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October 31, 2010 / Zoe

Morgan the Monster.

This is Morgan.

(As opposed to Morgen, scroll to the bottom of that link to see her. I didn’t name Morgan, and my Morgen and the foster Morgan look ridiculously similar. How weird is that?)

She’s actually been in residence here for 2 months now. I don’t know why I haven’t posted about her before, I guess because I was worried that she wasn’t going to get any better. She was a complete feral when she arrived, she lived on a university campus and had little to no human contact until she was about 4 months, she was somehow caught and was then shuffled around to a few carers before she ended up here. I’m happy to take these long term fosters, I have heaps of time and patience to spend with them. Getting her home was such a debacle, the woman who was caring for her had kids and foster puppies and other foster cats, so it really wasn’t a good environment for such a timid cat. She was in the bedroom and we had to chase her all over to get her in the carrier, she eventually just gave up. Literally. She plopped down behind a chair and Matt was able to grab her by the scruff and stuff her in a carrier.

(I know her eyes look weird in that photo, she must have blinked, but she’s so happy I still wanted to post it.)

We then put her in our spare room by herself and didn’t see her for three weeks. We have a piano in there, and she would climb behind it the moment she heard us coming. Food would go, the litter tray would get used, but I hardly saw her. I was ok with that, I really empathise with this kind of kitty, and if I’d been trapped and taken from my home, then moved from place to place by big scary humans, I’d want to hide behind the piano for three weeks too!

Which is why these photos are so thrilling for me. She’s on the couch! She’s sitting in the lounge room! She’s not trying to scratch my eyes out!

It was a long and slow process. I first tempted her with toys. I would hide myself behind the door frame and just dangle the toy for her. She’d creep closer and closer and tentatively batted the toy around. Every time she would look at me I’d blink at her and narrow my eyes. Staring at a cat is incredibly threatening. And while you might want to stare down your own cat to gain control in the household, for a cat like Morgan you’d never get her on side by staring her down. A slow blink of the eyes is how a cat says hello. Next time your cat is staring at you give it a try and see if s/he responds!

The next step was cheese. I would flick cheese to her, and slowly bring it closer and closer to me. It took over a month for me to touch her. She would whip around and lash out at the slightest touch. Once we got to the stage of touching it all happened much quicker. She’s learnt the pleasure of a butt rub and a scratch behind the ears. The first time I heard her purr was such a great moment, and when she started kneading me I knew I had her! Now when I go to see her in the morning she immediately demands pats, she’s more eager for that attention than she is for her breakfast! Her transformation has been so amazing, and I’m so proud of her. She’s not perfect yet, she’ll still hiss when startled and she won’t let me pick her up. She needs to be in control and I understand. Adoption is going to be hard, I have to be completely honest with potential adopters. It’ll take time for them to build trust with her, and I’m fully ok with having her here with me for as long as it takes.

I’m sure it’s obvious how attached I’ve become. Even more so than sweet little Zelda if I’m honest. I think it’s because Zelda gives out her affection so freely. Anyone she meets is an instant friend. Not my Morgan. I had to work for her friendship and I appreciate every smooch.

And look at those markings! She’s a stunning girl, anyone would be lucky to have her.

 

*Tomorrow my Giraffe in a Scarf Etsy store is opening! Please stop by and check it out!*

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7 Comments

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  1. Ieva / Nov 28 2010 12:23 pm

    Morgan was one of the 3 kitties I caught (also Indie and Henry), she was probably older than the other two. It’s wonderful what you’ve been able to do, Zoe. She has such a lovely face – I’m glad she’s got a chance now.

    • Zoe / Nov 28 2010 2:07 pm

      You did an amazing job trapping her! She was wild when we went to pick her up from Toni. She’s so lovely now, she’ll never be a lap cat, or one you can hold like a baby, but she’ll make a beautiful companion for someone one day. I think Toni passed on to you that Henry escaped soon after he arrived, I feel so guilty but I still see him around sometimes, he looks happy and healthy and he’s not going to contribute any more unwanted kittens so I don’t feel too bad.

      • Ieva / Nov 28 2010 9:05 pm

        Yes I had heard about Henry. He’s a bit too much of a free spirit I think, he was escaping and disappearing at Toni’s also. I’m glad that you still see him around, and that he seems OK. You probably heard that Indie was adopted? she was the most amazing little cat. You may remember she was the one I was particularly attached to. I was heartbroken not being able to foster, but my own cats were just too stressed. She was happily curled up on my lap when I had her, but she never would go near me after she went to Toni’s place. When I came over she hid under the bed and wouldn’t come out.

      • Zoe / Nov 29 2010 4:21 pm

        Henry obviously has someone else out there who cares for him too, I feed him once or twice a week if I see him in the evenings,but he’s clearly getting food from elsewhere, he’s as fat and glossy as my cats! I letterboxed my neighbourhood with no results though. He leaps over the fence if he sees me but I peek out the window to see him come back for food.I’m just glad he’s happy. I think Indie was adopted soon after I took Morgan, it’s great she found an understanding home! I remember her perched on the back of the chair in your car, she looked very sweet!

  2. Ashley @ Ramblings and Photos / Nov 1 2010 9:29 am

    Awwww Morgan looks so sweet and I’m so glad that she’s hanging in there!

  3. Amiee / Nov 1 2010 9:06 am

    As being the first to foster Morgan I am so excited to see these pics too!
    When I first got her I had no idea how feral she was and my kitten and her did not get along and add in my dog and a foster dog and it was not a good environment for her to come out of her shell! I’m glad she’s found the right foster home now and honestly can’t believe these photos! She’s such a gorgeous girl.

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