May 192009

I’ve waited three years, and my new cat hasn’t shown up yet. Obviously I was just going to have to go find one.

Saturday afternoon the whole family went over to Second Chance to look at the cats they have for adoption. We went into several rooms full of cats; some were flirtatious, outgoing felines while others hung back and eyed us warily.

The Director was tickled by one cat who liked to climb onto his shoulders, but he was also a bit feisty about being picked up—perhaps not the best trait for a cat living with kids, even older ones. Alpha Geek was interested in one of the shy ones. “What’s the story with Duchess*?” he asked.

Duchess had been one of the cats who hung back and didn’t approach us, but when the Artist went over to pet her she stood and greeted him warmly. She was a young cat, about a year old. Our guide obligingly brought Duchess in to the “Meet and Greet” room so we could have some one-on-one time with her. She was very nervous about being in the room (it smelled of dogs), but she was still affectionate and enjoyed being petted and held. Charmed by her sweet nature, we adopted her and brought her home.

She’s been completely freaked out. She was found abandoned with her siblings as kittens, and she’s spent her entire life in the shelter. She’s never had the run of a house or even been on carpet. Nothing here is familiar to her. There are no other cats, just four people she doesn’t know doing things she doesn’t understand.

She spent Saturday afternoon in hiding. We would go talk to her occasionally, and she would just look at us with huge green eyes. By Sunday she was camped out on the hearth of the fireplace, no longer hiding but not moving around either. However, we found that she was glad to have us come over and pet her, and would follow us when we moved away. In this fashion we’ve been coaxing her to explore the place. She’s like a toddler; she moves off to check out the surroundings, then comes back for reassurance before going off in another direction.

She’s getting more relaxed as she gets familiar with her environment. Last night she ate all the kibble I’d left out for her—I was getting worried that she hadn’t eaten anything since we brought her home. Now she’s hiding in the basement, but she comes out for petting if I go over and talk to her.

One of these days she’ll come out long enough for me to get a picture of her.

*Not her real name; like most names used in the blog, it’s an alias.

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