Last year the Pasadena Humane Society rescued Tony–a big, orange, eight-year-old tabby—from a hoarding situation. He was aloof and didn’t want to be touched, and he was still waiting for a home after four months in the shelter. But I fell in love with him because he reminded me of a beloved cat we had lost to old age. Mr. Stripes was a rescued neighborhood stray like all our cats. It had taken time and patience to build a relationship with Stripes, so we wanted to adopt Tony and give him love and all the time he needed to blossom. In a forever home there are no deadlines.
After a few months of staying under furniture, Tony started moving out. He now sleeps in the garden window throughout the day and has claimed special high places as his own. When we are hanging out, he will settle somewhere nearby where he can see us. He loves playing with toy mice and leaps high in the air with his tail all frizzed out. He has learned to be patient and waits for his food dish where we have trained him to sit. We are still working on some behaviors from his former life, but we know he can unlearn them.
Tony was excited to sense other cats in the house when he first arrived—he chirped at them through the bathroom door all night! They were not as thrilled to meet him. But over time he and the other cats have sorted things out and even share napping spaces. I think he is happy to have buddies again.
I have a lot of pictures of Tony. This is my favorite. Six months after Tony came home, I was sitting with an afghan over my legs. He moved closer bit by bit and then climbed into my lap and fell asleep. That’s when I knew that he truly felt safe with us.