Last August, a starving stray cat with its ribs showing appeared in the backyard. Lulu, the one on the left, brought him home, at least that’s my guess (she was thrown out on a road in Smithfield as a kitten and I got her from the couple who rescued her). I resisted and then realized he was lost, abandoned, etc. so I decided I’d give him some food, then catch him and take him to a shelter. Guess Lulu had other plans…
After a particularly bad thunderstorm, I realized he wasn’t going anywhere and tried to make friends. Nope, this cat was afraid and no way was he coming near me. So, started the wooing, food on the rock for him at the edge of the woods. Gradually, I put out a small dish, fed him in the morning, he was always waiting but would not let me get near him, and waited. Slowly, I moved the dish up the backyard, to the steps of the deck, to the deck. Then open the sliding glass door and put food dish on mat with door open. That cat was smart, he’d bolt if you came near the door. It started to get cold and I worried about him.
On a very cold day the end of last November, I slammed shut the sliding glass door. Chaos ensued and said cat hid under the sofa for a week. I could tell he’d come out at night and eat and use a litter box (which I had to mix litter and dirt so he’d like it) but no getting close.
Time went on and still couldn’t touch him. He wasn’t going to a shelter, he’d wormed his way into my heart and Lulu adored him. He was christened Louie. Then last December I woke up to a very sick cat. He’d been bitten before I got him inside. It must have been bad enough to cause a fever and temporary blindness which is the only way I captured him was as he jumped in the air and by sheer pure dumb luck, caught him in the carrier. Off to the vet, Louie was sedated and taken care of (shots, fixed, wound cleaned, microchipped, etc.). Vet said he was very young, maybe one or two, same age as Lulu and seemed like he had been abused from what I told them about him. People who are mean to animals really should rot in some kind of Hell where they are abused in eternity just as they did to the animals.
Funny thing was in January, I could start petting him as he walked by and by September, I could pick him up for a few seconds. Now, he sleeps in the bed, curled up beside me, loves to be petted, goes in and out on the weekend, loudly demands food and is very happy (he’s the one on the right). He even sleeps now without startling awake when you pet him. I knew he finally felt safe here when he fell asleep and snored. It made me cry. Evey once in a while, you lean over him or a noise startles him and I see vestiges of the abuse which breaks my heart. But let me tell you, Louie and Lulu rule the roost, are terribly spoiled and basically have a great life at this house.
Funny what a difference a year can make…What has changed for you this year?