We do a lot of “new math” at Tabby’s Place.
For instance, four identical small sable felines+ one orange goofball = one of the grooviest cat quintets ever born.
It’s now been two years since the Bailey–Joel–Zorro–Mackenzie–Lumpy quintet scattered into happy forever homes, but I still think of this crew often. The non-Lumpy members of the group were such lookalikes that we wished we could put a drop of different-colored nail polish on the tip of each one’s tail.
But, inevitably, once they got to know us and vice versa, their personalities were so distinct that it became a moot issue. Joel was the hug-a-bug and first out of the gate to be adopted. Mackenzie, the only girl in the group, had the energy of 500 Gilbert Gottfrieds on Red Bull, and followed Joel out the door. Gentle little Zorro endured a bout of ringworm before his happy adoption, only to sadly, shockingly pass away from presumed heart disease weeks later.
And then there was Bailey. Our little wonder was the only member of the quintet to fear humans…and, sadly, the only one to have good reason to do so. According to the shelter from which we rescued him, Bailey had been plucked from a cruelty case.
Still, Bailey routinely wooed adopters with his highly-concentrated cuteness and his playful bounce. But when he backed away from their first attempts to love on him, it was sadly game over.
Until Mrs. Bailey entered the building with a giant vat of patience and a heart full of love.
Since Bailey’s trimphant adoption, we’ve had many happy reports from his mom, but none beats this update. Mrs. B, thank you for letting me reprint your wonderful words here, and for loving the Bailey the way all of us (human and feline) deserve to be loved.
“Bailey has come a long way. At least I think he has. I can now say “Hi” and ”Hello” in front of him without him running away. For a long time, words starting with “H” frightened him.
Most of my progress has been at meal time. He now bumps heads with me, and lets me pet his whole body. I am hoping to ease my way into picking him up, but that may take longer. The time I took him to the Vet. for his shots, I lured him into the carrier with treats. …
I didn’t feel Bailey was totally happy after I adopted him, so 3 months later I adopted a young female, MooMoo. I really feel Bailey watching me interact with the other cats, and his relationship with MooMoo has really helped him. MooMoo and Bailey play hide and seek, and chase all the time. She is exactly what he needed – someone his own age to play with. It meant I now had 8 cats, not really what I wanted, but in the long run, it was the right decision.
We are on no time table. My other ultra-shy cat, a Maine Coon from the same Michigan group as MooMoo, has taken 3 years to finally feel it safe to open up to me. Caleb now finally sits on my lap and lets me pet him. With time, one day so will Bailey.
Thank you so much for believing in him and sheltering him until I came along.”
Mrs. Bailey, you have the kind of patient heart that keeps us believing and dancing for even the shyest sweethearts. Truly, Bailey hit the jackpot with you.