Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Real Rescue Cats Are Talking…

Hiya! Savannah Here!


A Bi-Monthly Series Featuring Adult Rescue Dogs and Cats

I have a very special guest today…she is special because she is shy and even though she has been in her furrever home for years now, she is still learning new things.  And, she doesn’t blog or tweet or do FB…but she does follow many of my furriends blogs…she is always there leaving comments when she can.  So I thought it was time we all get to know her…



Savannah: Welcome Mistletoe! I am so purrleased you were able to come by for a little meow with me!


Mistletoe: Hi Savannah!  I am sooo purrleased, and a little nervous, to be here.  I hope that my story can reassure any humans thinking about bringing an adult cat into their home.

Savannah:  Mistletoe, just to get us started, I know you don’t blog or use Twitter or Facebook, so can you tell us how you found me?

Mistletoe:  Well my huMom got an iPad for her big birthday (whispers behind paw…she turned 50) and she started to explore different sites and she came across a couple of cat blogs.

The first was Cat From Hell with the indomitable Queen Penelope.  From there she clicked on different comments to find different bloggers.  She picked your blog from the comments because she liked your name.  Once we started to read your blog and realized you were an adult rescue, like me, we asked to be emailed with all your new bloggings.

Savannah:  Oh Cat!  Nellie is so pawpular, her blog is a great place to start exploring lots of other paw blogs.  I consider myself so lucky that you dropped by to visit me from there… you started a great furriendship for you and me!

Now, if it isn’t too much to ask, would you meow with all of us about how you arrived in your furrever home?

Mistletoe:   I’ve been in my furrever home for a long time now.

I guess I should start at the beginning back in July of 2003.  I was living outside on my own.  I was very hungry all the time.  So I noticed this nice older couple that fed the birds bread in their backyard.  I was so hungry that I would sneak in and eat the bread, and maybe try for a crunchy bird or two.

The older couple saw me, and they weren’t very happy that I was trying to eat the birds, but instead of shooing me away they offered me food that their inside cat hadn’t eaten.

At first they thought I lived near them and was just allowed outside, because I was very fat.  Lucky for me they soon realized that a cat as hungry as I was couldn’t be that fat.  They realized that I was going to have babies!  As soon as they realized I was eating for a family they called a local rescue group, called Paws and Claws and they put down a trap and caught me.

I was so scared.  I just wanted to run away.  But they took me to a local vet and gave me food and soft blankets and let me have my kittens.  I had four kittens.  They were all black, like me—except one, he was black with a little white on his tummy.  They were very good to me at the vet, but I still was trying to take my kittens and hide.  I ended up with a scar on my nose for a long time from where I tried to dig out of the cage we were in.

Once my babies were old enough, the nice ladies at the rescue found them all safe, furrever homes.  They made the humans that adopted them promise to call if they ever needed to bring them back.  The rescue ladies then took me to a pet groomers shop called All God’s Creatures.

There they kept all the grown up cats in a glass room during the day, while they worked on the doggies that came to get beautified.  At night they would let us roam the whole shop.  They would play with us and feed us after closing.  I was still very scared because there were lots of bigger cats and I’m very small.

I was about 8 months old when my kittens were old enough to leave me, so I went with the grown cats, but I still felt like a kitten and I wanted to hide, so I stayed in the corner a lot.

Savannah:  ahem…let me just stop you for a moment Mistletoe…(Savvy reaches over and gives Mistletoe a little comforting paw pat and lickety lick on her forehead)…I am so sad to know that you gave up your kittenhood and had to have a family so early.  That is the tough life of a kitty living outside and without a Guardian to watch out for them.  I’m sorry it happened to you…purrrrrr

Mistletoe(wipes leaky eyes with paw)…thank you Savannah…I knew you would understand why this interview is hard for me…

Now while all this was happening to me, my future huMom had a dog named Puck who had to go to the groomers every six weeks to stay looking handsome.  Cocker Spaniels need to be groomed to keep from getting matted.  Well, I bet you can see what’s coming.

