Kitten Season! part 1

As the photos of the A Team in their new homes began to come in, so did the requests for help with other cats and kittens.

With the rest of the family gone, we didn’t want to leave little Alice & Arnold on their own in their bedroom.  It felt important to give them more opportunity to socialise and gain their confidence … and to be honest …. we needed their room!

So they packed their bags and moved downstairs.   It was scary at first and they were happy to hide in a large dog crate.  Uncle Henderson did his best to reassure them … but they weren’t convinced.   Surprisingly quickly though things started to change.   Arnold realised that if he could stay with his fear of being touched he actually really loved a tummy rub …. he simultaneously found his purr.

Alice has starting thinking of her future … and has decided that hair styling is her thing.  She’s certainly keen …. I’ll give her that …. she spends ages sitting on the back of the sofa, purring loudly and grooming me.  I’m kind of hoping she’ll refine her technique and not cause quite so much pain to future clients.

hair by alice

One of the main factors in making things better for these little ones is ‘uncle’ Dasher. It’s a bit of a delicate situation. You may remember that Dasher has been with us a while, waiting to find a pal to go to a new home with. He’s now found the love of his life in Alice … but she’s attached to her brother too. Arnold is also attached to Dasher … though not so much. He’s being very sweet and generous as this awkward love triangle plays itself out.

Anyway … I digress. A couple of days before Ailbhe & Alix went off to their new home, we had a message asking if we could take in 25 cats from one home! We said we couldn’t possibly take that many but had a pregnant cat/nursing cat space and/or room for a group of kittens. We were a bit shocked by the reply which said that there was a heavily pregnant cat, two mums nursing 7 kittens between them and 4 five month old kittens. It was one of those rushed-in-between-appointments-at-work kind of email exchanges. We couldn’t take them all … and were aware that even then these were only 14 of the 25. It’s the nightmare game of Lifeboat that rescues are regularly asked to play. Pregnant cat v mums with young kittens v older kittens who may be pregnant soon. We agreed to take pregnant puss, plus the two mums with their 7 kits … but then started trying to get help for the others.

alice & arnold much more confident

On the day of their arrival I was up by 6am cleaning and getting the space ready.  Ten new arrivals was daunting …. we never had such a big intake of cats. Sure … Ailbhe and 7 kittens arrived a few weeks ago … that was 8. Years and years ago when we were fostering for another rescue, on one day we took in a mum with 5 kittens 3 days old, and another mum with 4 kittens a day old. Yes … I know … that makes 11 … but at the time we just had two or three other cats in the house, and 9 of the arrivals were very tiny. The recent ten were coming to add to a household of nine. And of course one of the ten had several more small cats inside her.

We took a deep breath … what else can you do? Drove up the motorway in the pouring rain, and yet again suffered the misery of sat nav crashing off the dashboard. Seriously … WTF! … how does anyone stop the suicidal plummet of sat nav mid journey? And finally arrived at the house. It was a strange experience. It’s rare (acutally never … unless I visit a bigger cat rescue) that I go somewhere that has more cats than we have here. A real insight into how friends/ neighbours/ tradespeople might view my own home … a cat on every surface … mega size food boxes piled high. This owner clearly cared about their cats … but sadly hadn’t been able to get them neutered before they multiplied exponentially.

We got the carriers loaded up … Carrier 1: Jette the pregnant puss. Carrier 2: Squiggle plus 4 kits Carrier 3: Raven plus 3 kits. It’s not exactly a fair share. We understand that Raven gave birth to 5 kits, and a few days later Squiggle had 2. It seems that Squiggle has taken them all on as her own while Raven has stepped back .. other than a few bath times. At their vet check we found that Raven has very little milk whilst Squiggle is full of it. What we’ll never know is whether Squig took over because Raven had no milk, or whether Raven has no milk because Squiggle is feeding them all. Perhaps what matters most is that its one big happy family.

