Saturday, October 29, 2011

The leopard can't change her spots! I Think I finally Understand!

Life lessons and miracles appear in the strangest of places. Almost two weeks ago I lost my cat, Rosita. Hard to do considering she was an indoor cat but let me back up a bit. About five months ago, I adopted Rosita, a feral cat, from my cat rescuer friend, Susan. She was small, orange kitten with a very pretty face. She LOOKED like the perfect playmate for my very laid back, big fluffy two year old orange cat, Katie. I adopted Katie from "Austin Pets Alive" when she was 6 months old.

Tony's cat, Geroge had come to stay with Katie for Memorial Day while Tony and I were in New Mexico. Katie seemed a little lost when George left, even though George spent most of the time in the closet while he was here. So I thought she would be happier with a friend living here. As you can see by the photo, they looked like the perfect fit. Looks Are Deceiving! When Susan brought Rosita over, she explained the process of introducing a feral into a home. I was thinking "What do you mean, introducing her to the other cat will take at least 10 days?" But surprisingly, the introduction went well. She hid behind the toilet in the bathroom for 10 days. I went in 3 times daily to hold her. She hissed at me but she let me hold her. During that 10 day period my son was staying with me and going through a difficult time. At the end of the 10 days he picked himself up, dusted himself off and moved to St Louis and I am proud to say he is now doing very well. The cat ... not so much.

Unexpected issues occurred with the cat. After the 10 day period the cats were introduced and became very good buddies. They played together, ate together and slept together. However, after releasing her from the confines of the bathroom, Rosita never let me touch her again. I would sit on the floor three times a day and throw treats to her and coax her into coming closer and closer.  She would bat the treats off of my finger but if I tried to reach over with my other hand to touch her she would jump three inches off of the ground and run. Then the next day it was as if we had never spent that time together and I would have to start all over. She would come up and smell my feet, she even slept on my bed but if I tried to touch her with my toe she would jump.

This went on for five months. There were other problems as well. She would pee on my bed if left alone in my bedroom. Fortunately, like any girlie girl I have lots of blankets and pillows so it didn't go through to my new mattress. It happened twice before I realized I would have to keep my bedroom door closed day and night. I began to feel like a prisoner in my own house. At night while I was asleep with the closed door, she had the run of the rest of the house. I would find earrings, hair clips and assorted other items under the kitchen table or under the couch that she would carry off to play with. I brought home toys from the pet store to entice her but it seemed that the items that smelled like me were her favorites. That seemed strange considering she wouldn't let me touch her.

I was told that getting her spayed would calm her down. A couple of months ago I made an appointment but the vet canceled because they were taking care of all the rescued animals from the Bastrop fire. So two weeks ago I had made plans to get her spayed on Wednesday. Monday morning I woke up to her sitting on my kitchen counter. She looked so cute, so innocent but she knew she was getting away with something because sitting on the counter wasn't something she did during the day when I was up and around. I went over to wash off the counter before making my coffee, while explaining the guilty cat under the table that she was going to be trapped in a cage this week and taken to be FIXED!

Later I was taking a nap with the front door open and the cats were sitting right in front of me watching birds as they often did, in front of the screen door. There was a crack under the door where Rosita would stick her paw out to get dry leaves to play with. That day she pushed a little harder than usual and the screen door opened. In a flash she was gone. I thought well, she isn't in heat and I was seriously thinking about making her an outdoor cat after she got spayed anyway so I would allow her to venture out into the neighborhood. Surely she would decide it was a scary place and decide to come home shortly... if not, she would be home for dinner. She never showed. It felt like having a child run off with the circus after you have tried your best to be a good parent. So much for being a cat whisperer.

I went to bed that night, I didn't have to close my bedroom door, Katie got to sleep peacefully through the night and when I woke up in the morning there wasn't anything broken or torn up. There was no cat hair in my cast iron skillet. Katie cat didn't look at all sad to see her gone, in fact she looked a little more relaxed than she had in a few months. Hummm.... well, I was very sorry that Rosita was out on the streets but suddenly my house felt like my home again.

I learned an unexpected lesson with Rosita. A couple of days ago I saw her in my yard, I walked out to greet her and she ran away. Some alley cats just can't be tamed. Here's the lesson. It pertains to cats and humans. Oprah says to listen to the whispers in your life that come in many different forms. You can listen, pay attention and take action and if you don't pay attention you will get a thump up against your head. And if still you don't pay attention there will be a disaster. Rosita was a thump on the head. She taught me that looks are very deceiving. She looked like the perfect house cat. She was able to act like the perfect house cat as long as I didn't try to get too close. But as soon as I turned my back, she was up to no good. I thought I could love her into being something that she isn't. There's just not enough love on the planet to change who she is. An alley cat.  The leopard can't change her spots! This applies to cats and most importantly this applies to people. Pay attention!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Christina, what an amazing story but important lesson learned. I am going to pass the link to this to a dear friend she needs to read this right now. Beverley xx