Friday, October 07, 2011


We have two cats, Maggie and Macy. We got Maggie when she was a few weeks old and she's a normal cat. We can pick her up, turn her upside down, check her for injuries, in fact, do about anything and she is trusting and quiet. Macy, by contract, is semi-normal and a bit of a miracle.

She was trapped on the University campus when she was several months old. She was pregnant and wasn't neutered until after the kittens were weaned. She came to our house after she healed and was totally wild. We couldn't touch her for fear of losing skin and blood.

After a period of a few months of attempting to acclimate her to us, the house and the sounds and scents of the area we turned her loose. The plan was to have an outside cat to help control the mice population. We saw her maybe once every two weeks but continued to insure food and water were available. Before turning her loose we trained her to use a cat door so she could come into the utility room for food and safety.

When he weather turned cold in November she unexpectedly came into the utility room through the open door and into the living room where we could see her and meowed. That was a first. She had never voluntarily let us see her in the open. I slowly moved to get some food, put in on the floor where she could see it and backed away. She ate quickly and left the house. Two nights later she came in, meowed for food, ate and never left. It was an uneasy transition. She hid from us, jumped at the slightest movement, was always tense.

After a few weeks of feeding her we could get close to her. One night I put mayonaise on two fingers and held out my hand to both cats. Maggie began licking the mayonaise immediately but Macy was more cautious. This became a nightly ritual. She became addicted to mayonaise and would beg for it. One night as she licked it form my finger I touched her with my other hand and she ran. Two nights later I attempted to touch her again. She flinched but didn't run. This became a regular practice. After a few weeks she relaxed some but always flinched.

It's been two years now. She's still addicted to mayonaise but I give it to her only occasionally, generally when she keeps begging and becomes annoying. She gets in my lap each evening. She loves to be petted. I can ruffle her hair aggressively and she purrs loudly, rolls on her back so I can rub her belly. She's a glutton for food and affection. I never expected this two years ago.

I can pick her up but she stiffens, squirms and appears on the verge of panic. It took several months to work with her to get her to this point and I doubt she'll ever be comfortable being held above the floor or carried.

Occasionally I look at her and marvel at the change in her. It's been a miraculous transition. At one time I hoped just to be able to touch her. I never expected her to become so affectionate and needy. I've become attached to her and hope she's with us for many years more.

Macy hiding under a chair.
Macy hiding under a chair. During the heat of the summer she appeared too lazy to crawl further and got in the habit of sleeping with only part of her body under the chair.

Macy sleeping on a chair and foot stool.
Macy sleeping on a chair and foot stool with one leg swinging in the gap.


Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

You have FAR more patience with animals than I do!

10/07/2011 02:19:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home