I was first introduced to Gilbert as a project of Ann’s involving many hours gentle, patient coaxing – not to mention over $100 worth of Temptations cat treats – to win him over.
Marianne tells me he was brought to the sanctuary about a year ago after a family had discovered him hanging around their back yard. He was not exactly friendly even then, but Marianne describes how, “while he was in a cage in the Connor, [she] could sit with him and, after a few hisses, he’d let [her] pet him and even seemed to enjoy it.” Immediately upon being let out of the cage, though, he disappeared into the rafters of another building where he’d accept treats readily enough but permit no further human contact.
A few months ago, a nice woman came with her young son to see Gilbert. Having been the ones responsible for bringing Gilbert to RAPS, they were, understandably, a little disappointed to find him hiding out among the rafters and still refusing to fraternize with humans. Marianne tried to tell them about how she’d been able to pet him when he first came, but she found it hard to convince them with Gilbert there staring at them from the ceiling.
Now, thanks to Ann’s efforts (i.e. lots of attention and a whole pile of treats), Gilbert will not only climb down to come and see her when she’s in the front courtyard, but he’s even started climbing onto her lap. And, as a rather nice side effect, he’s starting to think maybe the rest of us are worth a chance as well.
As Marianne says: “Another example of how hard work and gentle loving can bring a previously unsociable cat around, to the benefit and enjoyment of him/her and ourselves.”