TIMID CATS NEED HOMES TOO
With kitten season upon us, visitors to our centre "ohh !
" and "ahh !
" over the abundant selection of bouncy youngsters that prance and play in our pens. How often have you "wanted
this or that kitten because it put it's front paws up on the glass and
chased your fingers around ? Have you ever had an excitable kitten leap
into your arms as soon as you open the door ? Been "savaged
" by a ball of fluff no bigger than your own hand as it tries to taste your fingers?
Have you ever looked past
the bright eyes and bushy tail
demanding attention in front of you... further towards the back of the
pen... the identical looking kitten who is not quite so lively... not
quite so bold... not quite so pushy... not quite so "loveable" ?
When all of its more popular siblings have left for new homes, what happens to the one who is left behind ? That's what happens
- they get left behind... overlooked in favour of their more outgoing relatives. Why ?
For precisely that reason - a shy cat doesn't get picked first because
it's not at the front of the pen bouncing up and down going "pick me ! pick me !
Being shy isn't the kittens fault, its just how they are. But left
alone, especially after the lively company of their litter-mates, a
kitten can withdraw even more, retreating even further away, becoming
isolated and fearful.
Imagine being in a prison cell, when the door suddenly opens with a
horrendous screech, you are turfed out of your nice warm bed onto a
cold, hard floor while everything around you is turned upside down for
several minutes, before the door clangs shut and you are left all alone
again to make your own way back into a bed that wasn't the one you had
before, eventually curling up, but being constantly on-edge, waiting for
when the door will open again to disturb you.
For single kittens - especially those who happen to have been born at
the centre, this is a fair approximation of what they experience from
their point of view. With no other existence to measure happiness,
comfort, fuss and play, this is all the kitten knows of life.
At our centres, our staff give ALL
cats and kittens a portion of
our time, to help them understand that they are not alone, and are
loved. But the time that we spend with our charges is not enough, it is
enough ! The work we do at our centres is only a
fraction of the attention that a proper home can provide. We are just a
half-way-house, a temporary holding station for animals who have no
where else to go. Our mission is to see that every single one
of our cats and kittens finds a worthy home that can nurture them to their fullest potential.
So... The forgotten kitten gets left behind, all alone, wary of being
disturbed without notice, for however long, until someone with a kind
heart finally notices it and says "Awww what a shame
!" picks it
up and takes it home. Where suddenly, everything changes. The kitten
gets gentle strokes that remind it of it's mother's tongue calmly
washing it. Another nice warm, and above all, permanent bed to snuggle
into. Although there are noises to contend with, nothing comes and
interrupts whatever it is doing. There are furry things that move
about, that it just seems the most natural thing in the world to chase.
Later on there is green stuff which tickle its paws and tastes funny.
And the ability to travel more than 10 steps in any direction without
having to turn around is extraordinary. Loads of things to get onto,
...behind, ...into, ...stuck ! Everything it experiences all seems to
be limitless on an almost hourly basis.
is what a home has to offer a kitten - the opportunity to
develop into a fully fledged cat that is confident and content, with a
noticeable personality. Every animal we look after eventually ends up
in a home like this - but how long does it take to find one ?
The more friendly the kitten, the faster is flies out the door. The more reserved or overlooked kitten can take longer. How much longer ?
Can you imagine what a lonely life a shy kitten might endure if its
left on its own for weeks... or months... years? Left without human
contact for long enough, a kitten will grow into an adult cat and revert
to its wild or feral state being so wary of humans it will want nothing
to do with us at all.
A timid cat needs, and deserves
, a chance to become what we believe all cats should be - and that is HAPPY!
All they really need is an understanding of what has made them so shy,
and the willingness to be able to convince them that we humans are a
source of happiness for them.
With all the chaos of kitten season, are you able to think that maybe, just maybe, YOU
could offer a welcoming home to a cat that is shy or timid ? It may
take some time, but if you are prepared to put in the work required, the
reward of coaxing the true personality out of a cat is immeasurable.
Just to know that you have taken a scared and frightened animal and
moulded it into a confident and content one, will undoubtedly give you a
warm fuzzy feeling inside.