Almost two years ago, my mother, my partner at the time, and I were on our way to our local pet store. On Adopt-a-cat Saturday. We saw this gorgeous, friendly, and talkative tortoise shell cat in a very closed off container. My partner, mother, and myself immediately fell in love with her.
At the time, she was named Lorelai. So that's what we called her, as we talked to her and tried to pet her through the holes of the glass covered case she was in. She LOVED it. And us. Finally, a representative from the shelter came to talk to us about her. Lots of paperwork, adoption fees, and a short debreifing on her needs later, we were on our way home with Lorelai.
Once home, she was slowly introduced to our two other cats and renamed Chimera. After weeks of adjustment, she was still having trouble. Not only with the other cats, but with her confidence. It didn't help that her backstory was a complete mystery. All we knew was that she flinched when we went to pet her, had mild food aggression, didn't know how to play, and was prone to hiding herself away.
Lucky for me (and Chimera), I watch a certain feline behaviorist's TV show as if my life depends on it. We started catifying our home and finding ways to encourage Chimera to learn to play. We also started approaching Chimera with more consideration of her fears, and learned how to work out feeding times to diminish her food aggression. It wasn't easy, and it took time...
But after almost a year and a half with Chimera, she had warmed up to us and our other cats. She sat in our laps, rubbed up against us, and talked to us when we called her name. She had learned how to play, stopped hiding, and started to come out of her shell.
She has come a long way, even in the last six months, from the cat she was two years ago. Now she is happy, healthy, confident, and loved... and still loves to talk.