I’ve had a lovely afternoon visiting Dunlop and Panda and their (not so new) human.
I lose track of time a bit – but they came to me just over a year ago. Dunlop and her sister arrived first, age about 8 weeks, having been born to a feral mum in Rotherham. They were wild as the wind at first, hissing as soon as I walked into the room. Panda and his sisters arrived a few weeks later at around the same age. They’d been found on the street in Doncaster and collected up in a wheelie bin to keep them safe. Also terrified, and very baby cats – at some cue from one or other of them they’d all snuggle down and suck on their bedding, purr loudly and pretend mum was still there.
Time went on, they calmed down, Panda became quite a snuggle bug while Dunlop remained a bit tense. For some reason both of them plus their siblings, plus two other sisters and another random lad were still with us all through the Autumn and over Xmas. Then along came their humans-to-be. They wanted one kitten, maybe two but didn’t want to be over faced by the numbers at big shelters so decided they’d choose from mine. Flipper rushed to meet them but wanted a home with Fidget, her sister, and Fidget who was normally very confident just dug her heels in and refused to come out from under the bed. Panda started making adopt-me eyes at them and got the go-ahead to pack his suitcase. Dunlop had initially been dismissed as beautiful, but too much like a previous much loved cat. On second glance though, Dunlop seemed quite different from the previous cat. Both black, but very different shapes. She started playing with Panda whilst he was packing his bags, and was soon invited to pack hers as well.
When I took them over to their new home they had every treat and luxury imaginable laid out for them …….. but ignored it all, dived under the sofa and hid for several days. Lovely patient humans gave them time and space and the two of them have made huge progress.
When I arrived today Panda (no longer his real name) was sprawled on the human’s bed, Dunlop (she has a new name too) was out for a stroll. Their human so obviously adores them, its a delight to see. They’ve grown into lovely healthy young adults and are so relaxed and chilled now. Panda had become a bit of a softie while he was with me but I’d never seen Dunlop on her back, so relaxed and showing her tummy. They have a lovely life, and a happy routine which includes calling on (or being called on by) two neighbouring cats to go out to play. They each have very much their own personalities and likes/dislikes, all lovingly catered for. The really lovely thing is that although they’re different they get on very well together. They’re not siblings, just a fairly random pairing out of about 10 kittens but they’ve made the absolute best of it and curl up together, groom each other, and look out for each other when they go out to play.
It’s hard to express just what an utter delight it is to see what were two very hope-less cats, move through the process of being fostered and adopted, and becoming two adored and adorable cats. As their human and I reflected – we can’t change the world, but we CAN change the world for these two.