Friday, August 19, 2011

A Lesson in Patience

Sorry I have not posted anything for a while. School started this week and I was busy getting prepared. Now I seem to be "back to normal"...funny how I'm more organized when I am working!
Chance and Lucky
Porch Kitties Part II

The porch kitties were gone. In a way I was relieved. Too many details to think about if I wanted to keep them or find them homes. I was rid of that burden. Besides, I already had two dogs and an inside cat. Add to that the cost of spaying/neutering one animal let alone five! On to enjoying the end of the semester and a glorious summer vacation.

I even caught a glimpse of part of the kitty family in the weeks after their move as we walked our dogs around the neighborhood. They had taken shelter under another porch in an abandoned home. I saw Leona and two of her kitties peeking out at us as we walked by. How dare they find shelter somewhere else. Wasn't my porch good enough? Didn't they appreciate my food? The special saucer of milk that I would leave out for a rare treat?

Then, one day as I drove onto our brick driveway there they were! Well, not all of them. Just two of the kitties. Chance and Lucky had returned. One long hair tabby and one short hair tabby. I squealed when I saw them. They like me...they really like me.
Louie discovers Lucky.
Determined to get them to stay, I started a feeding routine. Three times a day the food bowls would come out along with a saucer of milk or water. I talked to them, very low and quiet. They were very frightened of any human and would not come within five feet or six feet of me, if that. I wanted so desperately to touch them. Hold them. Make them feel like this was their home.

I also had to convince my husband to let me keep the kitties. He would probably go for it if I told him they would be outdoor cats. Lots of people keep outdoor cats and that's what I would do. I would also need to do the right thing and get them fixed. So expensive but if I was to keep them then that was part of the plan. Mike agreed to outdoor cats.

  • "Happy is the home with at least one cat" - Italian Proverb
Little by little, inch by inch, the two cats allowed me to get closer and closer until they would come on to our deck for their feedings and I could sit right next to the bowl of food. It took weeks to get to this point. Creeping up so close to them. Sitting quiet and still. Allowing them to trust in me. They had never had a human hand touch them. Was it too late? Some research that I did said if a cat isn't socialized by two months it would never let any one near it. My good friend Jill told me, "That's can socialize any cat." HA! She was right.

One afternoon I got so close to Chance that I knew it was now or never. I took my finger and ever so slowly, touched the top of his head as he was eating. He jumped back but slowly returned to his food. That was good enough for me. The next day the touch was just a millisecond longer. Don't push your luck. Then longer until the touch became a stroke and the stroke became a long, lovely pet. And, the instant that happened it was like a floodgate opened and this sweet kitten who had lived under a porch in all kinds of weather to fend for itself discovered the warmth and love of a human being!

It started to purr! It flopped on the deck floor and begged me to pet it's belly. It rubbed up against my legs and feet. Patience and silence and sitting quietly had worked! Lucky, the second cat was a bit more cautious of me but soon joined Chance and I on the deck to be fed and petted and loved. They would be my outside cats, enjoying their a good life. I had everything figured out. Or did I?
"Cat in the Window" painting. One of my favorites.


  1. I can't wait to read the blog on how they became inside cats!

  2. I like to keep my readers in suspense!

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