Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Study in Patience

This Lucy. She's a 12-year-old Calico whose callie spots have tabby stripes. She's a beautiful girl, with vivid coloring that my camera phone does not do justice. She was a healthy, sensitive kitten. With an impending break up in the two footed people of her household, she preferred the company of other cats. When Cameron moved in with me, he searched the previous house, bringing each cat to my home. But he couldn't find Lucy.
Lucy, named for Lucille Ball, as she is a red head.
Out of desperation, Cameron returned to his house one final time. In the kitchen, The frig sat next to the washer and dryer. Thinking Lucy was behind the appliances, he looked, and glancing up, saw a familiar striped tail. Despite leaving her food and water, Lucy was badly dehydrated. She had huddled so long beneath that cabinet on top of the frig, that she had stiffened. So she couldn't run when Cameron reached for her.

On the bed with Tannis.
She settled in with my brats her and her former cats well, but distrusted humans. The first eight years in my house, I never touched her, except when she got pregnant. She'd let me comfort her when in delivery and the first few days after birthing kittens, and then she'd start hissing. I remained patient, talking to her as I do all the four footed children.

Tannis grooming Lucy.
Finally MacDubh, whom I call Doodle, a rottweiler/dachshund cross, came to live with us. She would rub on Doodle while I petted him, and I eventually was able to touch, then scratch, then pet her over a period of months. 
Lucy Bit nursing Firedancer
Lucy Bit: Audrey

Lucy is still touchy. If she is laying with one of her grown kittens, or with Doodle, she's usually fine. Sometimes she even seeks attention. But she taught me the value of patience. Of being mindful, staying in the moment with her, reading when to proceed and when to back off. 

Lucy Bit Dante with Tannis

I used to long to stroke her fur, wondering if she's as soft as she looks. She is.

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