Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Stories From Kitty Corner Volunteers…

So I am going to share more stories my really cool volunteers shared with me a few weeks ago. I think the stories are pretty cool..some kinda sad..and some way funny!  Go on, read ’em and you will see what I mean.

Oh yeah–I added my silly comments after each story to tell each person how much they meant to me….hope ya like them….maybe some will make you chuckle

Read on…

Mark

When I first met Savannah she was not in a good place mentally.

Despite being big, grey and beautiful she was painfully introverted and would spend all her time hiding above the cages or in a cat tree with only one opening.

Everything about her screamed “afraid”, “overwhelmed”, “despondent”, “depressed”. She avoided other cats and humans. It was really difficult to see a cat in this condition.

She did like having her head scratched, however. And especially having her rear scratched; when this happened she would arch her back, lift her rear and await pets (all within her cat tree hole).

Her trials only worsened when she contracted the ringworm fungus and had to be medicated by having cream rubbed on her sores.  She did not like this, but would tolerate it.  I remember one time when I was applying her medicine and she escaped from her isolation cage.  I had to put her back in—all cats with ringworm had to be isolated.

So then began a 5-10 minute chase where Savannah would hide behind chairs, cat trees, etc., and I would try to grab her and get her back in her cage. She finally buried herself in a cat tree with only one opening which she could defend and dug in. I grabbed her anyway and she started hissing and scratching; Savannah is big, very strong and can be intimidating. This is when I found out what a great cat Savannah really was. Despite all the noise and anger and fear she really never scratched or bit me hard….just the semblance of it. I knew then she had a good heart, loved humans, and was just a scared soul in a strange and unfamiliar place, probably missing her former owners.

From that point on Savannah was one of my favorite charges. I made it a point to always say hello and would give her all the pets I could.  My feeling was that all Savannah needed to come out of her shell was a home of her own and loving and patient new owners.  Thankfully for Savannah, she found Linda and Peter.

SAVANNAH COMMENT: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ya Mark!  You are just like my Dad…ya know…like Dad’s new t-shirt says…”Real Men Rescue Cats!”…LOL

 Lisa

Savannah was miserable at KC.  She was always enclosed or in hiding.  It was awful going in there every day feeling helpless to be able to help her.

But I’m glad she’s in a better place now. I think with her being in such an extreme case of fear for so long affected the volunteers’ morale.  It was hard to watch her be so unhappy and feel so helpless about it. I think having to medicate her, which you know, she absolutely hated—caused some anxieties in the volunteer group.

SAVANNAH COMMENT: It was hard for ever body…you guys all really cared about me…wish I could give you a big furry hug right now…sigh…

Lisa-Marie

I don’t have much to offer, as Savannah was pretty elusive most of the time that she was there…and when we could see her, she didn’t want to be seen.  There are two things that   come to mind about Savannah for me.

1. She was there for at least 30 days before I even saw her…heard that we had this lovely gray cat, and that she was affectionate but shy.  When I finally did see her, she was bolting from under one of the white chairs after I had fired up the vacuum cleaner and was nearing her hiding space.  Poor thing—looked like she was running for her life, and afraid that the vacuum would swallow her whole!  From that point forward, if I knew where she was hiding on my shift, the area around that spot didn’t get vacuumed super well…I didn’t want our little Savannah stressed any more than she was.

SAVANNAH COMMENT: Lisa-Marie…I always suspected you were trying real hard to avoid making me flee from the vac..just so you  know…I still hide out in my new home when Auntie Shannon comes to clean each week…whew! that vac is scary! 

2. When Savannah had the ringworm episode, I was trying to get medication on the spots on her head. She had hidden inside of a cat condo that was open on both ends, and had her head facing the wall of the enclosure so that what we saw was her behind—in all its glory.

Because I didn’t want to get speared by her nails by trying to drag her out, I turned the cat condo around so that her head was facing outwards…of course hoping that I could just dab the medicine on her head and we’d be done.  She promptly turned around inside of the enclosure so that her bum was facing me again.

I figured that in order to win the battle, I’d have to get her out of the condo…so I gently began tipping the condo to see if I could get her to drop out of it and onto the floor. But she   was having none of that…she dug in inside of the condo, and it took me gently pushing her behind—while trying to balance the condo so it wouldn’t fall over –to get her out.

