The first time I saw her, it was a February day and she was sitting on the front steps of my house. She was staring up at the front door, practically asking someone to let her in. Two years earlier, we had lost our cat named Sara to kidney failure. Seeing that tortie sitting there, it felt as if Sara was reaching out from beyond the Rainbow Bridge and saying “help her.”
I saw her prints and glimpses of her a few more times. With the help of Save the Cats, I caught her using a borrowed Havahart trap. And boy, oh boy, was that tortie mad! I was careful as I carried the cage into the house and down to the basement, where I released her into an already prepared large kennel. It took her a few minutes, but she finally settled physically. The verbal lashings from her continued every time I came within 10 feet of her kennel.
One evening, I decided I needed to try to convince her that I wasn’t a villain. Filling a spoon with wet food I had, I sat down and opened the door to the cage. Per usual, she groaned and growled. Eventually, she ate the food from the extended spoon. Over time, I fed her this way until she got close enough for me to touch her. When I did, it clicked in her head and she clicked into my heart. Within a day, I didn’t need the food any more. She just wanted to be pet, and so badly that she’d drool!
Before too long, she was part of the family. Our 12-year-old cat, Naboo, took time to warm up to her, but now they sleep, eat, and chase each other. Now Savannah (S for Sara) sleeps on my parents and cuddles with me often. She’s still skittish, but she has a hard time convincing us she used to be feral. After all, what kind of feral cat drools and purrs when you rub her belly and then gets mad when you pull your hand away? Not Savannah.