It was Nov 2015 when Salsa arrived at the shelter as a feral kitty, bedraggled and terrified of humans, and with a horribly matted coat! He was so terrified that he had to be anesthetized to clean him and shave off his mats. He truly looked like a little lion when he entered the community of FIV+ cats at the CASPCA.
At first he stayed out of sight, hiding in one of the cat cubes. If you approached him, he would hiss and swat. However, once he decided to show himself, he seemed curious and would come fairly close. But when you made any attempt to touch him, he would either swat or very quickly bolt.
About three months later, Sol arrived to join the FIV+ cats and he too initially hid. When he emerged from the cubes, he was quite timid and though you could touch him when he was in a cube, it was nothing doing once he was in the open.
Both cats were comfortable in the FIV+ community. After a short time, the two of them bonded and became a real pair of characters! It was the norm to see them curled up together on any bed and they groomed each other on a regular basis. Sol began to warm up to people while Salsa remained aloof, but still curious. People would regularly see him standing up on his hind legs, looking out the door at the passing people in the hallway. Volunteers determined that he was very food-oriented, so one started putting treats between thumb & forefinger, and though he swatted to get them out, he was “forced” to head butt the hand, getting his head scratched in turn, before he got
his treats. This was the VERY FIRST touching of Salsa after more than 8 months at the shelter! Sol, in the same time, had become very personable, still a bit shy, but loved to be brushed and petted, as long as you moved slowly and did not startle him.
It was quite clear that these two needed each other, so they were officially designated as a bonded pair. Salsa was clearly much more relaxed when he was close to Sol. A second socialization strategy was to drop treats on the floor and then gently pet Salsa when he was concentrating on the treats. He loved treats so much that the gentle petting soon advanced to brushing out his mats. He would stand right there … until there were no more treats…, which brought on a swat! After another couple of months, he was actually coming up to volunteers, begging for treats, and letting himself be brushed with no hesitation. It was with a lot of patience, lots of cat treats and a lot of LOVE that this pair of handsome orange boys actually became a pair beloved by staff & volunteers, bonded for life!
They were recently adopted into their new PURREVER home and are settling in nicely and receiving much love from their new family.
This holiday season, please think of the thousands of animals we have saved and the thousands more we have yet to save.