Category Archives: Misty

A Cat’s Trust Must be Earned

Actually… trust must be earned by any animal, us included. But, it can certainly be a challenging feat when dealing with an animal that views the world as a fearful place first.

Misty is a skeptic.

skeptic

Are people trustworthy? Is trusting people worth the risk?

Honestly, Misty, I don’t know the answer to that. Sometimes, no; sometimes, people aren’t trustworthy. And, sometimes, it’s not worth the risk. Other times, yes to both of these. It’s up to each cat to decide. The beautiful thing about cats, though, is that they tend to let go of the past a bit more easily than us humans.

We have discovered that while Misty might be on her way to trusting humans, she is not a fan of other cats. So, we are on a kitty rotation schedule now! And, this has absolutely made things a lot better for all of the cats. One of my favorite parts of the rotation is that, after 8PM, Misty is allowed to free roam throughout the night. We don’t allow cats in our room when we’re sleeping, but I let her in before I go to bed.

on the bed

Sleepy

Oooh yes. This is one kitty who, after she finds her person, will love to curl up in bed should they allow her to do so! I really enjoy these quiet moments of trust and peace. It’s obvious to me that Misty both trusts and actually likes me. She wants to be with me, and that’s a special feeling — especially given that it takes a while for her to feel that way about people.

But, good news! She’s no longer terrified of my husband. She’s not going to cuddle on his lap, but she doesn’t run every time she hears him anymore. AND…I brought a friend into her room the other day and, while she was scared, she didn’t try to hide. She held still and let my friend pet her. I also took Misty to an adoption event, and that…that terrified her, but those events are so stressful. She spent 2 of the 3 hours at least curled on my lap or with me carrying her around. But, this calmed her down. She was much more approachable this way. People were much more able to see her sweet, adorable side. Which, she does have!

head boops

Hopefully someone else sees it in her too and is willing to give her the time it takes to earn a cat’s trust.

A

A Long-Awaited Update: Moments of Progress

I think it goes without saying that fostering is a rewarding experience. In general, you get to help animals, provide them with something they have usually never fully experienced (a loving, safe environment), and ultimately see them move on to wonderful families who will hopefully keep them forever. Fostering is rewarding; tough, but rewarding.

I have had a couple new fosters since my last entry: some tough, some easy.

A pair of kittens who didn’t trust humans at all and, who, unfortunately, passed away from panleukopenia before they had much of a chance.

sleeping kittens

But, they still got to experience some loving moments thanks to Graham, who affectionately became known as “Graham-paw.”

graham grooming kitten

A curmudgeon-y “Fluffy Overlord” named Chilly, who captured my Facebook friends’ hearts with his grumpy face

fluffyoverlord1

and with his adorableness.

fluffyoverlordadorable

He found a great forever home to reign over fairly quickly. 🙂

fluffyoverlordadopted

And, now, I have a new foster. She’s roughly 6 years old and comes from a confusing background: her original owners left her with their older mother, who was in poor health and, upon her admittance to a hospital, she came to us. They didn’t really know her name, so I named her Misty.

Mistyday1

Day 1.
Misty was good at the vet’s. Scared, but not aggressive. I got her home, and she hid in the closet, but she purred when pet, which was a good sign.

After some time, she tentatively tried out the perch in her room.

Mistyperch

And, after her 2-week quarantine was up, she took her first tentative steps out of her room…after much contemplation of the risk.

Mistyfirststeps

Misty is not feral, but she is incredibly timid. She walks low to the ground and very slowly at all times. She’s been with me almost a month now, and she still chooses to spend a lot of her time in her crate. Because of her fear, I chose to introduce her first to Graham, who never hisses at another cat, and takes their swipes without fighting back. After a week, Misty stopped hissing at Graham. They’re not friends, but she’s not afraid of him anymore. My female cat, Luna, is next on the list for introductions, and the 2 of them…yeah…not fans of one another.

Misty’s progress is slow (but not that slow, considering). Sometimes, we get a couple “normal” moments where she actually lays down like a normal cat. Just a few moments, but it’s a step.

Mistynormalmoment

I am, right now, the only human she trusts. She finds comfort in routine, as most cats do, and I’m trying to give her that while slowly introducing change as well. She skitters and hides if she even hears another person. She still walks low and slow. It can be hard to watch: you want so badly to make this creature understand that this is a safe place, but you can’t “tell” an animal anything. The only thing you can do is be consistently safe.

Sometimes, it can be discouraging watching a cat continually run back to its crate…continually living in fear. Sometimes, when you spend every day with an animal, its progress isn’t obvious to you even if others see it. Then, you’ll notice it in random moments… like catching Graham, who used to never groom himself, giving himself a full 10-minute bath 🙂

grahamgrooms

Misty is a tough case. She’s not a kitten, she’s extremely shy – most people want kittens or really friendly cats. But, fostering a cat like Misty is rewarding. Here is a creature who doesn’t really understand safety, love, or what a “home” really is. And, we get to show it to her. Not by telling her, but by being…by living it. I know that, one day, I will catch myself, in a moment, recognizing her progress too – just like I did Graham’s today. And, again, I’ll be reminded why I do this.