“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon
Maybe I’m crazy, but I love the challenging kitties. They’re the ones who have helped me discover my gifts. I get excited when someone tells me that I probably won’t see their cat while I’m pet sitting. Nine times out of ten that means I’m going to have a new BFF, best feline friend.
The cats that hide are some of my all-time favorites. I love drawing them out and showing them I’m not as scary as they might think. I am, in fact, quite fun. The source of food and chin scritches, cool toys and catnip. It takes some scaredy-cats a while to figure this out. But that’s okay…I can be patient. Each new scaredy-cat is an opportunity to sharpen my skills.
Allie is my most recent one. A pretty little calico who got an A+++ in her hiding skills class. She was buried deep in a closet on my first visit to her, and she wasn’t comin’ out. OK. I brought dinner to her in the closet. She wasn’t going to eat at first, but finally decided that the food smelled more delicious than I was frightening, so down it went. She let me put the food dish down and pick it up, and she watched my slow blinks intently (a reassurance device with kitties) but no invitation to pet was issued, so I kept my paws to myself.
The next morning, however, she was under the bed, quite a bit more accessible, and she was willing to come out to eat. More than a little suspicious, she came out anyway. Back under the bed after her meal she let me pet her for a few minutes. Progress.
Fast forward to our fourth visit, and Allie not only ate her food in the open, but she walked all the way around me rubbing me with her scent afterwards. She even decided to come downstairs and join me and her roommate, Cassie. She spent a lot of her time on a chair under the dining room table, but still…ya’ gotta take what you can get with the scaredy-cats!
She watched intently as Cassie and I played. Cassie, one of those uber-friendly cats, has become entranced with the Cat Dancer toy I brought her. She loves toys in general, and has a full basket to choose from!
Allie watched us play for awhile, but declined to join in, and after a bit went back upstairs. That was great progress for my fourth visit, and I didn’t expect anything more. But I was mistaken. Allie went upstairs, but she didn’t go into hiding. I found her sitting on top of a couch when I went to say goodbye. Amazed to find her in the open, she decided to completely blow my mind, and gave me a long slow blink. That’s “I like you” in cat language. I like you too, Allie! Blink…blink.