Savannah:  Oh Yes!!! Oh Cod!  This is gonna be great!…go on…

Mistletoe:  Yes!  Puck went to All God’s Creatures for his grooming!  One day when a lady was picking up Puck, she saw me in the corner and asked the lady that owns the shop, about me.  She told her what she could and the lady left with Puck.  Then Puck’s huMom came back.

She held me for a while, but I just wanted to get away from her.  The lady holding me asked if she could bring me back if it didn’t work out, but the shop owner knew my huMom and knew that once I left with her I’d never come back, unless I needed grooming!!! So the two ladies took me in a car to what became my new home!

Savannah:  Oh Mistletoe, how wonderful!!…can you meow a bit more about some of the hardest stuff you have had to learn to help you trust your huMom and other humans and, shudder, dogs and cats who live with you?

Mistletoe:   Once I got there I was very scared.  There were dogs, Puck and another dog named Rad.

I hid under the bed for a long time.  My huMom worried that I was going to stay there forever, but it was really about 9 days.  She used to lie on the bed and talk to me.  She knew I could hear her even if she wasn’t sure I’d ever come out.  Very slowly I started to like my huMom.  I liked to lie on her chest, with my head under her chin.  If she moved I would run and hide.

Then one day, when my huMom was using the people litter box I came in and used my box too.  Then I went to her and waited to be praised.  She told me I was a good kitty and started to pet me, so I ran and hid under the bed again.  But that was the start.

Savannah:  Can meow some more detail about the ways you and your Mom worked together to help get you start showing more and more of your REAL SELF?

Mistletoe:  Meowwwww…Once I trusted huMom enough to come out and let her hold me, she would carry me around with her so I could get used to the house.

Then one day she went to let the dogs in the backdoor.  I was never afraid of the dogs, but when she opened the door I screamed and scratched.  She loosened her hold and I ran as fast as I could and hid under the bed.  I was so afraid she would put me outside again.  I never want to go outside again.  There are too many dangers out there.  It’s bad for kitties to be outside.

After that, huMom was very careful to not scare me by going to the door.  She just puts me down and answers the door.  I’m lucky that she learns pretty fast.  I also don’t like having my belly or my paws touched.

Savannah:  So, are there things that you do now that you couldn’t or wouldn’t do before you and your huMom worked on your struggles…?

Mistletoe:  Now she can clip my nails without me getting upset.  I don’t really like it, but I don’t hide before or after, I just tell her what I think about it.

Today I go all over the house and I tell the other cats what to do.  My huMom’s family liked me so much that, after the dogs Puck and Rad went to the bridge they eventually all got kitties

Now I’m the boss of Tiger and Pumpkin, they are the Ginger cat twins.  And Hitch…now Savannah, Hitch is another cat you have to meow with sometime…his rescue story is pretty good.

…here are a couple more of the twin ginger boys…Tiger…

…and Pumpkin…

Hitch thinks he can be the boss, but I make sure he knows that he is mistaken.  Someday you should ask for his story.  He’s a pain, but he sure was smart to hitch a ride to our furrever home!


…and here is Mr Hitch trying to give Mistletoe the stinky eye I think!…MOL!…

My huMom always tries to play with the boy cats before bed every night, usually with Da Bird.  Then she might play with me in the bedroom with the feather.  I don’t like to play when the boy cats do.

Last month she was playing with the boys when all of a sudden, out of the dark, I jumped up and snagged that Da Bird.  I chased and jumped and then I caught it and I showed those silly boy cats exactly how you kill da bird.  Now I come and play every night.  My huMom is still so happy when I join in.  She can’t wait to see what I’ll do next.  I think this was possible because huMom discovered this stuff called the Spirit of Essence…just a thought Savvy for other adult rescue cats.

 Savannah:   Last question, can you offer any advice to our readers to help them support their adult rescue cat, or one they may be thinkin’ about brining into their home?

Mistletoe:  The most important thing is time.  I know that isn’t much help, but there is no magic cure.  The only way to build trust is day by day, little by little.

Being consistent and trying to speak quietly and move slowly helps. Teach any children or young people in your house that they have to give the new kitty space.  This isn’t a kitten that is able to play without worry.  Your adult cat has been through something, even if he/she went from a home to a shelter, they’ve had their trust in us damaged.

