Cat Sanctuary

Audrey Hepburn

A post from a while back on the RAPS cat sanctuary gallery page describes this little girl as “only the cutest cat in the world” and announces the good news that “she has finally decided she likes to be petted.”

Photo provided by RAPS

This after a wait of a few years in which she made it clear that she was under no circumstances to be touched.
According to Leslie (published in The Love Blog, July 2009):

“Pretty little Audrey (named after Audrey Hepburn because of her beautiful eyes) was trapped and brought to the sanctuary many years ago. She lived in the McCracken House building, and spent 3 years atop the big wooden cages, watching the volunteers and hissing at anyone who dared get too close. One day, she decided to come down to the floor and approached me as I was petting several other cats. She rubbed against some of the other cats and then allowed me to reach out and stroke her. It was a very rewarding moment for me to have gained her trust. Audrey has since befriended many of the RAPS volunteers and staff, and will occasionally climb on people’s laps. She’s a great example of how feral cats can eventually warm up to people, when they are given the right opportunity.”

An interesting FAQ page dealing with feral cats (along with often hard to distinguish frightened strays) provided by the ASPCA reminds us again how hard and how uncertain the process above really is: “Socializing feral cats involves an extreme amount of patience, time and energy and there is no guarantee that the cat will become tame.” This appears as part of an FAQ answering why that organization can’t take in ferals and which goes on to state that “unfortunately, with the numerous friendly and adoptable animals the ASPCA already has, resources to socialize feral animals are scarce.”

Limited space, limited resources: a common – universal? – problem for animal shelters. I’ve said it before, but I still feel lucky that there are long term facilities out there like RAPS where cats like Audrey or Daisy can take all the time they need to learn or relearn to trust.


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