Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Outcome of Kindness

About three years ago, we took in a foster cat.  We had every intention of putting her up for adoption, as my husband said over and over again that three cats were too much.  Me, on the other hand believes in the saying “cats are like potato chips; you can’t have just one”.  So for all you cat haters out there, you can stop reading right now.

Anyway, we agree to foster this cat, named Paula, because it was supposed to be only temporary.  I had adopted a Maine Coon mix from the Maine Coon Rescue group and he was, and is, a great cat (Simon).  However, we already had an older Domestic Shorthair who was 14 at the time (Trixie).  She didn’t want to have anything to do with Simon.  He was basically a kitten when we got him and all he wanted to do was play.  She wanted no part of that.  Trixie just wanted to sleep.  If you don’t know anything about Maine Coons, they are known as dogs in cat’s clothing and have similar personalities to dogs in that they are very friendly, greet you at the door, and generally very responsive to humans.  Simon is a very social cat.  So in an effort to “give back” to the Maine Coon Rescue organization, we agreed to take on Paula as a foster.    

Paula is a tiny little thing.  She is shy and somewhat fearful of everything.  Most of her early time here was spent in the cellar hiding among the storage items and she wouldn’t come out unless it was for food.  She did respond to Simon little by little and the two of them became great friends.  This worked out so well.  Simon played with Paula and left Trixie alone.  Everyone was happy.  After realizing this little arrangement was working, we decided that we would take Paula off the market and keep her. 

For some reason, my husband took a shine to Paula and began to interact with her more.  He found out that she only responded to humans if she were up on things.  For example if she were up on top of the dryer she would allow you to pet her, but if she were on the floor she would not.  We had been told at the time of taking her in that she was abused and it was pretty evident from her response to things like being picked up.  If you picked her up she would go into the “taz” mode, her four paws would spin around, and all claws were out.  To this day, it is almost impossible to clip her claws because she cannot take a person handling her paws.  But as time wore on, the kind treatment we gave her, especially my husband, has calmed her down immensely.  She no longer spends her time in the cellar.  She comes up and sits on my husband’s lap when he is watching TV, and does the famous Maine Coon head butts when she wants to be petted.  It has taken almost three years, but she shows no evidence of her past life due to the kindness she has received living here.  It is really gratifying to see the transformation.

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