Alvina actually went to her forever home on October 20! I drafted the article and waited to add a few more photos that day, then forgot to publish it! Better late than never to tell the good news! If you are reading this in an early email or in a reader, click through to The Creative Cat for the rest of the story, including the following day, and more photos!
Yes, my tentative little girl went to her forever home tonight, and I’m so happy she’ll be the princess of her own home. I usually like to send young ones off in pairs if there is no cat in the home already, but though Alvina loved other cats—certainly no shortage here—she truly enjoyed her alone time to watch birds, to nap, and to spend time with the human.
And that was the greatest joy of Alvina. She is a very decisive little girl. Once she decided humans were okay, they were completely okay, and where she’d never been on my lap by herself, she claimed my lap as if she owned it. Working very late one night last week she found me while all the other cats were sleeping and we worked at my computer, me on my stuff and she on her cuteness, rolling over on her back for belly rubs and hanging her head off my knee and purring.
One little thing marred our last two days together. I took her to a local veterinarian for some follow-up vaccines on Monday and though she did extremely well on the ride there and back and especially dealing with total strangers in a very scary place, she vaccines made her a little sick by the time we got home, which is normal, and she was a little scared of me. She loved napping on the bed in the afternoons now that it was autumn, but when I followed her in the bedroom she went under the bed. She came out a few seconds later, but she didn’t want me to touch her. Worst, she was terrified of my DSLR. I’m sure she thought it was some implement meant to poke her and make her hurt. Even though I had wanted to get some photos of her while the room was bright, I put the camera away and waited for the next day.
Still tentative that evening, later on she was feeling more like herself and the next morning she was chirping for me to get up. We had a wonderful day, and she was owning my lap when her people came to get her, and responded as well as I expected. Everyone was around to see her off, and her mentor, Mewsette the Big Sister, came by to sniff with her while she was in her carrier, just before she left.
I knew the transition wouldn’t be easy for her and we discussed keeping her confined for a few days until she was accustomed to being in a new place. The first night she crouched in a box and trembled and wouldn’t eat. The next morning she was still frightened, but by the time they returned home from work she was in her bed and purring and having her humans come to her. That’s wonderful news, and I’m so glad her adopters took the advice seriously to keep in mind her feral early kittenhood, and how that can affect cats at stressful times, and times of change. If she’s purring and even tentatively accepting friendship and has only been there a little less than 24 hours, then she’ll fine in much less time than I’d feared. I actually thought it might take about four days. We’ll see.
Bon voyage, Alvina! I know you’ll have a wonderful life, my brave little girl. I’m so glad I could finally convince you that humans are good and kind, and all of us, human and feline, are happy we could teach you the secrets of feline life with humans.
I’m putting off feeding dinner because she won’t be there. The longer they take to learn to trust the bigger the pawprint they leave on your heart. Mimi and all four of her children are here on my desk, they know. Oh, well, it’s not like I haven’t done this a hundred or so times before.
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Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!