The phrase ‘scaredy-cat’ cannot even begin to describe Monica when she arrived at Best Friends in Los Angeles, California. This blue-eyed beauty with a white and brown coat, would not allow anyone to come near her without a fearful “hiss” of disapproval.
Fear is a powerful tool that can instill strong emotional reactions from both humans and felines. In fact, fear can derail one from their goals and dreams.
The same can be said for felines searching for their forever home.
Monica came to Best Friends Los Angeles from Victor Valley Animal Protective League after the staff noted that her extreme shyness and fearful nature could limit her chances of being adopted.
Hope on the horizon
Monica’s outlook was not hopeful.
Fortunately, this shy special needs cat remained in good hands with Krystal Vera senior specialist at Best Friends in Los Angeles who has a knack for working with shy cats.
Krystal noticed Monica’s frightened disposition and special needs right away. She made it her mission to help this feline see the world in a more positive light.
From Krystal’s experience with animals, she knew the impact that consistency, predictability, and positivity can have on them. Cats just need time to trust their surroundings.
Crystal searched high and low to find a foster family that would be willing to help Monica with her special needs and shy behavior. Monica needed to learn how to live in a home and practice socialization skills to have a successful outcome.
Luckily, Monica didn’t have to wait too long before her new owner found her photo online. Monica’s picture was enough for one potential adopter with a big heart named Ekaterina, to know that Monica was the one.
A good-hearted woman finds her soulmate
Ekaterina took one look at her beautiful blue eyes and brown and white coat and fell in love, reading about Monica’s special needs and behaviors did not intimidate her at all.
By consulting Best Friends senior specialists and doing her own research online, Ekaterina learned tips and tricks to care for a very shy cat.
She prepared for Monica to come home, she even scouted several safe places for Monica to hide while she got acclimated to her new surroundings.
When she arrived to pick up Monica, she had a sit down with one of the specialists before leaving. Despite, her timid nature, Monica showed interest in her new owner and did not refuse any affection from Ekaterina.
She was noticeably inching closer and closer to her new mother, this was a promising sign for a shy special needs cat
When arriving at her new home, everything was arranged for Monica in Ekaterina’s bedroom until she became more comfortable with other areas of the house.
For the first few weeks, she stayed in the bedroom, did not eat much, and lost weight. Ekaterina decided to start feeding her by hand until she became confident enough to go to the food bowl on her own.
Through several weeks of trial and error and patience, Ekaterina could see Monica growing more comfortable and confident. This not-so-scaredy feline started to expand her boundaries each day.
It took months before Monica allowed her new mother to pet her from head to tail. Day by day, inch by inch Monica finally grew to appreciate the petting and bonding time with Ekaterina. Her mother could stroke her body but only on her terms.
Patience pays off
After five months, Monica now roams free about her home or perched on top of her giant cat tree but old habits die hard, and she is still cautious about many things.
Her new mother Ekaterina gives her a little nudge from time to time to continue to improve her socialization.
This cat adoption has not been free of challenges, but Ekaterina is determined and very proud of the progress she makes with Monica week after week.
Fear can deter you from your dreams and cripple you if you let it. Having the courage and determination to work through that fear is the true test of sacrifice and love.
Adopting a feline who is extremely shy requires extra patience, kindness, and a big heart. Overall, it can make a world of difference in the lives of shy cats with special needs.
Did this story resonate with you? Have you fostered an extra shy feline before?
What tips or tricks did you use to make your cat more comfortable? Share your experience and leave a comment below.