Here they are arriving in their rooms and starting to settle in

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And Mother Makes Eight

You might wonder why we’ve not posted for a while.   There were at least 8 good reasons … and the clue is in our last blog post:

“So … 7 kittens, plus mum to some of them, arriving today … with no room actually available just yet”

They did indeed arrive:

two boxes full of them 🙂

If I felt a little overwhelmed I can only reflect on how poor Ailbhe felt.   You may remember that she and another cat had had 9 kittens between them prior to rescue.  The information was a bit sketchy but we think only three of the nine were Ailbhe’s and that prior to rescue the other mummy had done the bulk of the work.  We don’t actually know which of the kits were hers … so worst case scenario is that she was caring for 7 kittens, only one of whom she gave birth to.   I was anxious about how this might pan out … and had kitten formula and bottles ready … but thankfully didn’t need them.


It took a while to get my head around who was who … but gradually they emerged as individuals, each with their own purrsonality and prefurances.

I think I can honestly say that Ailbhe has been the gentlest kindest mummy cat I’ve ever known. We’ve had lots of lovely mummy cats here … but normally by age 6 weeks the joy of parenthood is wearing a bit thin and they’re swearing at the kits and slapping them about a bit. However, I’ve never seen her have a cross word with any of them.

It’s been a whirlwind … a delightful, stressful whirlwind …  but Aric & Archie, and then Ash & Arran went off to their new homes.  Last night after work (mine not theirs!) Ailbhe & Alix went to their new home.  Alice & Arnold moved downstairs for remedial catting lessons … supervised by Uncle Henderson.

There was a brief pause and celebration last night … then up at six this morning to clean … and prepare for new arrivals.

And so the next story begins ………….

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End of an era

On Easter Monday I took Fingers & Bandit to their furever home … the second pair of the Norton 4 kittens … now young cats.

It marked the end of quite a long chapter in 8 Lives history.  We had the original message about the Norton 4 back in August 2018 – Four kittens around 5 or 6 months old had been living in a garden for some considerable time.  Intially mum had been with them … but she’d moved on .. sadly presumably pregnant again.   Kind people had fed them, but not really interacted with them … and for reasons that made sense, but won’t be disclosed here, had just let them be.

It was a more challenging situation than we’d normally tackle, but it was very close to home, other rescues were full and we could see that if something wasn’t done very soon, the Norton 4 would be the Norton 14!

You can read all the twists and turns in their story if you scroll down the blog a bit … but back to Easter Monday ….

In an almost exact paralell with the rehoming of Nancy & Dodger … Fingers came out the carrier and ran under a chair, Bandit was reluctant to leave the carrier.   In the Nancy & Dodger story, it was a cupboard rather than a chair … but it’s the same difference.   Eventually Bandit made a dash to be with her sister … and that’s where I left them.


Fortunately they are a little more confident than their brother & sister, that is Fingers is more or less as confident as Nancy … though she doesn’t quite express it in the same way, while Bandit is quite a bit less shy than Dodger.  So by the following day they’d put in an appearance at the food bowl next to the chair.

In terms of further exploration it seems Fingers was sent out to check the perimeter of the room whilst Bandit stayed close to the chair watching, cleaning herself and tapping a few toys.

It didn’t take very many days before Fingers was up on the sofa, checking out the cuddles.

Bandit isn’t quite there with cuddles yet …. but is enjoying sitting on the windowsill with her sister each evening … watching the world go by.

Couldn’t be happier for all 4 of them.  They’ve found two lovely families to give them the best chance possible in life.

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It’s complicated

After the failed relationship between Dasher & Dexi, she went off and found herself a lovely ‘only cat’ home.

Dasher had been longing to try again to find a pal … but we couldn’t do anything until Dexi had moved out as there was no space for another one … especially when we had Dexi complaining loudly about how many cats there were around here.

He was philosohpical about it and spent his time just chatting with uncle Henderson … and playing in the garden.

We started putting the word out again that he was looking … and heard that there were 5(!) kits needing somewhere … but they were only about 5 weeks old … so would need to stay with their mum for several more weeks. Five were rather too many to manage … but then Howard landed himself the offer of a foster home, so his bedroom was going to be free. So we agreed we’d take them … hopefully there would be two pairs and another who could be a mate for Dasher. Then we found out the place they were in seemed less safe and we offered to take them earlier so long as mum could come with them. Howard’s room would be free so it would be ok. Then we learned that there were actually 9 kittens and 2 mums … but 3 of the kits had homes lined up and the home they were coming from would only part with one of the mums. So the agreement became that we’d take one mum and six kittens. And we realised that through the long and complicated negotiations we’d started by looking for a pal for Dasher, but ended up agreeing to take a (part) family of 7 which meant there were 3 pairs of kittens, and an adult cat .. but in reality no one for Dasher to pal up with. They needed a place of safety though … so we sucked it up, laughed about it, and got on with making the plans.

