and any others I pet sit or foster.
It was a number of baby steps and tiny successes that led to Charlie being able to blossom into the affectionate, trusting boy he is now. A lot of the cats Maneki Neko rescue will be in similar situations to Charlie, so please give a shy cat a chance and offer them time to adjust and learn that people aren’t all that bad! With your help and patience their cuts will heal, they will put on weight, their fur will start to look healthier and in time they will learn to trust.
Whether you are considering fostering or adopting- please don’t look past the cats that will take a little extra time and patience, it will be rewarding for both you and your fur friend as you embark on your special journey together.
Article Credit : Victoria Meehan