So it’s finally happened, two of the gorgeous Norton 4 have found their new home!
Just over a month ago we had an adoption enquiry from a lovely young couple who had just moved into their new home, and didn’t seem at all fazed by the prospect of shy cats.
I explained how our amazing friend Rachel had come over just after Christmas and spent hours with the 4 of them until they finally came out to play and started to trust her. The couple arrived prepared to do the same. It was the same sort of line up as with Rachel, though things happened more swiftly, as they’d all built up a lot more confidence through her visits. Nancy bounced out first of course … curious, friendly and full of hope for chicken treats. Then Finger, and eventually Bandit emerged, cautious at first but then very sweet. I’m sure they knew what was at stake because whereas Finger normally plays with her feather wand toy like a crazy mad growly tiger, on that day she and Bandit daintily batted the toy back and forth between them .. as though choreographed for enticing adopters. Dodger as ever hung back. Although the couple had initially expressed an interest in N&D, Dodger’s reticence and F&B’s cuteness nearly swung things in their favour. Then the gorgeous Dodge put in an appearance, and deigned to accept Dreamies.
Nancy & Dodger won the day and I spent a week fretting about how to get Dodger into a carrier to go to his new home without stressing him too much. We practised each night going into the carrier for Dreamies and for most of the week that carrier was his favourite spot.
Annoyingly though, on D Day, I misjudged it … tried to push him fully into the carrier when he was only half way in, and that was the end of that ruse. In the end he chased the red dot into another carrier, and I slammed the door.
We had the opposite problem at the other end of the journey. Nancy came out her carrier and ran under a cupboard. Dodger refused to leave the carrier. Yes, we could have forced him out, but we didn’t want to make it any more stressful for him than it already was. So there he sat, in an enormous carrier, similtaneously blocking entrance to kitchen, lounge and the stairs.
I cried in the car on the way home. I knew they’d got the best home they could ever hope for, and all would eventually be well. However they’d trusted me for 6 months and now I’d done something that had made them scared again.
Thankfully their adoptive parents are amazing. Not only do they understand the cats’ anxiety, they seem to get my anxiety too! … and send lots of updates.
Our first update was the following morning. No photos as both hiding. Dodger had come out the carrier and joined Nancy under the cupboard. Nancy had accepted a little chicken when being hand fed.
A couple of days later, a photo of Nancy under their cupboard. And the reassurance that they were eating and using the litter tray, and exploring … though only when the humans were out.
Another day or two and they’re looking more relaxed, starting to be interested in the laser toy again. And a day or two later, confirmation that they’re exploring the part of the house they have access to, as Dreamies left in various locations have disappeared 🙂 They’ve also been spotted exploring the landing when the humans have arrived home unexpectedly.
A week or so on and Dodger is starting to remember that he really likes Dreamies and playing with the red dot. They’re not quite comfortable interacting with the humans but are getting used to sharing the space with them, and happier about exploring whilst the humans are home.
And not many days after that, Nancy came out, feeling much bolder and had some strokes from both humans.
She was fascinated watching mum cooking, even though there was quite a lot of noise and crashing around in the kitchen.
And then this! Growing in confidence by leaps and bounds
They’ve been in their new home for 3 weeks tomorrow, and its lovely to see how much they’ve grown in confidence. It will still take some time and patience … but we have absolute faith in them and their humans that they’ll get there.
Well done Nancy & Dodger!
Huge thanks to their lovely adoptive parents, and to Rachel for helping to socialise them x
We’ll update about the other two in our next blog 🙂