So it’s important to remember that you’re not just caring for a cat, you’re building a lifelong relationship with a family member.

Savannah:  This was great!  Any last thought or words of wisdom you want to share?

Mistletoe:  Just don’t give up.  Celebrate every little step forward.  Just like a physical wound, emotional wounds take time.  We all carry them, but helping your cat can help you heal your own wounds.  Sometimes while you’re being patient and taking your time with helping your cat, you’ll find that your own wounds have started to heal.  Adult rescue cats have so much to teach us, we just have to be open to the lesson they have to teach.

Savannah:  I know you need to get back home Mistletoe, you came a long way for this interview…all the way from Bucks County in Pennsylvania.  I am so relieved to know that you and your huFamily and your fur family were OK when the introoder Sandy came by.  Why don’t you hop into my Leopard Fast Teleport Tunnel to get home before it gets dark.

…whooooosh…Ok…Mistletoe is off for home.  Please if you have time, let her know you appreciated her sharing her rescue story.  Her huMom, Miss Dorothy can be emailed at ‘dorothyabernathy at msn dot com’

Miss Dorothy is the human who asked me to look into the practice of devocalization of cats and dogs and consider it for one of my posts.  I know it was hard to read about and think about, but Miss Dorothy is a part of our paw blog family even if she can’t help Mistletoe do her own blog right now, she does help Mistletoe stay in touch with lots of us.

Have a great rest of your day, Paw pats, Savannah

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71 thoughts on “Real Rescue Cats Are Talking…

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  6. Mag (Chancy's Mumsy) on said:

    Oh, we are so sorry for all the sweet Mistletoe had to experience before getting to her furrever home. Sweet Savannah another great interview. We always get tears we read the sad stuff but the good endings is what is so wonderful. All of Mistletoe’s cat family are beautiful and she is too. Thank you for introducing us to Mistletoe and sharing her rescue story with us. Hugs and nose kisses

  7. Mistletoe is lovely and it is so so great that she shared her story! This is such a great idea of your sav, I do love reading all the happy stories!! Love to you both!

  8. Miss Dorothy told us about this interview in a sweet comment on our blog and we came right over. Despite the leaky eyes, we are SOOOOOO glad we did. This was a beautiful and touching interview. We are so happy that Mistletoe has found such a wonderful forever family.

    We are always excited when we see a comment from Miss Dorothy on our blog or on Facebook. She has a heart of gold.

    Katie & Glogirly

    • squuueeeee!!! I am so happy you both liked Mistletoe’s interview. She and Miss Dorothy worked very hard on it and it was difficult because of tech problems and other stuff. But, we “got’er done” so to speak. I am so proud to have Mistletoe as my furriend and Mom and Miss Dorothy email lady talk stuff. Oh yes, and Miss Dorothy and Mistletoe are the ones who asked me to consider writing a post about cat and dog devocalization which I did several days ago…Miss Dorothy had just signed something on Change dot org and wondered if it warranted a blog post. Wasn’t that thoughtful of her??? purrrrs peeEsss…can you help me learn how I can “own’z it” like Nerissa does now, meaning my domain name??? thank you ms.savannahcoolkat at gmail dot com

    • Mistletoe and Miss Dorothy are very special to me and my Mom..we meow and talk human talk lots…they are special for sure and I am humbled that Mistletoe chose me to tell her story

  9. Well that was another great interview! I just love these rescue stories!

  10. Susan Mullen on said:

    Savannah, thank you so much for your interview with Mistletoe! I hope Mistletoe knows that she’s a very brave kitty. I loved the part about the first time she went for “da Bird”. And she gave great tips for living with an adult rescue cat.

  11. This just made my eyes leak.. *scritches for Mistletoe*

  12. It was lovely to hear about Mistletoe and her family. I really like it when she visits my blog and I wanted to know more about her.