The plan was that Howard would go to his foster home on Easter Monday, the room would be available from that evening. Then a couple of things happened. One of the three kits who had a home lined up had his offer withdrawn. Then there was a greater risk of tiny kittens being handed out “free to good home” … except these homes are rarely “good”. An odd number of kittens at last …. but who needed to move pronto if they were to be safe.

So … 7 kittens, plus mum to some of them, arriving today … with no room actually available just yet

backend clash between henderson & howard

Emergency plan was to move Howard downstairs with the residents for a couple of days until he goes to his foster home. He’s spent some time down here when there was a hope he might be integrated with them.  It went sort of ok .. though there’s a bit of a rivalry for my lap between Henderson & Howard.

Yesterday I frantically cleaned downstairs, so there woudn’t be too much disruption if Howard moved down. Today I guiltily evicted Howard from his bedroom, cleaned my bedroom (next door to Howard’s room) and Howard’s room … ready for kits arriving and not having too much noise and disruption. It’s one of those situations that illustrate the warning to “be careful what you wish for!”. I’d wanted kittens for Dasher & Howard had been desperate to come downstairs. The reality was more stressful than either of us would have expected. Dasher hissed lots at Howard, Rufus started being a little b@gger again and slapping anyone and everyone … just to make his point.

Howard is trying to manage it by stealing my seat on the sofa.   I’m trying to manage it with a complicted algorithm of doors closed and open … and a few beers.  Tomorrow we need to find a way of separting them enough to manage any arguments … but be able to show Dasher off to his best to potential adopters (they also want him to come to his new home with a pal) … without him being able to run off and hide under the sink .. and without any embarassing family arguments in front of visitors.

Praying to the Easter Bunny for assistance 🙂

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Norton 2+2 – the remainers

Bandit and Finger were clearly a little unsettled when their siblings went off to their new home 3 weeks ago.  Whether that was because they missed them, or because they feared they’d also be shuffled into carriers I’m not sure.

Three weeks on and Nancy & Dodger are getting well settled


The nice suprise here is that Bandit has come out of her shell more. There was no suggestion that she was being bullied or intimidated by her siblings … but she whilst she wasn’t particularly scared of people, she wasn’t that bothered about interacting either.  Since the others have moved she’s been much more interested in approaching for snuggles.

Bandit was much quicker to come out to play when Rachel visited this weekend, and she’s been more likely to come to find me when their bedroom door has been open than ever she used to be. Shyly peeping round the bathroom door, and loving the fuss she gets when I spot her.

Since they’ve just been a twosome they’ve been accepting other feline visitors.   That’s not been so much initiated by their hospitality as my need to make the most of time and space.  We have Dasher downstairs, desperate to play with someone, and Dexi who sadly does not like him.  So Dasher has been up for a play date.  Bandit was a bit shy with him but Finger entertained him and showed him some smart hunting moves.

It also occured to me that I spend ages waving toys around for these girls, and then a similar amount of time in the next room with Howard firmly planted on my lap … If we could join up and multitask they could have twice the play time and Howard could have double snuggles.   That kind of went ok too.  The girls are lovely and friendly, Howard does his best, he’s not actively aggressive but bear in mind that he arrived in rescue very poorly .. and recovering from an abscess that we assume was the result of a cat fight.   He has a clear idea about purrsonal space .. and each time the girls breached it, said “How” ..  more assertively than aggressively.

There was an awkward moment where Finger had gone into his bedrooom whilst he was in hers.  As Howard returned to his own room, Finger decided to leave.  The shape of the landing forced this into being a bit of a confrontation.   Words were said, but no threats were acted on.

Less stressful moments were when Howard and I sat in his room,  watching Finger play with a rug on the landing.  She suddenly noticed that the cat in the bathroom mirror had an identical rug … and freaked a bit.

