Today I thought we could have a bit of fun! 😉
If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ll have seen pictures, or at least mentions, of my cat, Selina. If you’ve bought my book, you might have noticed that I dedicated it to my Sellybean. She’s been the unofficial mascot of this blog as well as my writing journey (excuse the cheese… she loves cheese) since the early days, so I thought it was about time I introduced her properly!
I always wanted a cat when I was younger but was never allowed anything larger than a guinea pig, so when my boyfriend and I moved into our own house we knew we needed a furbaby. We went to our local rescue shelter, and met each cat. They were all friendly, cuddly, and playful, but Selina was the opposite. She was terrified, hid, and drooled a lot. My boyfriend and I went into her small space individually so we wouldn’t stress her more than necessary, and both of us offered her our hand to sniff as best as we could – she was hiding well. She purred. It was very faint, like she was saying “I want to love you but I don’t know you. Can I trust you?”
It was an easy decision. We told the volunteers that we wanted her, not one of the playful kittens, and they were chuffed. We were surprised to hear that she was pretty much ready to go since she was spayed two weeks before, and we’d be able to pick her up the following day, so we did a mad (and slightly ecstatic) rush to the pet shop and bought food, a cat bed, toys, bowls, and everything else she’d need.
We set up her room, and went back the day after. We were told that she’s a very shy and timid cat, and doesn’t trust people. We were told it would likely take her weeks to come out of hiding, if not months, and that we should give her all the time she needed. We were told that, once she was ready, she should explore the house slowly or else she might find an open window or door and make a run for it.
We set up a camera in her room so we could observe her without freaking her out. She was quite curious and looked around, but the moment she heard a noise she panicked and ran back into hiding.
But we were impatient (Mostly me. I was impatient.) and didn’t like the thought of her being so terrified. So I entered her room, and sat down next to her hiding place. I talked to her. I let her sniff my hand. I scratched her ears as best as I could with my hand bent at an unnatural angle. We took turns so she could get used to both of us, and when I went in for the second time she came out, slowly, and moments later she was all over me.
We’d been warned that she’s a very affectionate cat once she loves you, and that she’d likely be all over our faces, but we weren’t prepared for the amount of kisses she likes to give. They weren’t kidding! Our kitten is affectionate!
Based on their advice at the shelter, we thought it best to leave her door shut overnight, to allow her to settle slowly. She cried. A lot. Eventually we gave up and sat down with her. She stopped crying and cuddled to us, relieved to see that she hadn’t been left alone again.
The day after, we let her discover the corridor and stairs. She was crafty and figured out how to open the door to our living room. Instead of the months we’d been told she would likely need, she made herself at home one day after being brought home.
By now she knows how to manipulate us, gets cuddles whenever she wants and is just as affectionate as she was that first night. She still doesn’t like other people or sudden noises, and hides when she meets someone new for the first time, and she doesn’t know what to make of the neighbours’ cats (we live in a neighbourhood full of cat people, so there are cats everywhere. I usually count ten on my 5-minute walk to the bus stop), but it’s only because she’s so protective of her home. She doesn’t want to share it, and she doesn’t want to leave it. She still gets lonely at night and sleeps in our room, and when we come home in the evening she greets us at the door. (She also chases her own tail and, yes, she has growled at the mail man once.) When she goes outside, she comes back in regularly to make sure that we’re still there, and then she’s outside again.
At times we think she’s more dog than cat, and she’s definitely more cuddly than I expected when we decided to get a cat, but I’m okay with it.
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