Sabrina's Story

Sabrina and 14 other cats came to us from a deplorable hoarding situation.  She had never been socialized, and was terrified of everything.  She hid in the bathroom for weeks, not letting anyone touch her, and hissing whenever anyone got close to her. Finally, to get her used to being around people, we moved Sabrina to a cage in the Director's Office, where people were in and out all day.  We started her on an anxiety-reducing medication, and, after a few weeks, we began leaving the cage door open so that she could come out if she wanted.  After a few more weeks, she began coming out to eat or get a treat.  She still wouldn't allow anyone to touch her, but Jane started using a feather duster cat toy to touch her and show her that nothing bad happened when she was touched.  Sabrina loved this, and soon she was allowing people to stroke her fur.  Finally, we removed the cage, because she was no longer using it.  In fact, she could usually be found surveying the world around her from Jane's desk or making herself at home in the midst of any meeting in the Bark Shop

We knew Sabrina would need a special adopter -- one who understood what she had been through and would be patient with her and take the time to earn her trust and help bring her completely out of her shell.  Well, she got just such an adopter -- actually two of them -- in Christa and Gregory.  Here is Christa's update:

"All is well. She's happy and so are we. She is coming along on an almost daily basis. She now follows Gregory into another room, looking for him. She just today followed me into the bedroom where I introduced her to the window front, best seat in the house for a cat. She loves to play with toys. Kicks her little doll all over the hardwood floors, throws it into the air, dances around on her two back legs. She can't resist curly ribbons. Except for a ball, we leave no toys out when we're not watching. She now uses the scratching pole often (not always!). She eats well. Good food. She is hairier than I thought, soft, fluffy fur. I brush her every day. She loves all petting and brushing. I am permitted to pet her ears and shoulders. One at the time, NOT BOTH SHOULDERS, still cautious. I'm confident we will get there. It will be at her time, we will not force her. Her all-time favorite spot is still the pretty little blanket you gave her. When we leave the house for several hours she just sleeps. I can tell she has not even moved.

Nighttime is a different story. We have night lights, she knows the house, she knows where we are, however, she cries every time she wakes up at night (2 or 3 times a night). I get up and sleep on the couch with her for a while and Gregory gets up and joins her in the morning hours. We do not believe in letting her cry. Rest assured, we won't ever let her suffer. We're retired, we have the time to take care of her special needs. That's what it is all about.
I'll keep you updated. No need to worry about Sabrina's care. One more thing: Yesterday she sat by the front window watching the shrubs in the wind, a few birds eating berries. She sat on her hind legs, like a bunny. So cute."
Yes, Sabrina's is, indeed, a happy tale, and we'll post updates whenever Christa sends one.