Feline Fun Friday – Olivia’s Becoming Socialized

Olivia was somehow separated from her mother at about eight-weeks old when she was rescued from under a house in the Los Angeles area, along (with her siblings). She was one frightened kitten—oh so frightened. She was trapped, taken to a wonderful a rescue facility in Santa Barbara—taken to the veterinarian a couple of times, given many baths because of a ringworm outbreak in the shelter, then taken to another veterinarian to be spayed before she was allowed to come home with us.

Don’t you know that kitten was frightened? It took a while to gain her trust. She’s 2 years old now and she still has trust issues. To make this more difficult for her, she was born smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic and had to isolate with us. We wanted to socialize her with other people, so we introduced her to neighbors and family through the window. Even that scared her. Everything scared her at first.

She has improved immensely in some areas. Now, instead of leaping from her window perch when she hears a car go by or people walking past the house, she actually runs to the window to see what’s going on. She has an unusual relationship with big, noisy trucks. She hears them, runs to the perch and watches for them with some hesitancy—one foot on the running board, so to speak—like she’s willing herself to overcome her fear of them. For the most part she stands her ground and no longer runs from the sound.

However, her people skills are delayed. We’re just now opening our home to people other than close family and she is starting to come around—literally. She will hide when someone comes to visit. But soon her curiosity takes over her fear and she’ll creep out from under the bed or inside the closet to get a look at the stranger. She positions herself a distance away, but so she can see them and she watches them.

We’re making progress with her little by little. But she still doesn’t want anything to do with small children. Sigh. And those who come by to see Nana (that’s me) just want to touch her and love on her. Maybe someday she’ll appreciate them.

Reminder: If you’re in the area of Santa Paula, CA tomorrow–Saturday, May 14 between 10 and 12:30, come by and see me as I’ll be signing the Calico Cat Mysteries  at Bank of Books on 820 East Main. Looking forward to meeting seeing you and chatting at CATS!


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