Tabitha was brought into a feral spay/neuter clinic, but it was decided that she was timid rather than feral. Because it was a feral clinic, she had her ear “tipped” to identify her as spayed. She is very timid, but also very gentle. She’s come a long, long way in just over a month.
When she arrived, she found her hiding spot under my desk. For the first few days, I just left her alone. I got very worried that she was barely eating any food. Then I realized that she was eating the kibble I left out, not the wet food. At least I knew she was getting some nutrition!
After a couple of days, I tried petting her. She’d hiss, but nothing else, so I kept at it. She seemed to enjoy the petting, rubbing her head into my hand. Even after her quarantine was up, I didn’t open up the room. I knew she’d just find another hiding place — one that I couldn’t access as easily. Fortunately, a few days later, kitten Jasmin’s quarantine was finished. I put her in with Tabitha and it was like magic! Jasmin ran up to her, threw her front paws around Tabitha’s neck and that was it. I even saw Tabitha out of hiding later that evening!
Two weeks of friendship with Jasmin helped to brought her out of her shell, but kept her in, too. Whenever she would come out of the room, Jasmin would be so happy to see her that she’d run at Tabitha and both of them would run back into the room to play.
It was a good thing — for lots of reasons — that Jasmin was adopted so quickly. It meant that if Tabitha wanted attention, she had to come out and explore. Which she did, starting with the nights. I’d get up to find things moved or knocked over and evidence that the toy basket had been rifled through:
She started coming out more and more. One morning I found her in the living room window. I worked up my courage to pick her up and she was fine with it! A little nervous, but nothing serious. She still mostly hides, but if I find her I can pick her up and carry her to the couch where she will stay as long as I’m petting her. She’s still quite nocturnal and more likely to come out of hiding for a visit in the late evening. I think if my guys were nicer and would play with her, she’d come out more.