Real Rescue Cats Are Talking…
Hiya! Savannah Here!
LIFE CHANGING INTERVIEW WITH SAVANNAH
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…
PLEASE GIVE A WARM WELCOME TO MISTLETOE
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…
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