Thursday, September 15, 2016

Learning to Trust

The following story written by Marie one of our fabulous foster caregivers is a perfect example of the dedication and care that Feline Rescue's volunteer foster caregivers devote to the cats and kittens in their care. This story also demonstrates how many cats deemed "feral" just need some time to learn to trust people.

On July 24th we took in the IT Crowd Feline Rescue, Inc. foster kittens: Roy, Jen, and Moss. Roy was affectionate at the get-go. Jen took a little bit of time to warm up. But Moss. Oh, Moss. Moss was hostile. Had this group been at an animal control facility, Moss might have been deemed feral. If you approached her, she freaked out, hissed, hit you, ran away. I wasn't sure what was going to become of her. I tried to be patient and give her space. She made very small steps forward. She would stay out of the kennel when I came in. She would not flinch if I moved my arm toward her. She would smell my fingers but run away if I moved. So, I hate doing this, but I used food as a tool. Instead of leaving dry food out for them to chow on all day, I left nothing out. So after 10 hours, when I get home from work, they're hungry. I would open a can of wet food and Jen and Roy would go at it. Moss would be anxious in a corner. Eventually she started coming to the food if I stayed very still. If I moved at all, she would run away. Then she would stay at the food even if I made movements but still wouldn't tolerate movements towards her direction. Then, finally, I was able to touch her. She was so engrossed in eating that I was able to lightly touch her. She flinched and would run away. I continued to do that day after day. One day, she didn't run away. She still flinched and you could see in her body language that she was irritated but I was able to pet her twice before she would run away. Then one day, she allowed me to pet her repeatedly as she ate. Once she was done eating, though, see ya. Or if she turned her head up and actively saw me petting her, see ya. But then just recently, she has let me pet her while she eats, repeatedly, on her spine, her sides, her neck her head, and that body language isn't there anymore. Just the other day, she started enjoying the petting so much, she fell over to her side to get tummy rubs. It was as if even SHE was surprised she fell over. She quickly jumped up and ran away, shocked at her involuntary show of vulnerability. And then 2 days ago, she broke.

She is all over me now. She loves to be pet. She rubs against my leg. She licks my toes and my fingers. She will take belly rubs for a few scratches. She has really turned a corner. And it only took nearly 2 months. It was really, really, really frustrating, I can tell you that. I wanted to shake her and say, "MOSS! I AM NICE! LET ME BE NICE TO YOU!". But that would be abusive and also cats don't speak English and do have sharp claws. But with patience and food, Moss is turning into a cat who really digs humans. And I feel grateful that we were able to help another living being overcome its fears and allow itself to be loved during the short time it has on this pale blue dot.

Moss and her siblings Roy and Jen are available for adoption. If you'd like to learn more about them, please contact Joan at 651-705-6264 or submit our Adoption Inquiry Form.
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