Gunther (we’ve gone back to the name he had at the No. 5 Rd. shelter) was a very unhappy kitty while in his cage, occasionally accepting a stroke or two but just as often violently lashing out instead. Once out of his cage, he’d park himself and his big sad eyes on a cat tree in the doublewide… and more often than not lash out if approached.
Or talked about.
Or looked at for too long.
My success rate for receiving any semblance of a cuddle rather than an angry clawing went down from around 50% to closer to 10%. I started to wonder if Gunther was ever going to get over apparently hating my guts and start to warm up to me and my attempts to befriend him.
Last week, Leslie mentioned a correlation she’d noticed between giving him treats or a little extra food and not getting clawed… So I brought in a can of tuna and presented him with numerous morsels. He didn’t attack me, but it did seem that his goodwill was bought only for so long as the taste of tuna lingered in his mouth. If I waited too long between offerings he’d start eyeing me suspiciously again.
When I returned a number of days later, I’d neglected to bring further bribes and therefore didn’t expect much from any encounter with Gunther. But he surprised me. Not only did he let me get close without becoming agitated and defensive, he leaned into my hand when I ventured to stroke him. If that wasn’t enough, he later hopped off his shelf, came over to were I was, and lightly head butted my palm when I reached down to him.
Hello, happy Gunther. Very pleased to meet you.