At the start of the pandemic, Gia, a timid cat, was rescued from a dumping ground. Fosterer Stacia of Brooklyn, NY, wanted to foster a cat and expected the arrangement to be temporary, but fate had other plans.
Stacia remembers her first few nights with Gia in her house, as they were pretty interesting. Timid Gia found comfort in sleeping in the bathroom on top of the light fixture.
She was so scared and anxious that she would sleep up top during the night only to often fall into the sink. The fosterer had a cat bed in the sink to break her fall to avoid injury.
During the day, she would hide under the sofa, but with a night monitor, her fosterer could see Gia would behave differently at night.
She would escape from under the couch, eat and play with her toys. She appeared to be living life like a happy cat but only at night with nobody nearby.
However, as daylight approached and Stacia woke up for the day, Gia would retreat to her hiding spot under the couch. She repeated this behavior and routine for about a year.
Stacia intuitively knew that living this way was not living a quality life.
Searching for help
Stacia connected with a fellow animal lover, Suzy, whom she nicknamed “the cat whisperer.” She asked her for advice on how to improve her situation.
At Suzy’s recommendation, Stacia first blocked off Gia’s hiding spot under the couch. This would give her direct access to her and force Gia to familiarize herself with other areas of the home.
After some time, this strategy appeared to be working as Gia now found solace near the windows. Next, Stacia tried feeding her with a long-handled spoon instead of leaving food out.
The goal was to get Gia comfortable taking food from her foster mom over time.
Thirdly, Stacia used a similar tactic by petting Gia. She gently stroked the cat on her head and back using a long wand.
She repeated this process daily until, eventually, it was her own hands feeding and petting her. After four months of being consistent, patient, and working with Gia, the timid cat opened up, allowing Stacia to pet her.
Eventually, Gia found her way into her foster mom’s lap of her own free will.
What Stacia learned is the enormous impact of giving a lot of patience and unconditional love to another and what consistency, love, and patience can do for an animal.
Gia has transformed from the scared, anxious cat that first entered her home. She is now a lovable, friendly, lively cat enjoying time with her mom, who loves to bake treats from her home in New York.
After this experience and time invested, Stacia knew that Gia had to be hers and she adopted her.
Stacia gave Gia the nickname Gigi Puffs or Puffy. You can follow Gia and her mom living their best life on their Instagram page.
Abandoned and dumped animals have such a challenge when finding a forever home. However, finding a new home is only half the battle.
Learning to trust humans is an uphill journey but animals can learn to trust again with the right person under the right conditions.
Timid cats can have a happy ending too, the human-animal connection is a strong bond that withstands the most challenging circumstances.
There is nothing love and commitment cannot conquer.
Did this story resonate with you? Do you have experience helping timid cats adjust at home?
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