Her name, as the shelter gave her, is Lightning. But it just does not fit her. As I watched the new foster kitten in her cage (a large dog crate with littler box, food, water and the softest blankets I could find) a more appropriate name came to me. Victoria. She is so pretty and delicate, it seemed a much better name for her.
And so, though her shelter name may be Lightning, that’s not what I call her. In any event, Victoria is a frightened little kitten. They said she was about 3 months old, but I checked her teeth… she is four months. She’s a pretty pretty girl. The hiss she lets out when first anyone goes near her cage belies her beauty. She even spits and bats out with her paw. But stick your hand in and pet her, and she relaxes out and purrs. She even stretches out and lets you pet her belly.
You might wonder why such opposite reactions? Let me see if I can explain with a true story. My part feral kitten Binx was in the hallway the other day…. Usually this is no big deal anymore; I walk out of the bathroom and he sees me and lays there till I walk by and he either runs if he is a playful mood or he stays put. I shut the bathroom light off and stepped out, down the hall. His eyes must have not fully adjusted and he must not have been complately aware of my presence because as I stepped down the hall (it was suddenly very dark) he let out a hiss that would curl your nose hairs! He rarely if ever hisses anymore. He used to act like the most vicious cat in cat history. But he’s part of the family now, and he follows me around, rubs against me and wants to be pet (still won’t let me pick him up though). But I had startled him and for a second he thought I was a stranger. The feral in him came out. And this is a behavior that can occur on occasion throughout the life of a former feral.
With Victoria it is fear that makes her hiss and spat. She had some very bad experiences, different from those Binx had, but bad nontheless. She knows most humans are okay, but still, instinct tells her to be cautious and let those who approach know she means business. But, hiss or not, the moment I stick my hand in there and start to pet her (she does not scratch or bite), the domestic feline comes out nd she purrs and stretches out.
It will take some time, but Victoria will come out of this. She just needs to learn to trust again. My Binx is getting so much better even with people other than myself. He is slowly allowing others near him. Victoria, in time, will learn as well.