We have one of the “fabulous 54” kitties – she was the one marked with a warning tag on her cage at the shelter. She growled so low and so menacingly that we almost didn’t take her. But, we’d had an outdoor feral cat before and we figured we could train an indoor feral based on that experience. (They’re nothing alike except neither trusts people.) It’s been a slow process since we both work but really rewarding when she learns something new or trusts us a little more. We found we needed to actually teach her to play. She has some interesting idiosyncrasies.
10 months after her arrival she is playful and will follow a string with her “birdie” tied on the end of it. She eats tuna and dry food and comes up to us to have her dishes refilled. She loves to be scratched over her whole body but doesn’t like to be petted from above. If she looks up at you while bring scratched she’ll bolt thru to the garage but comes back in more quickly now.
We taught her to chase a mouse on a string but she doesn’t play it with it like most cats – she runs up to it and tags it with her paw then runs away – It’s as if the mouse is chasing her.
She’s a cutie and my son named her Fireball because of her earlier growls and spitting. The growls are gone and she’s even coming out of the garage now to observe house guests and letting them pull the birdie string for her.
We love her and she’s more friendly everyday. We’re currently trying to teach her to jump onto our chair and actually curl up or be petted by us -but she’s still keeps her distance when we’re sitting for some reason. Not so when we’re standing – she wants to be scratched and she nuzzles her face near our feet.
Still a work in progress.