Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy, happy, joy, joy! - January 26, 2012

I know, the blog has been quiet for a few weeks.  I haven't had any new fosters (just Davey, but he's got his own story).  This post is about one of my former fosters, Colleen.  She's a 'failed foster' - one of those kittens you just can't give up on.

Colleen is actually the cat who inspired this blog.  Although I didn't write about her while I fostered her, I started immediately after she went back to the shelter for adoption.  So a big THANK YOU Colleen for inspiring me to keep track of all the kittenhoods I've been privileged to watch over (even though I really hate to write).

Colleen came to me June 22, 2009 as a foster from my local shelter.  She was already about 6-7 weeks old and terrified.  She came in as a 'singleton' - a lone kitten without siblings or a mom cat.  I'm pretty good with the scaredy cats and I had a few young foster kittens at the time, so we tried to bring her into the bunch to give her a few friends to play with and learn more about being a happy kitten. 

Well, that didn't really work.  As soon as I got her to start walking around a little, it was clear that she was limping on one of her hind legs.  A trip back to the clinic for evaluation and across town to the specialty vet for x-rays determined that she had a severe break that couldn't be cast.  It had probably been broken quite a while.  The vets decided the best treatment was removal of the leg.  Poor girl. 

So, it was off to surgery. She came through well and was back to recover at my house.

Of course, she wasn't happy about it.

But after several weeks, she was running & playing with the other fosters. She reached the magic 2lb mark (tough to do missing a rear leg) and it was time to get spayed and go up for adoption.

So August 21, 2009, Colleen 'graduated' and was officially up for adoption.  Since she was already about 3 1/2 months old and had spent time around other cats, she was moved pretty quickly into the shelter's big cat community room.  She should have done well in there.  She even had a 3-legged buddy named Stewie (who lost his rear leg because the umbilical cord strangled his foot in utero).  They were a cute pair - one missing the right rear, the other missing the left rear.

Despite the attention of some super volunteers, Colleen took to hiding in the cubby holes.  Black cat + hiding = no adoption.  At the annual Home for the Holidays super adoption event, Stewie found his furever home.  Colleen did not.  Having a soft spot for black cats and also having lost my 23-year-old cat earlier in the year, I thought it was time to bring home a new permanent member to my household.

Colleen joined Lorenza - another black cat that I had adopted the previous January.  I'm sure they remembered each other from Colleen's foster time.  They were soon cuddled up every day.

My girls

Colleen was not cuddly with me.  She wanted nothing to do with me.  I decided to let her have her space as long as she was happy with Lorenza and eating well, it was OK with me.

Unfortunately for all of us, just a few weeks later one of my cousins passed away and I took in her cat, Cotton.  You can read all about his story here in the blog, just search 'Cotton's Tale'. 

Needless to say, Colleen's entry to the household kind of took a back seat because she wasn't the 'squeaky wheel' at the time.  She started fleeing from me whenever I walked into a room.  She became terrified of being touched.  She was always fine with cats, even all of the fosters, just not me.

Now for the 'happy, happy, joy, joy' part ... the cat who has been living as a feral in my house for the last 2 years and 3 weeks is FINALLY coming around!  Last fall she started approaching me - not close enough to touch, but just close enough to watch me.  AND she started PLAYING!  Loves a laser light.  Occasionally I'll hear her in the next room with the circle toy (a ball trapped in a plastic circle that most cats love).  In the last couple of weeks, she's been peeking up from the foot of the bed.  Just to keep an eye on me.

This week, she's decided to take over my bed as her new favorite sleeping spot.  Not when I'm in the room, but any other hour of the day.  EXCEPT ...  da da da dah! ... she is now sleeping on the bed at night!  So big!  And this morning  - hurray, hurray - SHE LET ME PET HER (happy dance).  Leaned into it, loved the chin scratch, a little shoulder rub. 

It's a good day.

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