My Story–By Elizabeth
Hi, it’s Lizzie here today and I wanted to share my story. It might be a little long, but I know that this problem exists and want to make people aware of it.
I am a rescue from an overcrowding situation. I started out life as a baby in a house with about eighty other cats. None of us were spayed or neutered or had any vet care at all, and the lady who looked after us kept taking in still more cats. It was a bad life to begin with.
When I got to be a little older, the male kitties would go into heat and try to jump on me. I was so scared that I wouldn’t come out from under the furniture. I even relieved myself under there. I was too terrified to find the litterbox. I let the female kitties and the ones who weren’t in heat walk right over me and I never fought back; I thought maybe if I pretended I was invisible they would leave me alone. Things were bad in other ways, too. We ate cheap food. None of us had toys or knew how to play. Some of the female kitties had chewed holes into the furniture and had their kittens in there. The whole place reeked of cat urine. We also weren’t used to people–with that many cats and only one human to interact with, we didn’t get a lot of love and attention.
When I was eight months old something happened. Someone reported the lady who kept us, and a group of people who rescue kitties came to get us out. This was a miracle, but I didn’t know it then. After living in such chaos and squalor, I only expected more.
A nice lady brought me to her house and put me in a room by myself. I squished myself into a corner and didn’t move for hours. I wasn’t used to so much quiet, and there may have been male kitties lurking that I didn’t know about. After a while it became obvious that I was all alone in this room and I ventured out. There was food and water–all for me! And clean dry cushions for me to sleep on. It was great!
I still dove under something when the lady came in, but little by little I would come out and enjoyed being scritched and loved on. I would even start purring and the lady would baby talk to me. After a few days another lady came and I once again ran into my “safe place”. This lady sat on the floor and patiently waited for me to come out. The first lady pulled me out and petted me, so I did my little dance and rubbed against her. The second lady started petting me and I was ecstatic! Love, warmth, food–could this all be true?
Once again I was put into a carrier and taken to the vet. It seems the second lady paid to have me “fixed” and vaccinated. Then she took me back to her place and made a little nest for me in the bedroom; I had a little pen with everything I needed in it and when she came home from work she would visit me there. After a while she would leave the pen open and I would come out into the bedroom, then she left the bedroom door open and I would explore the rest of the house. She talked to me and touched me so softly and gently that I learned that not all humans are ignorant. I started coming to her for love and attention. I think she knew that I was completely comfortable with her when I laid down next to her on the bed one night and went to sleep.
That was over a year ago, and I have been treasuring every moment of my forever home. I still hide when strangers come over, but mama never invades my safe spot. When I finally come out she scoops me up and calls me her “baby”. I love my new life and my mama. I rule the roost and am completely spoiled. I wish other kitties could have this chance. Overcrowding and “hoarding” demoralizes an animal and their personalities never really develop, plus when one is sick it often goes unnoticed. I’m one of the lucky ones, but many more never get rescued or if we are rescued we don’t get adopted. Mama says that local shelters are the best places to find a companion pet. It takes a lot of patience to rehab a pet, but the rewards come back to you in spades.