    • hey Clowie! Isn’t it great that we all have seen her visit, but did not know how to get it touch or who she was! I have luvd getting to know Mistletoe and her Mom Miss Dorothy. What a nice family. And they are in Pennsylvania, so have had a few power issues from the storm, but are doing better now. whew

  13. orientallily001 on said:

    Hey there! Guess what? You won an award. That’s right. Come on over and visit me at Nerissa’s Life and you can pick it up. Check out the post entitled, “I ownz it!” purrs

    Nerissa from Nerissa’s Life

  14. Savvy, you have a way with us make us feel safe and loved so that we can tell our stories. Mistletoe is a pretty name…purrfect for a pretty cat!
    We all got very scared when Mistletoe thought she was going to have to go outside..all collywobbly so we had a cuddle.
    PURRRRRRRRRR.and nose kisses to Mistletoe,Mistlestoe’s Mum and you.
    The Maple Syrup Mob

  15. Wonderful interview with Mistletoe and YAY for Mistletoe having such a patient mommy !!

  16. Lovely stories of rescue and love. I like happy endings 🙂

  17. Charlotte on said:

    Pawsome interview with Mistletoe-her story brought tears to my eyes. Apaws to you Sweet Savannah for a beautiful interview! Nose kisses!

  18. spittythekitty on said:

    We luffed this story–so many things reminded me of ME! even though I was just 3 or so months when I came here, I have a lot in common with Mistletoe. We emailed her HuMom….maybe she will get to have a blog someday! XOXOXO

  19. maxwellnfaraday on said:

    oh YAY! So glad to hear Mistletoe’s story! (pee ess, we gonna do a STORY on the thingy Mistletoe’s named after in a few weeks, cool huh?)

    We agree wif CK – we so glad we didn’t miss out on a bloggie of a kitty in the blogosphere by not visiting Mistletoe’s since she doesn’t have one.

    We think her huMum is pawsome for being so very patient with her. And lookit the huge fambly Miss M inherited, too! COOL!

  20. Whew! All this time I’ve been trying to find Ms. Abernathy’s blog cos I like to comment on anyone’s blog who comments on mine. Google+ wouldn’t let me. Mistletoe is a very lucky cat, like we all are. TW’s friend has a cat that lived under the box spring of her bed for over a year. Years later, he’s a little better but still has issues.

    • oh CK, does Miss Dorothy visit you too?? Isn’t that just pawsome of her! purrlease send her and email…she has lots of struggles and it would boost her spirit to hear from us bloggers that we “see her and Mistletoe” when they visit us. paw pats, Savannah

  21. What a wonderful interview, Savannah, and Mistletoe, what an adventure you’ve had! Congratulations on finding your forever home *wiping leaky eyes* We’re so happy to have come over to visit! Purrs…

  22. Hey Savvy, Big Guy here. Hi Miss Linda.

    You outdid yourself AGAIN. We already emailed Mistletoe. Savvy, you must, you must get a full time gig on CAT TV… I cannot emphasize this enough. Your interviewing skills rival that Oprah human! So proud of you… xoxoxoxo

  23. Katie Isabella on said:

    I am so happy with this bloggie today. What a wonderful wonderful informative and beautifully written bloggie. I love you Mistletoe.

    Savannah, email me and I will tell you what your mama should do about stars.

  24. APAWS APAWS!!!! Diz iz a fabbuluss blog Mistletoe!!! Fankz so much fer havin da currage to speak about yer life…makez me fink of me old life bein’ a breeder in da puppy/kitty mill!! We bin thru so much haven’t we?? Me haz to say yer Hu’manz are DA BEST!!!
    Love the pix…doze ginger twinz are pretty cute n Hitch lookz like he has a story to tell too!!!
    Fankz Savannah fer dese blogz; you iz a *STAR*….
    Lubz da NYLABLUE & her Hu’Mum Sherri-Ellen.

    • hi Nylablue! something in the mail for you my furriend…ooppps…whispers to Sherri-Ellen…sorry…I may have let the cat out of the bag…oh…that sounds awful! why did I say THAT!…anyways, sorry for letting it slip about the you know what for you know who…purrrrs

    • Diz ok Savannah n Linda! Mum sayz she iz gonna sneak ‘it’ in when me iz sleepin or not lookin so me won’t know when it getz here or what it iz….diz iz fun tho to know there iz a gift comin…you iz DA BEST!!!!!!
      Me iz so glad we are fur-endz!!!! Lub Nylablue!!

