Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skittish Kitty

Mocha came home with me nearly three years ago. I’ve written about her here before. She was dumped at my vet’s office. While there, she met my Scotty, and they fell into deep friendship.

While she was a love-bunny with Scotty (now departed this earth), she has never become relaxed with me in these three years.

She will be affectionate when I am sitting on the sofa … if she comes of her own volition. And she cuddles with me in bed … when she chooses to do so.

But when she is sitting around and I make a move to touch her, she runs. She may be sitting on the heating pad I made for her. But if I move to love on her, she runs. She may be lying on the bed when I come into the room … but she runs if I move down to love on her.

I wonder how long it is going to take before she trusts me. I have had her here for three years … giving her nothing but love and safety and tenderness. And yet something in her past makes her skittish.

Of course, I'm not just talking about cats here. I wonder if God is asking the same questions about me.

9 Comments:

Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

Every quirk any of my dogs ever had, taught me something about myself--mostly to be kinder to myself about MY quirks...

4/27/2011 9:18 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Ms Kitty - our 3 legged cat is like that - very loving when she decides to come to you - very skittish otherwise -- I think for her it is because she lived outside with eagles, owls and coyotes around and had to move quickly to stay alive. She is best friends with Bearcat - our other cat - they sleep all snuggled up - and then chase each other around the house.

4/27/2011 9:27 AM  
Blogger IT said...

Some cats never quite tame. Our friends D & J have two cats: J's cat, Annie, was adopted from a shelter, and is very shy and skittish. She won't let anyone but J touch her and hides most of the time under the bed.

It doesn't help that when they moved in together, D's cat Nani (aka Mr Psychokitty Thunderpaws) immediately went after Annie who is probably now in need of medication. I think Nani does it just to torture Annie. He's like that.

4/27/2011 9:42 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Based on my time with Tina, born feral and in my home for 15 years, my guess is that you will always have a skittish cat. Or at least a cat who will seek affection only on her terms, not yours.

Or, she may turn into a cat who observes the "three-foot rule" ... the one where she sits, companionably, just out of reach. Sam is like that--while her sister Mouse is hogging the attention perched on my chest or in my lap, Sam is contentedly purring .... three feed away.

4/27/2011 12:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Good point, KirkE. That's been my experience, too. I guess I've been hesitant to learn what Mocha is teaching me.

Karen, thank you for reminding me about Tina. I know you gave her the best home possible and all the love anyone could offer. I take comfort in remembering that, despite all that, she never did become a love bunny.

I appreciate what you all are telling me about cats who remain skittish. I guess I was feeling it must be some failing in myself that Mocha never has come to trust and relax. I suppose I have been lucky: All my other cats have been lap cats or at least trusting, want-to-be-near cats. Mocha is sui generis in my experience, and I appreciate your stories. They give me hope that maybe it's just her nature and not a failing on my part.

Yikes, Ann! Eagles, owls, and coyotes? Mocha never dealt with that. But she was dumped at the vet's because she was "peeing inappropriately." Turns out she was living in a house with aggressive dogs, and ever on the run from them. So I guess that was her version of raptors and other predators.

IT, your nickname for Nani is hilarious! Neko, the cat I rescued a couple of years after Mocha, could also be called Ms. Thunderpaws. She's a big ol' ragdoll mix, and I often describe her running as "thundering hooves." I'll have to remember "Thunderpaws." Thanks for that chuckle, and for the story of Annie and Nani.

Wise counsel, Karen. After 3 years, I suppose I should accept that this is just who/what Mocha is ... much as I wish to grab her up and love on her. ... Wise observation about her seeking affection only on her terms, not mine.

Thanks, you all!

4/27/2011 8:16 PM  
Blogger MadPriest said...

Oh, I don't think the skittishness is anything to do with not being tame or about affection. She will be doing it for two reasons - because she thinks it's fun and to remind you of who is in charge in this relationship.

4/28/2011 3:04 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Wise words, MP. Thanks for this!

4/28/2011 8:15 PM  
Blogger it's margaret said...

Mr. Witty is like that too --and he came from a shelter for severely abused dogs.... some habits just can't be broken... sigh...

4/30/2011 7:17 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for that, Margaret. It is a comfort.
And I hope Joel is continuing to improve.

4/30/2011 8:12 PM  

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