Fostering sometimes goes in waves and this Winter we’ve had several foster groups, and added in solos, in need of socialisation.
When siblings Tiger Lily and Louis came to us they were both very nervous with Louis in particular terrified of being touched. At first he would freeze in a passive state if I got close enough to pet him and then run and hide as soon as I moved away.
Tiger Lily on the other hand showed signs of wanting to be friendly from the start but was still too wary to let me get near her. So I played with interesting toys and relied on her natural nosiness to make her come to me instead.
This helped with Louis too as he watched her closely before following her lead. With a bit of patience, some treats and lots of play it wasn’t long before they learnt the benefits of being friendly.
After their first weekend with us it was clear that Louis wasn’t well. He became very lethargic and started to have prolonged fits of rapid successive sneezing.
So we headed to the shelter vet we came home with antibiotics and an appetite booster for both kittens, eye cream for Louis and a new nervous foster Valley.
Valley was a beautiful grey adult cat who liked to communicate with her paws and had a number of different nervous ticks when she felt stressed.
As she couldn’t mix with the kittens while they were sick I set her up with a safe space in the workshop where she hid for her first few days with us.
Once she’d settled in a bit she started to come out for a cuddle when I visit and would come over for a snuggle if I stay low to the ground.
She was far less nervous at the thought of meeting the kittens and would always came out of hiding as they passed by on their way to soak up the Winter sun outside in the cat cave.
Despite being a sweet and loving little cat desperate to make friends Valley’s feline social skills weren’t the best. Right from the start her preferred way of interacting with them was to walk up to a kitten and bop them and then wonder why they ran away.
It took sweet Tiger Lily coming to the rescue again as she would approach Valley and gently say hello before starting to groom her. Valley soon got the hint and after a little while Louis stopped hissing at her every time she approached him.
Everyone went back to the Animal Welfare League Queensland together, about one month after the kittens first arrived.
Louis and Tiger Lily were adopted within the first week while it took Valley a little longer as is usually the case with older and more nervous kitties.
Slán abhaile sweeties I hope you all have long and happy lives with your new families.