Today it’s been Rufus who went to visit.  No particular reason .. other than the fact that the girls have been here for months now, confined to their bedroom with occasional access to bathroom, stairs and landing.   I wonder if we might be able to get them coming downstairs a bit, so they have more interaction, and even a chance to play out in the garden.  However that means them interacting the the residents, as well as Dasher (who they’ve met) and Dexi (who I’m sure will not be pleased to meet them).  That meant we left the door at the bottom of the stairs open

We love our Ru to bits … but his social skills aren’t great 😉

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Norton 2+2 – the leavers

So it’s finally happened, two of the gorgeous Norton 4 have found their new home!

Nancy & Dodger

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 🙂

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She’s just not that into you

The last few weeks have been a difficult emotional journey for little Dasher. He put so much effort into finding a potential bestie, and could scarcely contain his excitement when little Dexi arrived.

waiting for first sight of her

He’s worked hard at the relationship, chattering to Dexi, showing her how to climb curtains, suggesting all sorts of fun games they might play.

To be fair, the rules of some of the games have been a little complex and tedious, but he’s put the work in. He’d had dreams of moving to a new home together, with a garden and servants of their own. Sadly it’s not to be. Much as he chases around after her telling her she’s beautiful (and clever & strong too because he’s a 21st century kitten and doesn’t want her to think he’s only interested in her being pretty), her invariable response is “HISS OFF!”


We can all see it, but it’s hard for him to let go and move on. He remains hopeful.

His pal Rufus is being a good mate, and suggested they go out and play in the garden to take his mind off it.

Finger even invited him upstairs for a playdate with her and Bandit. In the event, Bandit wasn’t so keen, but Finger listened patiently to him and showed him a few ‘special’ hunting techniques.

Dasher obviously felt a bit more valued after that and practised posing like Dodger in their bedroom. We think it was a pretty decent attempt.

Both Dexi and Dasher and lovely kits, but we will all have to accept that the love affair we hoped for is simply not going to work out. Dexi wants a home where she can live the single life with no other cats, Dasher wants to have some mates around.

Aunty Honey isn’t pleased that her boy has been snubbed .. and would like to know just what the problem was

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Dasher WLTM

Little Dasher came to us just before Christmas.

He’s a little bit shy with people until he gets to know them, but clearly enjoys the company of other cats. He loves playing with Rufus and Flipper (though the delight isn’t always mutual)

and enjoys a snuggle with Uncle Henderson and Aunty Honey.

So we were keen to make sure he had a pal to go to a new home with, and set about finding another youngster who needed to come into rescue. Despite there being dozens of cats needing rescue space it’s been tricky finding a single older kit to pair him up with. We spent a lot of time online looking for a friend.

There were several disappointments along the way. However finally, this week a rescue friend trapped a kit who had been living in a garden for a few months, and we drove up one night after work to collect her.

Dasher sees Dexi online

She went into a large covered dog crate to start with … just whilst we dealt with the fleas and she had time to settle. Rufus and Dasher were very curious.


The next day Uncle Henderson became concerned that she was still in the crate, not least because his favoured litter tray is usually in there.

So she came out to play. Dasher ran away! To be fair, she’s biggerer than he is. Rufus was happy to play with her though …. a little too happy. Although Ru (and Dasher!) has been neutered, Dexi hasn’t yet (booked in later this week) … and Ru could smell some things he couldn’t quite make sense of but was very interested in. We had to have a talk to Ru about purrsonal space and boundaries.

Dasher is interested but still wary. Here’s Dexi standing on the lap top a couple of minutes ago whilst I write this blog … with Dasher watching coyly from the sidelines.

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Reach for the Sky(e)

I took Cloe to a foster home a couple of weeks ago so we were in the exciting position of having a rescue space available.  I realise as I write that I’ve not mentioned Cloe on the blog before.   She’s a sweet elderly stray who we’re pretty sure was dumped.  Her arrival was stressful and distressing through absolutely no fault of her own.  She’s a little sweetheart and is now living it up in the most lovely foster home she could have dreamed of and her story will be told one day.   As I was walking down the foster carers’ garden back to my car my phone pinged ….

