Long suffering readers may remember that we took Amber in as a foster cat, along with Honey (her mum) in January 2012. The back story was that Honey was a stray who had had kittens in a shed. By the time they came into rescue, Amber was too old to get used to human contact. Honey reverted to being the lovely snuggly pet puss she must have been at some stage, but poor Amber was terrified.
For several reasons, complications and rescue politics, they didn’t have any enquiries about adoption. Months later Amber had started to relax a bit, and much as I didn’t want to adopt two (I couldn’t split her from her mum) more cats, I couldn’t put her through having to move and settle again even if someone had wanted to adopt them.
Other than the day I arranged for someone to come to the house to microchip her (she needs her own door key to the microchip cat flap), and a couple of times a friend came to help me frontline her, I’ve not tried really to touch her. There’s been the odd occasion where I’ve just been randomly stroking people, or mistaken her for Flipper and tried to run my hand down her back, but nothing serious. Slowly she’s got more comfortable, and started to sit in her basket right by my lap top, watching … or just snooozing …
But I’ve not pushed my luck and tried to touch her. It’s a little strange having a cat for so long who you’ve only actually touched on a handful of (not very happy) occasions. The others are always on my lap, my shoulder, my head – any way they can be in contact – and I love it. Nevertheless, I’ve been surprised by just how much I love my little untouchable Amber – with her shy requests to play.
Then comes New Year’s Eve … the beer and the cat nip had been flowing freely and everyone was in a happy and chilled state. I don’t know what made me do it, but I went to Am and tried, very carefully to stroke her. She let me. I held my breath, not quite believing what was happening. I tried again a bit later, wondering if maybe I’d been dreaming. She let me.
Most days since then we’ve had a very little cuddle. I was afraid it was just a special New Years dispensation and it would be withdrawn on 2 January. However its continued. This evening she really leaned in to me as I rubbed her ear and the side of her face.
I long for the day when I hear her purr.