December Update: Ellie was adopted exactly half a year ago (6/12) to an older couple with a quiet home who loved her so much.They found her so much fun, so loving and intelligent. She was a lap cat and a great cuddler, just the sort of kitty to take a nap on the couch with. They trained her to use the toilet rather than a litterbox. They were thrilled with her. She bloomed in her new home.
Original Post: This girl has a sad story. She was bought as a kitten and immediately her front paws were declawed. She was brought to her new home where there were four adult cats and this little kitten was very frightened of them. This fear did not go away. As the owners told the shelter staff, she eventually relaxed around one of the four but spent time hiding under the bed from the others. She was miserable. It was not a good home for her.
Of course any declaw is very painful for a cat. Poor Ellie. After three years of her being stressed and hiding from the other cats she was dropped off at a shelter. For a week, as the shelter logs show, she refused to eat and had eyes dilated wide with fear whenever anyone came near her. She was not doing well at all. I was in the shelter to see a different cat but I was interested in seeing her too. I thought her photo showed she had some Bengal in her and I had gotten a number of Bengal mix kitties from that shelter before. She may be part Bengal -she looks it in some photos but I don’t know for sure. I saw on her cage door tag that she was to be euthanized that evening. Instead of finding a frightened and stressed kitty I found a darling girl. Overnight, I guess, she had finally relaxed and was now very friendly. What a nice girl she was showing herself to be as she rubbed against my hand and walked in figure eights displaying herself. I said “Well now that she is friendly she will go up for adoption. Right?” “No” I was told “she was still not eating at all. Without a firm commitment from a rescue to take her she would be euthanized that evening”. No other rescues had stepped forward for her. I thought: “Of the millions of humans on this planet I am the only one she has in her corner.” And I felt that so far she had gotten a bum deal from humans. I took her.
Back in Santa Cruz I immediately syringed 4 level teaspoons of nourishing food into her. I thought of it as priming the pump, waking up her stomach. That night she ate well and everything has been fine since then. She is a healthy young girl. And what a great sweet kitty she! She just needed a chance.
Eleanor is a fairly big cat, she is about 12 pounds. Her very green eyes are big and round. Her short soft fur is dramatically tiger striped. She is very affectionate and loving. At the same time she is a little uncertain. Her experiences with humans have been at best mixed. We haven’t had her long but she is doing very well with us. We are teaching her to play with a feather. She didn’t know how. I don’t think she had that kind of normal attention. She has a beautiful striking face and it was the wonderful shelter photo that caused me to inquire about her. You can see that picture below. It is a rare cat that takes a good photo in a shelter setting. Her picture showed a kitty so alert and curious, and so full of life.
So let’s find a human willing to show her what a loving family is really like. It is true she doesn’t like other cats so no cats for her, no dogs for the same reason, no young children, just loving humans who would like to give her a wonderful home. She can be a little edgy still, sometimes uncertain if she is safe in her world. She needs patient humans to reassure her and let her be a happy young kitty. I expect six months of love in her new home will easily vanish her difficult past. She will be so grateful and happy.