She finally jumped out onto the floor, and gave me a look that chilled me to the bone! Throwing caution to the wind, I reached down to dab the medicine on the top of her head, and she hissed and swatted pretty boldly. Needless to say, without falconer’s gloves, I was at a disadvantage unless I was willing to be bitten or scratched again (she had gotten me once before). I wasn’t, so Little Savannah ended up winning that battle…I blew her a kiss and let her be.

Savvy here…hey Lisa-Marie…I totally knew you were just trying to help me get well…but gosh, that medication smelled yucky!  But, i just want ya to k ow that I am blowing that kiss right back at’ya…Blow Kiss

  Cheryl

I am Monday morning cleaning and I met Savannah about a year ago when I started at Kitty Corner. I always knew that I would find her underneath one of the chairs. Sometimes she would let me pet her as I stretched my hand towards her and other times, she would politely turn around and tell me she needed some space and I would oblige.

Before I left I would always return with a treat and she would eat it.  I knew there was a nice kitty in there somewhere because the picture that had been taken of her was when she was sitting on someone’s lap so I just kept trying and hoping.

Then she became enclosed. Most days she would just back away when I tried to give her medicine, but one day she slapped me on the hand…ouch! (oooohhh Cheryl…I am so sorrrry about that whack I gave ya .I have learned to keep my claws in if I get scared and give Dad or Mom a whack now…Mom calls it my “right hook” tee hee)  It’s like being in the hospital and you just can’t take one more person coming in and poking you or waking you up.  I am so glad that she is with you now. I look forward to hearing more about her. Thank you for recognizing her need for her own space and for loving her.

Leslie

I’m a volunteer on Tuesday’s mid-day shift. I used to turn over the condo that Savannah was hiding in to get to her out. I would then place her on one of the platforms and proceed to brush and pet her until she really warmed up. Her back end would go up in the air so I knew that she was enjoying it. I wore some protection on my hands because I wasn’t sure   what she would do. I got her on my lap one time and petted her for about a half an hour and she really loved it.

She was a challenge to most of the volunteers. I found that if you were patient with her she would respond. I’m so glad that she has found a good home and loves every moment with her new Mom and Dad. Would love to hear more of how she’s doing

Savvy here…Leslie…you are such a love!  And being brushed is better than a massage….no, seriously, I mean it! I get so relaxed!  You knew that, huh?

Joan

I never really had a problem with Savannah until I went to medicate her the first time. I was wearing plastic gloves and her claws went right through them. So I figured I was coming home with ringworm, URI or diarrhea. What a choice!!

After that night, she sort of looked at me differently because I guess she figured whatever she had I now had. Plus every time she looked at me was like her saying “What if we were in each other’s spot”. I could never medicate her after that and was glad to hear others   couldn’t either. But she and I actually got along after the “SWAT” and she would purr for me when I pet her. I guess she showed me who was boss but I also gave her extra treats and it is funny how some of the cats really do recognize us when we come in once a week. I was sad to see Savannah go because we did get along. Plus I think she secretly hoped I got diarrhea and not URI or ringworm from her swat. Ha Ha

Hey Joan…Savannah here…you silly girl!  ‘Course I never wanted ya to get any of the crude I had…wouldnt wish that on anybody or any cat–yuck!  Thanks for not holding a grudge about my ‘tude when I was at KC 

Jenny

Unfortunately I didn’t have much experience with Savannah. I truly wish that I did but the days I worked at KC Savannah always kept to herself;  either hiding under one of the white   chairs or when she had ringworm she slept most of the time in her little cat tree in her enclosure.  I wish I had more one on one contact with her. She always seemed so sad and uneasy at KC….all she wanted was a loving home (that is what I sensed from her). So I’m glad she has found that with you.

Hiya Jenny…Savvy here…and yes, I really like being loved by my Mom and Dad…I still get bad dreams–seriously–I do.  Dad and Mom even hear me talk in my sleep sometimes…weird, huh?!  But I don’t hide out much anymore…so progress every day! 

Well, that’s the stories about my time at KC…most I kinda remember…especially the ring worm crude…but those were dark times…I am soooooo lucky for all the wonderful volunteers and staff who tried so hard to help me keep going every day…I really was crying insdie most of time…so scared and no one knew, but sometimes I wasn’t feeling too good either…more about that in my next post…catch’ya later, Savannah

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