This is Budd and Belle. They are brother and sister rescue kitties who have been part of our family for a little over two years. It will be three years this October. We met them at the Monroe Fair in 2005 when they were tiny babies sleeping in kitty hammocks. They had already had a hard life. As far as we know they are the only surviving members of a litter found abandoned under a porch, with no mom in sight. They were brought to Purrfect Pals and nursed back to health, only to fall victim to an illness that required force-feeding for a month. They even loss the use of their back legs for a time. They were then adopted by a cat mom who was painfully shy herself so they learned even more about being wary of everything. That is when we met them.
We were not looking for cats to adopt. Sam and Coco, our companions for 18 and 20 years respectively had been put to sleep within months of each (after long illnesses) about a year previously and were still ghosting around the house. We stopped in to see the 4H kitties and found the Purrfect Pals exhibit. We ended up holding the two of them long enough to make it clear that we either had to leave or adopt. We chose adopt, though we could not pick them up for a month due to vacation plans. They were a good deal bigger when we went to Mary's to take them home. They were painfully shy, but we worked out a plan and discovered three important keys: 1) Food is a fantastic social motivator and 2) Safe zones work really well and 3) No matter how shy, no cat can resist the string.
For about a month the closet was the only safe place, but then they added under the bed and then on top of the bed. Fairly quickly we added the bathroom, the hallway and the center of the living room rug. They are still quite skittish, but they enjoy being groomed, will jump up on the sofa with us and have even come out a little when guests are over. We recently moved to an apartment during a major remodel and then back again. They handled both moves extremely well and have even started jumping up on things in the new house. They have always been mostly horizontal cats and never even looked up. We figure they could end up being real cats in 5-10 years. They are extremely dear to us and we thank Mary and Purrfect Pals for introducing us.