Each and every day I have more reason to maintain hope, even though it often seems like we are taking three steps forward and two back. However, I know in my heart now that Shiva will be with us to stay; I was giving Sophie a bath and Shiva came in (she is obsessed with bathtubs/water). She walked right up and touched noses with Sophie for several seconds (Sophie was a saint- such a good pup), and then I leaned down and she touched noses with me, then curled up on a towel by us. We still have a long way to go, but I about cried seeing the progress after just over three weeks. Maybe it’s the pheromone diffusers, maybe it’s just time passing; whatever it is, I’ll take it.
Of course, the next morning Shiva ran from me like I was wearing a hockey mask and wielding a chain saw (Killkillkillkill) However, throughout the day she pressed against my leg, flirted with us, rubbing on everything near us, seeming to want affection but just not quite able to go there. Sybil? Yes. However, progress. One day at a time we will give Shiva the opportunity and space to feel safe, grow comfortable, and accept us as her new family.
For a brief shining moment there was no Camelot, but Shiva did jump into my lap as Sophie slept at my feet. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do and just froze. No matter how brief the contact, I will take it, as I have been heartbroken thinking maybe we were just the wrong fit for her.
Who is this cat and what has she done with Shiva?
She is still insane, still rockets up and down the stairs at breakneck speed, eyes wild and tail twitching. She still wants to be touched one minute and runs from us in the next. She still tries to drink from toilets and we find little paw prints tracked in every tub and sink. Every day- multiple times a day- I find every rug in the house twisted and balled up as if they’d been on the bad end of a bar fight. In other words, she is still a Tortie, with all of the accompanying drama and whacky that that entails. I no longer care, though, because the crazy little fur-ball has wormed her way into my heart already, much to my astonishment after her behavior over the past few weeks (maybe I am experiencing some sort of Stockholm Syndrome..). I see her seeking out our company more often- even if is only to pace near us and sit just out of reach as she observes us.
We are learning how to love her in a way that she can tolerate right now- little bits- ‘drive by’ scratches on the head, a quick stroke of her back or tail. Just enough to keep each interaction positive so that she can see that we are the good guys who mean her no harm (and who give her a really cool house for a cat to live in). One little step, one little paw print forward at a time…Shiva the Diva. And now that I’ve written nice things about her, she will probably try to kill me in my sleep.