Adopting/Rescuing Chia, an Adult Cat: Page 2 of 3


In about 5 minutes, I gathered a scared Chia into my arms. I could feel her quiver so I talked to her gently and promised her I would try my very best to give her a better home. I rubbed my chin on her head and then I took her to the vehicle and held her. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Chia was a bit nervous with the traffic in the city but as soon as we made it to the highway she settled down into the back seat. I had put her sheet on the seat for her. We drove the whole way home and she only ventured around a couple of times checking out the vehicle.

When we made it to the house, I brought her inside and let her down. She looked around and immediately started to investigate. I decided just to let her roam around and let her get used to her new home. At the time our new carpet had not yet been laid, so I was not worried about any messes. (If she made a mistake, I figured it could be cleaned up.) Thankfully, there were litter boxes here and food dishes from the former kitty who lived his 18-year life here. We decided to let Chia be and went in town to get her some decent food and litter. Her grammy was here, so she would be fine.

I would normally never just take a cat from a home especially an adult without not knowing what the cat was like personality-wise and health-wise. However, I would never have been able to live with myself not knowing where she would have ended up otherwise.

Chia would not drink water so I was told so her only source of liquid was from a dripping tap when she felt like it. I made up her litter box and showed her where it was. She stepped in and fixed the litter to her satisfaction. I then began talking more to her telling her that this was her new home and we would try to make her happier. Now was the challenge to see if she would eat her new food. I called her over and told her this food would make her feel better, she wouldn't itch as much, and her fur would be nicer... her poor fur. She dove into the wet food like a raven! I then introduced her to the cat-formula milk, and she also lapped that up.

I went to sit in the chair, and she followed me but would not jump up onto the chair. At this point, I knew she did not yet trust me, and she was very nervous. I understood this completely. I had just uprooted her from her home to a new home, new food, and other things. She had been withdrawn for so long.

For the next 2 or 3 days, Chia roamed around. I talked to her from a distance and let her roam. She tried to scratch the chair, and I said in a low voice "No, Chia. Come to your post." And she followed me to her scratching post and began to claw. She also jumped up onto the cupboard, and I again told her she wasn't allowed on the cupboard. At night, she slept in her box with her sheet. I wondered if she would ever come to trust the family.

On the 4th day, I was sitting in the recliner, and she came over and sat in front of me and meowed. I tapped my knee gently and told her to jump up. She jumped into my lap! I was ecstatic! As soon as I tried to pat her, she jumped down and ran and hid. I left her alone and when she came out, I again talked to her from a distance. I wanted so badly to hold her, cuddle her, and comb her fur. Patience is not a virtue of mine, but I remained stubborn with myself. Throughout the next couple of days, she would jump up on the arm of the chair, and I would talk to her but not touch her. She began to stay for longer periods of time. Finally, she allowed me to pat her head and didn't take off scared.

By the end of the first week, she allowed me to hold her, and it felt so good to hear her purr. I then started the heartbreaking task of trying to comb her. Some of her mats were so deep and thick, that they were into her skin and pulling, and the areas were red and scabby. I cried as my spouse and I held her and cut her mats out. Poor girl, she looked like some kind of weird alien with all skin patches in her fur, which was very short for Persian standards. Her skin was so dry and scaly.

It took me about 2 weeks to cut out all of her mats and comb her properly. Her skin was much better now with her new diet, and her fur wasn't as dull looking. She also followed me around now wherever I went, meowing and flopping over for a belly rub. She became very vocal, maybe because I talked to her so much! The moment I finally knew that she had accepted me was when she ventured upstairs one night during the third week and jumped into bed with me. I was not in a comfortable position, but she was, so I remained in my awkward position stroking her fur while she slept and purred.

I can honestly say that Chia has had a complete turnaround of her personality and life. She is now very much my girl, she still does not like anyone else to hold her or pick her up. She also opts to sleep with me or sit with me and likes to be wherever I am. She also trusts me to clean her ears or wash her butt when she makes a little mess. I don't know if she will ever fully trust all people. She has many toys now and beds all over the house and big patio doors so she can watch the birds. She loves her proper food and cat milk and has truly become a wonderful, loving, affectionate girl. She still doesn't like to be combed with a real cat comb, but I am slow and gentle and only do one area at a time to give her a break. Now I can proudly say her fur has grown out nicely and is shiny and healthy. Her vet complimented me on such a wonderful job. I don't think her fur will ever be of show quality because of her lack of care in her early years. Her tattoo is foreign, and we have no idea where she came from or even of her birthday. We have decided to give her a birthday of July 22nd in memory of my late father's birthday.


Article Author: 

Tammy R. Veysey