  25. It was nice to get to meet Mistletoe!

  26. Yay for Mistletoe having such a patient mommy! Wonderful interview!

  27. da tabbies o trout towne on said:

    meowloz everee one frum de tabbies o trout towne.. we R veree happee ewe stopped by TT; nice two meet everee one and we hope ta stop by yur page way lots when R mom can sneek in frum werk… de meentime; help yur selves ta de mackeral we got searin on de grill….N therez mor wear that came frum two !!! hope ewe all haza pawsum nite; peace out N rock on; long live trout !

  28. orientallily001 on said:

    Hey there Mistletoe! What a pretty name you have. purrs

    Nerissa from Nerissa’s Life (as I see WP is back to callin’ me orientallily!)

  29. Thank you for this great interview, Savannah! Mistletoe sounds like such an awesome kitty. I am glad to meet her through you!

  30. Mistletoe is wonderful and I am so proud of such terrific progress! Terrific interview!!!

    • isn’t she just wonderful Brian? It has been so nice getting to know her and seeing that even after almost 10 years, she has continued to make changes and show more of her REAL SELF. I think her huMom really found the Spirit of Essences for cats very helpful, as she has just started using it. Mom may try some for me if we decide to try me with another cat, scary thought but you did it, huh Brian?

  31. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    I want to thank Savannah and Miss Linda for giving me the chance to introduce myself to all of you. My huMom and I enjoy all of your blogs so much. Thanks for sharing your lives with us and taking time to respond to our comments. You’ll be seeing us, including Hitch whose bound to butt in, in the comments of your blogs. We are so happy to be making new friends.
    Purrs to you,

    PeeSsss: Oh no! We forgot to mention Lizzie! She’s our woofie! She’s a good dog, but doesn’t like the camera. Now Lizzie goes to All God’s Creatures to get beautified! and makes sure we know when strangers come near the house. She took good care of Pumpkin and Tiger when they were kittens and she still tries too.

  32. Harroooo Mistletoe! Good to meet woo little mate,


    • Hi RA!!! How are woo? Thank you for stopping over to read about Mistletoe. I have a nice dog for Nov 20 post…but my December dog has backed out so back to searching…you have any suggestion from your blog or twitter pals? thank woo, Savvy

  33. What a heartwarming interview Savvy! From a sad beginning Mistletoe (beautiful name!) has got a loving family xxx

  34. I was feeling with you, Mistletoe, while reading… it isn’t easy to be a “teen-mom” and I think to be captured in a trap must be a scary moment in your life. But I’m glad you are the cat-commander in your house now – what a career! Thanks Savannah for this wonderful interview…ahhhm and btw: where to buy such a fast teleport tunnel? maybe on amazon?

  35. Mistletoe is gorgeous and reminds me, personality wise, so much of my beautiful Jangles, who was also an adult rescue, who hid under the bed for days. Each tiny step forward is such a joyous occasion. You’re right, time and patience are the only things but boy, when that bond starts happening, it’s just one of the most special moments in life. Great interview Savannah!

  36. They should say NOW is top cat of the house 🙂

  37. Sad beginning, however what a wonderful ending and not top cat of the house. Way to go Mistletoe. We must hear Mr Hitch story sometime he sounds like an interesting character 🙂 x

  38. catfromhell on said:

    Oh Wow! Anther adult rescue likes us! And she fineded yous through me!! Reading her story really makes me all Leaky Savannah. But she does has a wonderful home. Me is not too sure about having 3 brothers though. Methinks that would bes waaay too stressful for me.
    Mistletoe it was great to hear your story!

    • Nellie, wasn’t it wonderful that she started following you, and from there found more of us…including ME! I am not sure I can have even one borther OR sister…we may try after our Thanksgiving holiday and if our landlord will allow one more cat. She didn’t want ANY cats, but then she read my blog and said OK to ME!

Waving paw...HI!...what'd 'cha think...??

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