I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time over the weekend with two of my beautiful friends Molly and Abby. Adopted from Paws as bitty sister kittens a couple of years ago, it was obvious to me when I met them at age one that they came from feral beginnings. It can be tough when one gets feral kittens without knowing that they are. My clients have been great troopers in loving them and respecting their boundaries and giving them a great home. The girls have bonded closer with them than they will with anyone else but I like the challenge in working with shy cats that have the feral edge.
There is a difference between regular shy cats and ferals that have been domesticated. While Molly is willing for you to pet her when she wants you to, Abby is very quick with a hiss and an exit. Their instinct is to hang back and watch. Pick either up? I don’t THINK so! And I am lucky if Abby even lets me touch her on the head. Belly rubs ever? Nope.
This is how I usually see Abby’s face as she peers over the couch at me:
Ms. Molly is less standoffish but still tends to keep her distance most of the time.
Now there IS one thing that gets these girls going. There is a toy out there called the Cat Dancer. I saw one at Paws and thought it was a used up old toy that was headed for the garbage. I was told by my friend there that cats go nuts over it but I was skeptical. It’s a wire with a piece of cardboard on one side and four pieces on the other. You hold onto the one and the four go wild on the other side. My induction was at their condo. Not sure what to do with these shy girls, I went into their box of toys and treats. I saw a never used Cat Dancer and decided that it was the day to delve into it. So, the three of us were introduced to something new and awesome. These shy girls, Abby in particular, went NUTS!! Little Miss Won’t Let Me Touch Her was all over me, jumping all around and actually making contact with my lap! It was an all around freak out session.
Look how close Abby is to me!!
So what’s nice about visiting these two now is that although they’ll spend part of the time being “shy guy” and Abby will hiss at me a lot, the moment the dancer comes out it is Game On.