Well they are not really new because I've been seeing them twice a week for the last 8 months, but some huge steps for two little kitties at The Cat Corner.
First Rosie Red. Rosie would be considered maybe semi-feral. She really doesn't seek out us humans and seems to be able to get along without any feline company either. You tend to see her scoot about quickly, making her way from one perch to another and her favourite place is in a wicker basket right on top of some of the kitty condos, well away from arms reach ...... except when she let's out her loud unmistakable meow in demanding to be let back into her own condo. She has us volunteers all well trained so we open it and she rushes past to go in, get some food and use her litter tray. She will then meow to be let out again!! Like I said she has us well trained. Anyway today, she asked to be let in and I did as I was ordered, except I absently minded reached in to give her a little loving.
Well, before I realised what I was doing, contrary Miss Rosie decided she liked it and gave me a few head nudges. Awhhhhhhhhh, so of course I stayed a little while longer stroking her and getting head nudges in return. Eventually I got back up and left the door open as I figured she would want out again ........... oh no, she stayed a while longer so I had to go back and give her some more. Way to go Rosie!! How could you not love this face?
There must have been something in the air today. Let me tell you about Helga. Helga is the most beautiful Calico cat I've ever seen. When I first started I checked out the pics of all the cats that were there and Helga caught my eye immediately, but when I went to volunteer I couldn't see her. That's because Helga spent all her time on top of the condos, hidden in various boxes or cat beds that were up there just for that reason. After a while I'd occasionally see her bolting from one place to another, but that was about it. Helga has spent her entire little life so far living in shelters such as ours. She was adopted for a short while but the person didn't seem to understand how long it can take for a kittie to gain confidence and trust someone, and after a short time they lost patience and brought her back.
Then I was made a designated opener which means I open up the shelter two days a week and give the kitties their breakfast and medications. Helga of course had to be fed up on top of the condos. Well over the months, I got to know where she might be in the mornings, and each day would talk to her as I offered up her food. At first she would bolt away, but eventually she started to stay when I got on a chair and let me put the food quite close to her, but would shy back if I tried to move anywhere in her direction, but still I talked to her telling her how beautiful she was and what a scrummy breakfast I had for her (just call me a crazy cat woman lol!).
Well about a month or so ago, I started leaving my hand close by the dish as she ate, at first she drew back, but after much reassuring and talking from me she started to eat whilst my hand was beside the dish. She also started staying around on the screen porch a bit more too, although if I tried to give her food there she bolted back up to the condos. But, last week she was lying in one of the cat trees and I told her to stay where she was, I would get her breakfast first! When I came back I approached her quietly, talking to her and what do you know, she stayed where she was - I was so pleased!!! She's beginning to trust me, maybe in two or three years I'll get to stroke her if I'm lucky I thought.
But, it seems Helga had a different thought because today she was on a high shelf. I duly went to get her breakfast and gave it to her there. She shied back a bit and I let her alone to eat. A bit later though I thought I'd better get the empty dish back to wash. I got up and took the dish and chatted away to her as usual, then I reached out and she turned like she was going away ........ but she didn't!! She turned her back and I reached and touched it!! She didn't move and in fact seemed to move in to the touch so I tried to stroke her, well what do you know, she raised her butt up and wanted more. I can't begin to explain how great it feels to gain the trust of a little animal that has been avoiding people for so long and not only did I do it once, but three times throughout the day I got up and gave her some strokes. By the third time she was rolling over a bit and actually padding with her paws!! If she keeps this up I might just have to see if M. will let me bring her home.
You know that saying about taking time to smell the roses .............. well today was a day to take joy in getting to touch and be trusted by a couple beautiful kitties!