While normally the successful befriending of a formerly hostile animal is the kind of thing that gives shelter staff and volunteers the warm fuzzies, occasionally such benevolence can backfire.
Though not a concentrated campaign like I used to try and win over Orlean, I felt for kitties such as Grizzy and Gunther, both so bitter and unhappy when they came in, and so have slowly but surely made friends with them. I didn't spend a huge amount of time with either of them, but did make a point of giving each a pat every time I came, and sometimes even a little plate of food if I had a little extra.
Gunther now gives my hand a gentle headbutt if I stroke him. And Grizzy has started marking me as his territory. Literally.
I discovered this strange new development a couple of weeks ago. I'd been patting Grizzy, then turned my attention to other cats, followed by further distraction by human conversation. I felt something warm and wet on my calf and looked down to see Grizzy sauntering away, only to stop nearby and look up to me for more pats.
A number of days later, though I couldn't say for sure since a more pressing issue of dealing with a nasty bite wound from another cat kept me distracted until after the deed had been done, the presence of Grizzy suspiciously nearby when I'd just noticed that my ankle was inexplicably wet led me to suspect he'd struck again.
Tonight, just as I was telling Gaye of this suspected second incident and preparing to give Grizzy the benefit of the doubt, he wandered up to me and turned around. I hopped out of the way in the nick of time to watch several pungent marking squirts land on the floor where I'd been standing. He then thought maybe I'd like to stroke him.
As much as it seems that he really does mean it as a complement, if this is love, somebody goofed.
RAPS is short for Regional Animal Protection Society, a registered charity and operator of a sanctuary which houses and cares for nearly 500 homeless or abandoned cats in Richmond, BC, Canada. The Neko Files is a celebration of the sanctuary and all those who live and work there.