Cloe settling in foster home

… It was a kind neighbour of an elderly lady who had sadly died the previous day, leaving a cat who needed a lifeline and a new home.  After checking that there was no one else who laid claim to the cat and that the lady’s relatives etc were in agreement that she came into rescue with us, we agreed to take her, checked she would be fed and safe for a couple of days and planned to collect her on the Saturday.

Saturday is often the day I take my own elderly neighbour shopping.    She’s about the best neighbour you could have but for the first 70 years of her life hadn’t been someone who had much interest in cats.  It’s kind of changed in the 10 years I’ve lived next door to her as she’s listened to endless stories about cats and saved her spare bits of meat and chicken for the poor felines trying to eke out an existence with a veggie human.  [Just to be clear … I’m veggie … the cats absolutely are NOT … but there aren’t any meat scraps coming off my plate for them.]   It goes without saying that Henderson adores her …. not only for the treats but also because a while back when he had an altercation with “The Cat up the Road” while I was out at work, our neighbour came round, armed with a large piece of strong cardboard, bravely fought on his side … and they won!  Anyway I digress.


It’s not a turn that most people’s lives take at rising 80, but my lovely neighbour got involved in the trapping of the Norton 4.  The N4’s garden was handily almost on route between here and Aldi … so it fitted in nicely to collect the trap on the way back from shopping.   It was a similar occasion with the arrival of Skye.  We’d done an Aldi shop but needed a few things from Sainsburys too and by the time we’d done it time was tight to get the shopping home and unpacked and back to collect cat.  So off we went together to collect Skye.   I’m telling you this just because it’s part of the story but also because people mostly assume that cat rescue people just do cat rescue and that’s what they’re paid to do.   The reality is that for most rescue people, other than ones employed by the big rescues, we’re fitting it in, unpaid, around our day jobs and everything else we need to do.

Anyway, we find the house and  I knock on the deceased lady’s neighbour’s door.  He answers and then goes to get his wellies and thick gloves.  Uh oh! ?  It transpires that his neighbour had been unwell for some time and hadn’t been able to keep on top of flea treatment … to the point that the carpet was jumping … hence the wellies.  I have a brief moment of wellie envy.  The house is rammed with a lifetime’s accumulation of stuff.  It’s heartbreaking.  Thankfully the neighbour has had the foresight to close the cat into a small ish room, though it was filled with plants and furnished with high shelves … which of course the cat was right on top of.  You know those moments when you wonder what you’ve let yourself in for?  Hats off to the neighbour who took responsibility with his thick gloves for getting the cat into the carrier – most people would have stood back to watch me struggle.

I wondered as I was putting the cat carrier in the back seat and putting her seat belt on, whether I should mention to my neighbour that the cat was bouncing with fleas, and on balance thought it was not the best plan.  She got very stressed about a recent mouse infestation which had affected several of our neighbours but oddly enough left us untouched 😉   Drove home.  Left cat in car whilst I got neighbour safely into her house, rushed home, guessed weight of cat and applied appropriate sized Advantage … sprayed RIP fleas on stair carpet and around car …. then gathered up the shopping and took it round to neighbour … praying that nothing had jumped into the bags.  Both very ready  for a coffee by then.   I love this “No Cat Cafe” just up the road – a haven in which to drink cat hair free coffee in peace 😉  We sat on the sofa and thanks to web cam were able to watch puss settling in to her new surroundings.


There was a little while where she explored her igloo, but soon was hiding up high.

It took a while to spot her.

She stayed up there and on other high shelves for several days.

She was clearly scared. It was a bit surreal to watch Finger .. one of the (used to be) very timid Norton 4 .. come into her room and try to reach her and reassure her.

Finger trying to help

As you can see … we fetched in a chair from the other room. I climbed to to see her, expecting to be hissed at or even swiped at. Instead she leaned into the strokes and cuddles, purring loudly.

The tricky bit then was avoiding her feeling all loved up, rolling over and falling off the shelf.

There had been some hope that she was microchipped and that that would give us a bit more info about whether she was spayed, her age … and her name! Once she was relaxed enough to cope with the scanner we checked, but sadly no chip.

