Two years ago, at the end of February 2013, a big gray cat was looking in our back window. He had a big bald spot on his chest, and he appeared to be prominently displaying it when he looked in the window. Knowing that big bald spots are not good things, I leaped into action to get this boy trapped.
This big gray cat, named Marius at the time, had been trapped in the spring of 2011; he then vanished for a year and a half. He reappeared at Christmas of 2012. He had always been very nervous around us and the girls outside. He was very submissive when Little Black approached him. He would flee at the first sign of any trouble-either from Little Black or from us annoying humans. So I was mighty shocked when he looked in the window like that. It took a few tries but I trapped him. I took him into my vet’s office where they were amazing with him. He was nervous and a little wiggly but did not show any signs of being truly feral. He also showed no signs of any bald spots at all. No where. He was in perfect health.
I now had a not-really-feral and perfectly healthy cat on my hands. So it began. I decided to keep him inside and try to socialize him so he could get adopted. Well he never left. Two years later he is sitting on the cat perch next to my desk, trying to get all the sniffs from the barely opened window. We renamed him Sneakers. It is a much better name; this cat sneaks all over the house and sneaked his way into our home. His sneaking is pretty hysterical–except when he is sneaking up on Crash, the old grandpa cat who just doesn’t want to play.
Sneakers has come far in two years. Now he is a sometimes lap cat who loves getting his belly rubbed. He spends his days gazing out the windows and looking for sunny spots in the house. He recently started squeaking at us. He doesn’t meow, he squeaks out tiny little MEW sounds. He has slowly opened up and blossomed into a big baby. I am constantly amazed how even two years later he is showing us new sides to him and new aspects of his personality.
We have had some rough spots along the way. The times I thought he was never going to socialize. Twice he has run outside then panicked and run away from me when I tried to catch him. That was his first six months inside. Thankfully there have been no more escape attempts. Sneakers so desperately wants to play with Crash, but Crash is just too old to play the way Sneakers wants to. Sadly, this leads to instances of him pouncing on Crash and Crash screaming bloody murder. Sneakers apparently didn’t learn a lot of the rules of kitty interaction though, and thinks this is just how they play. This was worse when Muffin was around, because she got overly dramatic, screamed at him and ran way. So he followed. *sigh* Cats. Sometimes there really is just no living with them. Instead I “fill in” as the kitty. We run around the house together and Sneakers will “pounce” on me from behind the couch or around the corner. If he could just find someone to wrestle with though, I think his life would be perfect.
I am so lucky that he found me again. I am so lucky he felt the need to come inside and join the family. I had tried socializing him back in 2011 when I first trapped him. He was so scared and did not show any signs of coming around. I was stressed and on Spring Break from getting my masters degree. I didn’t have the time to properly dedicate to him so I let him back outside. It broke my heart to do it. I am so glad that he came back that Christmas Day and later decided to join the family. His presence has been an immense help as I adjust to the passing of Muffin and Crash’s end of life days.
So Happy Anniversary/Birthday my sweet Sneakers. Life wouldn’t be the same without you.