Ebony began his life in a feral cat colony. One of the people who works with the Trap, Neuter, Release program found him and his two sisters on her first visit to the colony. She guessed they were about 4 months old and thought there might be a chance to domesticate them. One sister warmed up to the pampered, indoor life right away. Ebony and his other sister remained scared and resistant for the next 4-5 months. When it became clear that they were not making progress, the volunteer and our coordinator decided that splitting them up would give them the best shot at being able to be indoor kitties. The coordinator asked if I would be willing to work with Ebony-of course I said yes! I have 2 large cat cages with different level/shelves that allow me to keep scared or sick kitties separate from the other cats, but still keep them in the foster room. This made my house a perfect place to try and work with Ebony. By keeping him in the cage, I could get my hands on him and track his progress. If let him loose in the room, he would continually hide and progress would be very slow, especially in a room with other cats.
Ebony spent his first 2 weeks cowering behind the litter box in his cage. It was awful. He was terrified. He sometimes would come flying out of the cage and hide under the bed when I opened it to clean the litter box and give him new food and water. It was a nightmare. I asked the volunteer who had been working with him to come visit and see what she thought. She visited and spent about 30 minutes with him, holding him and talking to him. Reassuring him that he was in a good place and that I would take care of him. Amazingly, it made all the difference in the world!! The next day he stayed up on one of the shelves while I cleaned up the cage. He watched me carefully, but he wasn’t hiding and he wasn’t shaking. Every tiny change meant progress!
After a month of bribing with tuna (mixing his medicine for his diarrhea with tuna was the only way I could medicate him. There was NO WAY I would be able to hold him and get a pill or liquid down his throat) and slow movements, Ebony is a whole new cat. He greets me at the door, rubs up against my legs and begs for attention. While he still isn’t comfortable with anyone else, yet, I believe he will get there. He likes the other kitties in the room and will make a great pet for someone eventually! Just a little while longer, and he should be ready for adoption. I’ll keep you updated on his progress!