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Happy Tails #3 — Bojangles and Cubs

2/10/12

Today was an extremely exciting day for me at C.A.R.E.  Two new cats have temporarily joined the C.A.R.E. family since Thursday (they still have to pass their vet exam and immunizations).  Their names were Mr. Bojangles aka “Bo” and Cubs.  Mr. Bojangles is actually a girl, but when she was rescued they thought she was a boy.  She is extremely skinny, short haired, and white furred with some tan/ginger spots.  She was rescued from an alley in Evanston. Cubs is a big boy and is the size of a small dog.  He is short haired with dark gray fur and a white tummy.  He was a “given up” cat.  His previous owners gave him up because he did not get along with the other male cats.  He only got along with the females.

Their stories are somewhat depressing, but it can only get better.  As a policy of C.A.R.E., new felines are not given wet food on the day they are taken in; they are only give dry food and water.  This is to monitor their diet/health.  Since this is the second day they are at C.A.R.E., we were able to feed them wet food for their breakfast.  I shadowed the more experienced volunteers as they partitioned the wet food and distributed it to each cage.  I watched Bo eat all her food within 5 minutes.  She was starving.  Poor baby.  I watched my colleague clean her cage and she meowed for attention and affection.  She rubbed her head against my colleague’s arm and meowed until she pet her.  I think she just needs some TLC to get all better.

Cubs was the next one fed and he stayed inside his carrier and did not even get tempted by the sight of wet food.  It is usually very rough on the cat when they are given up by their owners.  He has an extremely stern facial expression and look in his eyes.  His eyes are bright green and he would give off this cold stare.  My supervisor told me to pick a toy out for him and I got him a neon green mouse.  I observed him for a long time but he showed no signs of weakness.  Bo started meowing again so I look at her cage which is next to Cubs and I petted her a little bit.  Just as I was doing that, I noticed that in the corner of my eye Cubs placed his paw on the green mouse to claim ownership.  He showed some sort of interest in it, but did not want to make it obvious.  I realized he must be trying to put up a cold front since he was probably scared of all the new faces.  I left the room and I immediately heard him shuffle a bit in his cage.  I peaked in and saw him with the green mouse inside his carrier.  He saw me peaking from the door and immediately put up his cold stare again.  How CUTE this was.  All the notes on his cage were “nasty” and “mean,” but I think it is because people haven’t given him the chance!  I told my supervisor and we pet him with a scratcher.  He rubbed his face slightly on it showing a minor sign of affection.  In my opinion, I think he is just a big baby trying to protect himself!

This experience is new to me and it made me extremely excited.  I feel like I want to be the one to give a lot of TLC to Bo and Cubs.  They both need a lot of lovin’ to get better.  This experience shows that even with new shelter felines, a little bit of TLC goes a long way.  Even though felines may give off a cold and stern face, they are sometimes pretending to keep themselves safe.  This shows how patience is necessary to win the approval or acceptance of the cats.  They were heartbroken or have experienced traumatic events and need time to adjust and open up to people again.  I feel that today, I made a difference for Bo and Cubs.  Even though I am just one person, I helped them and in a way gave them hope.  I let them know that things can get better from here.  I am optimistic, but I honestly feel that they can sense it too.  Cubs was extremely cold at first, but at the end of my few hours at C.A.R.E., there is already noticeable difference in his character.

After having this experience, I will continue to grow on it by providing this hope for all the felines at C.A.R.E.  I will provide them with TLC and hope that life will only get better.  I hope that both Bo and Cubs pass their vet examinations and get immunized.  I can’t wait to see their progress next Friday.  I hope to learn more about cats like them and to gain more experiences.  Even though these are all shelter animals, I want to try to step into their paws (‘shoes’) and see life from their perspective.  I want to learn how I can make their life better and more comfortable.  I want to transform their fear into something positive.

Side note:

I will try to take pictures of them next week if possible.  I am not sure how my supervisor feels about me taking pictures.  The flash or camera may scare them… Hopefully I can because I cannot wait to share their cute faces with you.

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