Our vets guesstimated her age at about 4-5, shaved her flank and found a scar which we’re 98% certain indicates that she’s been spayed … but her name?! We tried to guess what an elderly lady might have called her cat. We thought of calling her after the elderly lady as surely at least it was a name she’d have heard and recognized – but then thought it might confuse her. We looked at suggestions for black cat names and witchy names, and since she loves to climb thought about names of famous climbers (other than Ivy! … we’ve already had an Ivy). We went above all that and thought of Sky as that’s about as high as you can climb. We added an e because she’s beautiful … like the island.

Welcome Skye x

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Facing our fears together

The Norton 4 and I have formed a close bond.  They arrived here in September having lived in a garden most of their young lives.  They’d been fed by a kindly neighbour but not had much human interaction, and were terrified.  It’s been a long slow process but by Christmas it was clear that they all trust me and in varying degrees are happy for me to stroke and cuddle them.

Fingers and Nancy are particularly affectionate

Dodger and Bandit are more wary.   Dodger is way bigger than his sisters but on the whole a bit of a wuss … maybe it’s because they push him around … girl cats can be very bossy.   I have a very strong sense that he’s a big soft tom cat waiting to happen though.   He was the last of the group to allow strokes, but now clearly enjoying them and wanting more, but not quite ready to risk it.  Bandit on the other hand was the first of the group to allow contact, but now seems to be the most wary.  Her weakness is chicken … which is perhaps how she was the first to be bribed when they arrived.  Dodger has never been one for chicken … he’s more a Dreamie man and is loving the Dreamie toy he got at Christmas from Jess his cat sitter.


What we’ve realised though is that although they’re confident with me, they’re not used to anyone else really and tend to hide when other people are around.  It’s understandable given that it’s just me that they see every day … but it’s not a winner in the adoption stakes.

I get where they’re coming from.   I’m not very confident with new people either.   I’d dragged every random visitor I’d had into their room to meet them briefly but it wasn’t going to be enough to help them.  So one evening over the Christmas holiday we posted on a local facebook group asking for help.  It was a bit of a weird request … asking random cat loving strangers to come over for an hour or so, sit with me in their room and just chat so they got used to other voices, and if they came out to interact at their own pace.

There was a flurry of interest which resulted in four serious offers and dates in the diary.    I think all 5 of us were anxious, though at least I was also hopeful and optimistic.

The first visit was less stressful for me as it was one of our adopters from years ago, Elisha & Ezekiel’s mum.   Nancy bobbed out to play a bit and even had a little stroke.  The others hid.

Second visit was a kind lady and her amazingly calm and lovely kids.  Norton 4 had never been matched by same number of humans in their room before so it was a big event for them.  Again Nancy popped out to say hello … and to the kids delight shot off after smelling mum’s feet 😉  I’m sure it was just the smells of other pets she’s picked up on her socks but it caused some hilarity.

Our third brave visitor also had a snuggle with Nancy but not much sight of the others.

I’m hugely grateful to these people who responded to our request for help.   Despite it looking as though nothing was changing, under the surface it was!  What I’ve consistently found with cats is that it looks like nothing is happening … and then suddenly there’s a shift.

Our fourth awesome guest managed to charm Nancy out to play very quickly, not surprisingly as Nancy had been the main meet and greet purrson previously.  That was lovely but not ground breaking.   However, it started to get more exciting when Fingers put in an appearance.   That was amazing.

It made my day really … huge progress. Then we noticed that Dodger was just visible around the side of the filing cabinet. That in itself was a big deal as he’s normally hidden much more securely than that.

I was blown away when he also came out to play. And then Bandit too … she gave up her rigid “in the corner behind the desk” hidey hole … and joined in the game.  Then Dodger was taking treats out of her hands and Finger was climbing on her lap like she was a long lost friend.

This is so exciting and hopeful for the future of these cats.  Their increased confidence was sustained when our adopter friend came for a second visit … the cats were markedly more outgoing with her too.   They’re still going to be a bit wary of new people and take some patience to gain their trust and confidence … but I’m sure once they’re settled in their new homes they’re going to be amazing.


Categories: cat, cat rescue, kittens, Sheffield | Leave a comment

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