You Really Can Write A Happy Ending - Feb 2013
(Cut Bank, MT, USA)
This is my son with our cat Winter. Most people don't believe that just a month before this photo, Winter was a feral kitty but she was.
Winter was born in an old country barn. Occasionally she would see a human from a distance but she was sure never to get close enough for one of them to touch her, just as her mom had taught her and her litter mates. Every spring there was usually a new litter of kittens in that barn. I'd check with the farmer who owns the barn to find out if he'd seen any running around yet. If he had, I'd go there and attempt to catch a couple so I could socialize them, and then find them a nice, indoor home. The coyotes were thick out by that barn and most of the youngsters didn't stand much of a chance of surviving if left there so I'd helped whom ever I could catch. (Unfortunately, Mom is smart and very trap savvy, otherwise I'd have her spayed, problem solved.)
Last spring I caught a white kitty with huge blue eyes in my trap. She looked to be around three to four months of age and of course she was scared out of her mind. I'm sure she thought that I must be some crazy blood thirsty creature; probably a first cousin of those horrifying coyotes her mom had repeatedly warned her about! My sons and I decided on a name for her even before we got back to our house. With her ice blue eyes and her snow white fur, the name Winter fit perfectly. After a twenty minute drive back to town, I pulled up to our house with Winter in tow. I brought her inside and released her in her new quarters. I left her alone for the night and first thing the next day, I began the process of thawing out our furry ice queen.
I must say, little Winter was one smart kitty. Alright, maybe she did just walk right into my trap (darn chicken is just too hard to resist) but, in record time, she also figured out a warm house with a soft bed, and a bowl full of food and fresh water is much, much better than a cold abandoned barn with only an occasional bowl of food and some mice to eat. And the petting, wow, we can't forget the petting! She decided that was pretty sweet too! The first few days I just sat in her room with her, giving her treats every so often. People + yummy treats = good, was the equation I hope she'd solve. Then on the third day I attempted petting her. Of course at first she'd growl, hiss, and run away when I'd try to pet her, but then a few days later a change began to show. She'd still growled and hissed when I touched her, but her need to make a frantic dash to safety was quickly fading. She didn't particularly care for the rest of me but my hand was becoming cooler by the day. Not only did cat treats magically appear from my hand but hands were also good for petting and petting feels nice. She would stay just within my reach allowing me to administer an occasional stroke or three now and then all the while, still remained on guard and ready to dash if I moved to quickly.
A few days later, the growls and hisses ceased when I invaded her space. Instead, Winter replaced them with an intense glare that said, "Proceed with caution and bring treats!" My hand and my presence were becoming less frightening to Winter each passing day. Two weeks passed, and now when I'd enter her room and sit down, she'd come over to me so I could pet her. Then she'd start to purr! And
then she'd crawl on my lap! It wasn't only me she liked by then, she liked the whole family. If you were nice to her and willing to use your petting hand, she was your new best friend. In no time she had run of the entire house and her favorite place to relax was on the couch, right next to a human.
The time quickly came to find Winter a new home (I foster animals and unfortunately can't keep them all). I had her spayed, vaccinated, and all of her papers ready to go to the adoption fair in the neighbouring city. On our way to the adoption fair, tears filled my eyes. That day one of the cages at adoption fair sat empty. Tears running down my cheeks, I turned my car around and went back home, the pet carrier still occupied with our newest family member, Miss Winter. It's almost been a year since that day and she is one of the most gentle and well mannered kitties I know. Winter is the perfect example of why the quote "Never judge a book by it's cover" is so true. Fear made her cover appear vicious and unfriendly but all the while her content was actually a best selling love story.
With patience, kindness, and persistence, you'll be amazed at what you and your pet can achieve. A pet is what you make it and yes, you can teach an old dog or cat new tricks! And he'll teach you one in return....how to love unconditionally.
Feb 13, 2013
Sweet picture and amazing story.
Feb 12, 2013
Re Warm Winter
Most beautiful pic and story ever! Thanks God for people like you! xx
Feb 12, 2013
Happy Ending 2013
You are so wonderful for doing what you do! I have 2 cats that my husband rescued from outside as kittens. It took only a few days before they were trusting us. Bootsie is 6 and Bonnie is 3. I also feed the stray /feral cats . My neighbor has 2 garages with no doors so of course the cats have made it their home and a great place when it is bad weather. I put food in the garage daily. A wonderful lady volunteer and her friend came and did trap, neuter, and return and caught 13 cats and they were fixed, got shots and medical attention if needed. If the cats are friendly enough they are taken to the shelter to try to get adopted. Thank God for these volunteers who have stopped the cat population for now anyway. There was one cat that kept having kittens. She is my Bonnie's Mama and she was tough to catch too. She had to be tricked by putting a fake trap in the garage for the weekend that had no door on it. The cat(I call her little Mama) started sleeping in it as there was a blanket in there. I would dput food in there to attract her so she spent the weekend in and out of it so when the volunteer came with the real trap she went in and the door shut. Thank Goodness..I never thought she would catch her. I have a couple of cats that trust me now and if I had my own house I would have them all., but I have a small 1 bedroom apt. Little Mama will not let me near her. I have been feeding her for at least 5 or 6 years now too. I just love all the cats..I need to move to a bigger apt, but I don't want to leave the cats..who would feed them? I spend a small fortune feeding them, but that is what I do. Thank you for what you do! You are wonderful!Thank you for sharing your story! I love happy endings!