Our favourite stories here at Team Cat Rescue are the ones in which the cats you think are least likely to trust and love their humans become total lovebugs. We've said it a million times before, but we see a lot of applicants shy away from cats all the time because they aren't the """perfect""" cat. But investing your time and love into a cat who has suffered trauma often times is just as - or in most cases - even more rewarding! That's why we love sharing stories like these; it's a living testament to what love can do for an animal who needs it the most. Never overlook an animal who you think is "traumatized" or "aggressive", they may surprise you! The following is a letter from an amazing adopter who chose one of our babies Igor, now Fitz.
"When we first met Albus Fitzgerald, AKA Fitz (previously Igor), he was underweight, had rough, straw-like hair and was extremely skittish. His medical records showed that he had been pretty bruised up from a cat fight that left him broken, terrified and suspicious. Despite this, we knew as soon as we met him that he was the cat for us.
A few weeks after we got him we noticed a strange twitching in his hindquarters. After a vet visit he was diagnosed with Feline Hyperesthesia, which made him twitch uncontrollably. Even though he was a naturally curious cat, the twitching made him scared of his surroundings and he often resorted to hiding under blankets to feel secure. Luckily, proper medication brought his twitching under control. Within a week of starting the medication he began to let us pet and cuddle with him. Knowing that he was a rescue with a rough past we had prepared ourselves to have a cat that was not especially affectionate and we thought that he wouldn’t bond with us the ways kittens do. Boy were we wrong.
It was very gradual, but his milestones were significant and surprising. His fur went from straw-like to soft and velvety, making him more susceptible to obligatory snuggles. He gained weight and slowly became muscular. If he were a person, social media will be abuzz about his transformation, with a hashtag #becarefulwhoyoubullyinhighschool. Every new change in behaviour was surprising, especially the first time he approached and demanded a head rub. The feeling of having him voluntarily approach like that was as if some famous person graced me with his presence. You might think I am overreacting, you haven’t heard yet that I almost cried when he sat on my chest to sleep – Ha!
I used to be more a dog person growing up, but Fitz changed this perspective. He has had it rough and somehow, I see myself in him. He connected with me and I understand him somehow. He doesn’t meow a lot but he says a lot with his eyes. I’ve always liked dogs because they are so forward with their emotions, but cats are creatures of grace and pose. As Mark Twain says “By what right has the dog come to be regarded as a ‘noble’ animal? The more brutal and cruel and unjust you are to him the more your fawning and adoring slave he becomes; whereas, if you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward—you will never get her full confidence again.” More than a year has passed since Fitz came into our lives and he is now the cuddliest cat you could ever imagine and falls asleep with us on the bed every night. He is also the smartest cat I’ve ever met, and knows how to sit, give high-fives and to shake hands on command, which is hilarious because I only tried it for five minutes and he learned pretty fast. He went from being a scaredy-cat to a super friendly cat that showers us with love (and saliva as he drools a lot when petted).
We feel very lucky to have Fitz in our lives. From his crazy antics to his back of knee snuggles, he brings love into our home every day. I don’t even want to think what would’ve happened to him if he hadn’t been taken in by Team Cat Rescue and for this, we are deeply thankful.
Since adopting Fitz I’ve started reading a lot about the history and evolution of domestic cats. I’ve learned that all cats have the potential to be amicable to humans, as these traits have been selectively bred into them for thousands of years. Because of this, all rescue cats, no matter how rough or damaged they may seem at first, have the potential to become wonderful companions if provided with the right nurturing environment filled with love and trust. It’s literally in their genes.
It may take a bit more time for a rescue to bond with you, but it is well worth it."