Here she is. Our new family member, Artemis.
Of course we weren’t going to have any more cats. We already had four, and that was quite enough.
Then there was this bloke in one of my groups, who found this little goddess in his back yard. After unsuccesfully trying to locate her owners, he assumed she’d been dumped. Poor thing. He’d have kept her if it weren’t for his tomcat who bullied her relentlessly, so he was looking for a good home for this little darling.
What could I do?
Things weren’t easy for Artemis when she first arrived at our place. She was so scared, she hid. Behind the newly built bookcase in DD-21’s room. Which, as you may remember, is a build-in. So how did she end up behind it, I can hear you wonder. Well, we weren’t quite finished building it yet, and there was one small gap left. Too small for a cat to worm through, or so we thought…
Of course, her hiding behind the bookcase wouldn’t have been too much of a problem if she’d have decided to come out of hiding after a while. But she didn’t. Not that first day. And not even during the night.
So the next morning, when she hadn’t eaten in roughly 24 hours, we decided to move that bookcase and get our scaredy cat. As you might imagine, Missy didn’t think that was a good idea at all. So when I finally got a hold of her, she bit me. Poor thing.
In the end we managed to get her into the cat carrier and took her to the vet’s. Thankfully, she wasn’t dehydrated yet, but if she wouldn’t start eating within the next hour or so, we’d have to force feed her.
Back home, we cat-proofed the bathroom (so she had no place to hide but the cat carrier) and put her there. Not the nicest place to be, but at least it was safe and we’d be able to feed her.
Meanwhile, my hand had swollen to about twice its usual size and hurt like hell. I’d been bitten by cats before, and never had any problems then, so I knew this wasn’t good. Time to go see the doctor. I got antibiotics (hate them, but I knew I needed them) which should work their magic within two or three days. Back home I decided I might as well get a cold pack out of the freezer and see if that would at least diminish the swelling a bit and help with the pain.
With me being reduced to sitting on the couch, nursing my sore hand and well, sleeping a lot, DD-21 took care of our new kitty. She fed her every other hour and tried to gain her trust and bond with her.
Initially we wondered whether she really had been dumped or if she might be feral after all. Could it be that the bloke who took her in at first had been mistaken? Missy behaved much like a feral cat and didn’t appear to be socialised at all.
We worried that she might never be happy living with us. However, we weren’t going to give up just like that. She might just be very shy and too scared to show her true colours.
It took a while, but little by little DD-21 saw progress. Baby steps at a time.
We’ve had Missy for a couple of weeks now, and she’s back in DD-21’s room. We finished the build-in bookcase, so there’s no way she can get behind it anymore now. Sure, she likes to hide under the bed. But she also likes to sit in the windowsill and look at what’s going on outside. She likes to play with DD-21, and likes to cuddle up with her at night.
She’s still shy and scares easily, but we think she’ll come around. It’s gonna take time for her to adjust to our crazy household. But we’ve had other damaged cats. And we are patient. She can take all the time she needs, and we’ll still be there for her. Because she deserves a good life. Because she’s sweet and adorable. And because she’s ours.
What? The hand?
The antibiotics started working their magic after two days. After three days, I didn’t need the ice pack anymore. My hand healed just fine.