One year ago today I brought Anna home from a local shelter up in the Santa Monica mountains. I saw her in Petfinder when it I was ready to look for a new cat after Julie’s death. She was sitting outside next to a pretty flower bush and had a sad story of abandonment by her owners, first to abuse by a young kid and then the loss of her home.
The shelter does what it can, but it is an outbuilding with an outdoor annex housing many cats. When I was visiting I found Anna next to that same bush, and given a chance she went back to that same bush.
She was very happy in her little room, twitchy about being petted in the wrong way and not keen about being picked up. She likes being pet more now, but still is grumpy about being manhandled.
She was a bit underweight, and her fur was a bit thin and dull. Meals without disturbance made a big difference there over the months, and now she has an even more pretty coat. Of course, she has gone from under to overweight so we need to take some steps. She’s getting more wet food than in the last few months and will have the dry supply cut back considerably. Already it seems like she’s eating little of the dry and finishing up her half of a little can of wet food. This is about half of what Julie and Gus would get in a meal.
Anna was restricted to her room for a while because of some parasites she had, and soon after those were cleared up she needed some dental surgery. She started to come out of her room for a while and sleep in other locations upstairs, like my walk-in-closet and bathroom. But as the kittens started to lose their wariness of her, their curiosity began to take over and they would creep closer to her spots. The layout of my house meant that she would have to pass by the kittens to get back to her room, which made her increasingly nervous.
Anna’s history has led to her having a lot of bad habits with people and with other cats. She tends to lash out quickly, but then doesn’t back it up. Rhea in particular soon figured this out and began to seek her out and provoke a confrontation that Anna always loses. Anna decided that her room was large enough. She even became more anxious when Harrison joined the family, even though he never came into her sight for some time.
So for now, Anna is happy in her little bedroom, so much larger than her little flowered bush in the shelter. When I go to visit her she often has a cheerful greeting for me and likes a little bit of petting. After a while she gets anxious about the cats at the door, sometimes real, sometimes imaginary. She has what she needs now.