In May of 2002, I lost two of my then three cats to kidney failure. After a week of being an only cat, I thought Rumpelmintz looked lonely. Well, okay, not lonely… but bored? Maybe she needed the other cats to worry about to keep her occupied.
I went to a local shelter and stood there, overwhelmed at the sheer number of cats that need homes. All special. All unique. All deserving. After a while, the shelter manager came to check on me and I told her I had no idea where to start. She asked if I’d be interested in seeing some especially hard to place cats, and I agreed.
She took me to a small isolation ward, where there was a small orange and white kitty in a cage. She’d just recovered from ringworm, and the manager left us alone for a bit. I could pet her on the top of the head with my right hand and she’d arch her back in delight. Touch her anywhere else and she’d hiss. She talked and talked, and did cute little “dance steps” with her back paws.
When the manager came back, I told her the cat (named Kitty) was sweet. The manager’s eyes welled up with tears and she said “No one EVER says that. They think she’s mean because she hisses.” That cinched it, she was coming home with me!
It took Kitty, who I renamed Kitty.com, time to learn to trust me. Initially, if I attempted to touch her anywhere but on the head with my right hand, she would sceam and scratch me. She hated Rumpelmintz and if she so much as heard or smelled her on the other side of the door, she’d lunge at it, screaming.
It took months before she would allow another cat in the same room as her. I had to move carefully and slowly, or risk getting scratched. It was all worth it.
She still doesn’t like the other cats, but she’s learned to live with them. She hasn’t scratched me in ages, and the last time because – well, darn it, I just wasn’t getting her dinner ready nearly fast enough! (She gets crabby when she’s hungry – I do, too.)
Kitty.com still does her adorable “dance steps” with her back paws. She loves to take toys and put them on her head, like little hats, then look at me as if to say “What about this one? Too much?” She’s a delight.
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