Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday cat selfie: Celebrating Popoki's gotcha day

Popoki the cat in her bed

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.

Popoki the cat in her bed

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.

Shy kitty in her kennel

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.

Popoki the exotic shorthair

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.

Cat in her catio

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!


  1. Happy Gotcha Day! It is easy to see why Popoki and others would be so upset with these situations, it takes a lot to be brave when you are alone and scared. You are doing so well together, it is wonderful. purrs ERin

  2. Popoki is so very beautiful. I'm surprise no one wanted her. M hates to see all the animals living in shelters. We wish all animals could have a forever home I you and I have. Beautiful selfie!

  3. Happy Gotcha Day Popoki! Beautiful selfies

    The Florida Furkids

  4. Happy gotcha day, Popoki! Your selfies are lovely.

  5. What a beautiful story about an incredible kitty with a heart of gold. Happy Gotcha Day, Popoki. I know you are a blessing to everyone who meets you :)

  6. Happy Gotcha Day Popoki! I'm so glad you have a wonderful home. And I totally agree there is a special bond when a shy cat finally learns to trust. You have such a sweet face!

  7. Happy gotcha day, Popoki! We are so proud of you, and so greatly moved by your amazing story. Big hugs, and wishes for many, many more gotcha days and milestones to come.

  8. Popoki, we had lots of birthdays and gotcha days on the blog today. So much fun to have our friends celebrate on the hop. We re so happy your mom was able to see past your shyness and fear and bring you home for a good life. You are very lucky as very few of us have catios. Hope your day was full of love and treats. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  9. * A Message from Dusty Cat (14) *

    Dear Popoki, well done on finding such a loving home and celebrating your first Gocher Day. I send paw hugs and conCATulations.

    Stick with with these people, they seem nice to me, and you will learn other cats are not so bad, You have a patient mum, like I do. Patience is a gift for a scared cat - you did good.

    Your buddy,