Dear Supporters of Chickadee,
Not that I go around saying this aloud all that often, but in my own head, I consider myself an almost professional when it comes to dealing with cats. I watch “The Cat From Hell” on TV. I’ve seen quite a few episodes, in fact, and although occasionally I learn a thing or two from the cat guru, Jackson Galaxy, as he struggles to deal with cats who have lost their bearing, I usually can quite quickly spot the problem with these “problem cats,” and find myself mumbling what I would do if I were Jackson giving the owner ADVICE . . . well, I’m sure you get what I mean.
That is why I am all the more amazed by Chickadee because for the longest time I couldn’t figure this lovely girl out. She had me totally perplexed. No matter how much I tried to win her over, I sensed I wasn’t quite there . . . yet.
But all that has changed.
I feel like Sally Field on the night of the Oscars when she stood in front of the what seemed like the entire world, accepted her Oscar for her role as a union organizer and admitted that she was so amazed to suddenly realize that people actually liked her. That’s what I finally feel like screaming out when I visit the Community Room — Chickadee likes me.
She doesn’t run away from me anymore. She doesn’t hiss. Or growl. And those crazy sounds that emit from her mouth–well, that’s just Chickadee and she doesn’t mean anything by it.
I can go up to her now, let her smell my hand, and she actually recognizes me. I can pet her without fear that she’s just biding her time, waiting to do something–well, less than kind. Not that she ever did, but the threat always seemed to be there. No more.
I’m not sure when the change actually happened. And it’s a strange thing to be able to look back and realize that you’ve reached a milestone in a cat’s life. Cats are not like dogs. They are not all accepting. It take times to win a cat’s trust and affection.
Even now, there are times when Chickadee isn’t overly thrilled to see me. She doesn’t come bounding out of her spot just because I walk through the door. I usually have to make the first move to see her. And even then it’s not so easy. The other week I searched high and low and was told finally that Chickadee was squirreled behind Angela’s computer. She was feeling a bit intimidated and was hiding. I tried to coax her to come out, but she only shot me a suspicious glance and stayed put.
Hey, I get it. Cats are territorial, and they need their space. A place to feel comfortable. Even if that place is a mish-mashed quarter-inch squashed corner behind a computer. And I knew the reason why. Chickadee was being “terrorized” by Gunther, who–sweet boy though he is–seemed to have it in for her.
Just recently, Gunther was evicted from the Community Room, or as Angela put it–BANISHED. Ooh, I thought. He is now condemned to spend the rest of his days in the lobby. Away from Chickadee. But that’s a good thing, as Gunther seems to have a thing for people and not for cats. Go figure.
Of course, Chickadee is jumping for joy. I found her recently, curled up and comfortable–all the tenseness gone from her body–on top of some computer equipment. This was her space and she looked the picture of contentment to be there.
On the medical front, Chickadee is doing just fine, and I’m sure she has her paws crossed hoping that spring comes fast, and then summer, and that the warm sunny weather sticks around. Yeah, I know, we’ve had a pretty good winter so far, but I do love chirping birds and blooming flowers.
As always, Chickadee and I thank you for your continued support of Tabby’s Place.