Tessa & Beans

A few weeks ago (last week of May) START II rescued Tessa and Beans from a high kill shelter.  They were owner turn-ins and we assume that they are brother and sister, because of their color and markings.  When I first met Tessa and Beans, both were horrified.  They hid under their rugs, curled into the corner of their cages.  Tessa and Beans cringed away from my hand when I tried to pet them.

By the second day, they were still frightened. ¬†I get it. ¬†They were used to living in a home (and they looked well taken care of), were dumped at the city shelter (so who knows how they were treated), and then brought to us. ¬†Some cats take longer to adjust to surroundings. ¬†And I didn’t want to force them to be “chummy” with me when they weren’t ready.

Every day I was at the shelter, I spent extra time with Tessa and Beans. ¬†I would give them deep blinks and talk to them softly. ¬†If needed be, I’d stuff the upper half of my body in their cages so they had human contact. ¬†I would tell them that I loved them.

After a few days, I earned their trust.

It is interesting to see the different outcome between the two cats while I performed the same rituals.

Tessa came out of her shell first. ¬†When I finally earned Tessa’s trust, she popped her head out from under her rug and put her head in my hand. ¬†Soon, her whole body came out from under the rug. ¬†Now, she knows when I enter the shelter. ¬†When she hears my voice she’s at the front of her cage meowing and sticking out her paws. ¬†I’ve dubbed her “Princess Tessa” because she looks so prim and proper. ¬†Her markings are gorgeous, and I especially love the pattern on her face. ¬†Tessa rolls around for belly rubs and makes biscuits on my face (and pretty much everywhere else in her cage). ¬†When I’m cleaning cat cages, I leave her door open so she can see what I’m doing. ¬†I tried taking her out once, just holding her and walking around the rest of the shelter. ¬†But I think she wasn’t ready for all that yet. ¬†She crawled up my shoulder and tensed. ¬†When I put her back in her cage, she was fine. ¬†Tessa started making biscuits and giving me kisses.

Princess Tessa

Princess Tessa

Beans, on the other hand, had a completely different reaction. ¬†He remained under his rug until the weekend before father’s day. ¬†However, prior to that, he still let me hunker down under his rug with him and pet him. ¬†Beans finally came out and was a little nervous. ¬†I calmed him down with lots of pets and kisses. ¬†And Beans showed the belly. ¬†And made biscuits on my face. ¬†Even though his name is Beans, I have gotten in the habit to calling him “Mister Beans.” ¬†He responds to both. ¬†Like Tessa, Beans responds to my voice when I enter the shelter. ¬†He pops his head out from under his rug and start meowing at me. ¬†Beans’ confidence made strides of improvement after we gave him a stuffed mouse toy. ¬†He loves to play, and can play for hours. ¬†This past weekend, Beans hopped out of his cage on his own. ¬†This was such a big deal, that Jodi and I were gossiping about it on Monday! ¬†He didn’t go far. ¬†He just explored the office where his cage was located. ¬†Yesterday Beans came out into the main cat area, and ironically, during a thunderstorm with thunder rumbles so loud, the other cats were a little on edge. ¬†He explored for a little while then went back in his cage.

Mister Beans

Mister Beans

I love both these cats to pieces. ¬†I wish I could take them home with me. ¬†Often, I think about them when I’m not at the shelter. ¬†(Sometimes it feels like I’m cheating on my own cats.) ¬†They are available for adoption through START II. ¬†Adoption info can be found here.

The Comfort of Paws

Castiel Paws

This morning, Boots awoke me at 4am meowing with crazies.  I got up and gave him some water drips from the bathroom tub faucet.  When I got back into bed, Icarus decided he wanted to bunny kick my hand.  And attack me every time I moved under my quilt.  I had difficulty falling back to sleep.

Icarus decided he wanted to wrap his front paws around my arm and give me more bunny kicks to my hand.  I started to pet his belly and head.  Seemed to work, because he settled down into a kitten slumber.  When Icarus fell asleep, his paws were still wrapped around my arm.

CastielPawsThe multi-colored fleshy pads were cool against my skin. ¬†We slept with the windows open last night, so the bedroom was cool around 4:30-5:00am. ¬†A chilly breeze reminiscent of early October wafted through the screens. ¬†It was the perfect sleeping weather. ¬†And Icarus’ paws helped me fall back to sleep.

Maybe it’s just me. ¬†There’s something about paws that relaxes me. ¬†I love kitty paws (claws intact, thank you). ¬†Sometimes cats get sensitive about people touching their paws, but I try to get in the habit of touching my cats paws daily. ¬†The more familiar they are with me handling their “fingers” and “toes,” the easier it is for me to trim their claws!

Sometimes Castiel, Prometheus, or Ishtar put their paws in my hand and fall asleep that way (and sometimes I do, too). ¬†I don’t know. ¬†Something about holding a cat’s paw just relaxes me.

Boots Paw

Boots Paw