It is the little things that impress-frustrate-embolden me when I am with Callie. Just now I spent 15 minutes convincing her that a. the stool I brought in from the kitchen was not evil, and b. that she could, in fact, climb on it to get up on the couch.
“Why?” You might wonder.
Two reasons again – 1. because she can’t seem to jump up on the couch and is scared of being picked up, yet she wants to be up here all the time, and 2. because she has a lot of trouble transferring skills.
She didn’t get up on the couch, but she got her front paws up on the stool and considered how she might get from there to the sofa. But, then she got overwhelmed and stepped back down. I’m proud of her. Front paws on something new in 15 minutes is pretty impressive.
It’s different than when you are working with a young one. A rescue, especially one who has never seen the outside world, sees everything with far more trepidation than your average puppy.
They’ve already lived lives.
Callie came to us from a puppy mill. She was there for the last five/six years and hasn’t known anything but the inside of a cage, puppies, and the experience of being shoved in another cage for mating. Did I mention she doesn’t like to be picked up? It’s mostly because it freaks her out if anybody touches her rear end. ‘Nuff said.
Her fear drives my desire to find solutions for Callie. I want her to experience the world in a much more positive way, without too many accommodations.
That was the life she lived then, one of fear. I’m responsible for the life she lives from here on out.
One cat definitely doesn’t mind that Callie takes the couch!