Cats bring us joy every single day of the week. But there are some days when their ties to us seem even more precious and even more beneficial. At the menagerie, we're celebrating a special cat time this weekend. Why? Because Friday was Popoki's first gotcha day. (I wanted to call it a "gotchaversary," but hubby says that isn't a word, and writers should use real words. Phooey.)
Anyway, so we've been doing a lot of celebrating around the menagerie this weekend, but Popoki was able to step away from her busy schedule to pose for a few photos for The Cat On My Head's weekly blog hop.
Just a year ago, Popoki was surrendered to our local animal shelter when a severe financial crisis hit her household. Both she and her two tiny dog brothers were brought to the shelter for new homes, and while her brothers quickly found a home (together!), Popoki had a slower path to a new home. She was frightened and a little overwhelmed in the clinic part of the shelter, and the staff worried that placing her on the adoption floor would make her feel even worse. So they held her in the back of the shelter for a few days, hoping she would recover.
The shelter is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so the team moved her to the adoption floor on those days to help her acclimate. But even that wasn't working. She was terrified of all of the sights and smells, even though she'd been there for an entire week. She wasn't interacting well with people and she wasn't eating much of anything at all. And, she had a cold.
That's when I met her.
A lot of people choose to give up on shy cats, especially traumatized cats like Popoki. Despite all of my hard work, she remains very scarred by her declaw surgery and she cannot overcome a desperate fear of other cats. She was even terrified of my very tiny foster kittens. So she cannot integrate with the feline family.
But sticking with a shy and traumatized cat brings so many rewards. When they trust you, the trust is absolute. Popoki will do absolutely anything I ask of her without complaining or grousing. She looks for me. She pushes on me whenever she can reach me. She cries for me when I leave the room.
And she has a proud way about her these days. She seems taller and stronger and just happier. On days when I'm struggling with compassion fatigue and the plight of cats surrendered to animal shelters, I can look at her and feel optimism. I can see her improvement on a daily basis.
And I continue to work hard to make her life better, with fluffy beds and cat grass and her catio with the bird view. Here's hoping next year, she'll be even farther down the road to recovery from her first home.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for leaving me a comment! I always love to read what you've written.
Do visit the other blogs in the hop, if you haven't already.
It's a great opportunity to meet new people, make friends and see some sweet and furry faces. You'll love it!