Sunday, March 6, 2011

Like Dark Chocolate

I just found a blog entry made about a cat in need of a home, at the Animal Rescue League here in Western Pennsylvania.  Her name is Sprite.  And I think that she is gorgeous.  Her eyes - I have a weakness for expressive kitty eyes.

But if you read that blog post about Sprite, you'll see that she has some issues that make her a "special case" and as most of us know, special cases have a difficult time getting adopted sometimes.  It's heart-breaking but true.  But my guess is that most of her issues could be dealt with over time - as long as she was out of the shelter and into someone's home, that is.

It's natural to want a "turn-key" pet, that you just have to bring home, and immediately settles in and makes friends with everyone.  And it IS refreshing when that happens.  This happened to us with Argos, and really with Bit, since she was a kitten at the time that we got her.

But my Annie and Romeo were both "diamonds in the rough" and needed a little patience before they could be good pets.  They were like dark chocolate, something a little bitter in the beginning, perhaps not as sweet as you might like...  (and you wondered where I was going with that title, didn't you?)

But that changes with time.  Sprite nipping and taking swings at people?  Romeo did that a lot when we first got him.  There was about a month that I was extremely leery about approaching him for any reason.  He's gotten much better about it.  He may nip gently, without breaking skin, VERY occasionally, and it's usually when he's been petted for a long time, or if he doesn't know what you're doing to him.  Most of the time, he's a gentle, loving cat.

Being afraid to be held?  Annie was like that.  Little street cat that she was, she had little opportunity to see the kindness in humans, and was TERRIFIED to be held.  She'd claw and scratch and wail until you put her back down.  Two years later... Annie is my best lap cat.

Sprite needs someone to adopt her and give her time.  Not many people are adept at savoring the taste of dark chocolate when so many sweeter varieties are out there.  But it's so very rewarding when you can learn to do so.  Every time that Annie jumps into my lap, I can feel an enormous sense of satisfaction that  the little spooky cat that we adopted has become the perfect family cat.  Every time Romeo leans into my hand as I scratch his neck, while purring and making "happy feets" on the chair cushion, I can know that not everyone would have tolerated his stroppy ways in the beginning, but that he is now a happy cat.

It does sound like she would need to be an only cat - but that's fantastic that she is at least "neutral" about dogs.  Does a household with a dog want to add a single cat?  My prediction is, if you are able to be patient and let her deal with the household on her own terms, that Sprite will adapt just fine.


  1. Me got my name The Cat From Hell, because when me came to my forever home, me was horrible! It took almost a year before me was a OK cat. Me still bites (sometimes), me still scratches (sometimes). Mommy and Daddy say it was worth it. Me hopes Sprite finds people who will take the time (she is a beautiful cat!).

  2. I really enjoy working with difficult cases, but I think I'm better suited to dogs than cats. Hubby has sworn us off cats forever after the last pair we had. I think some of it is knowing what issues you can handle and work with and which ones put you out of your league.

  3. CFH - You cats that have, a rough beginning are TOTALLY worth it to those of us that are willing to put the extra time and patience in. I'm glad that you landed in a "soft place" and that you're in a place in which you can be happy and more relaxed.

    And houndstooth - I totally understand that. Though I love all animals, there are certain kinds that I would never foster or adopt, not because I don't think they're awesome, but because I know I do not have the personality to help them "be all that they can be."

  4. I love your post that describe working with more difficult cases. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one dealing with such issues, as many have socialized dogs and cats and such. I love how you talk about Romeo and Annie and how overtime you have watched them change.

    I hope Sprite finds a loving home where someone understands her and wants to take the time to really show her love. Like you have with yours.

    Thank you for the reassurrance. Again your spirit shines through.

  5. Now rushed, so can't honor this one like I want to. But I do see the word "reassurance" in my prior colleague's comment -- and I also remember I made that comment to one of yours on mine. You are a light unto the troubled and confused!