Adding A New Cat to the Family
Wobble Baby Wobble Baby Wobble Baby Wobble. If I had a dollar every time I heard that about my second cat child, I’d be rich. Yes, you’ve guessed that correctly, I wanted to talk today about my second cat. I had previously introduced Phoebe, my first cat, and wanted to do that same for Wobbles. Unlike Phoebe though, the story of how Wobbles came into my life was less exciting than the first few months that we were with her.
How Wobbles Came Into My Life
For reasons I still cannot explain, I began wanting another animal. I felt Phoebe needed a friend in her life and wanted some additional animal love in my life. My family, however, knows how I get about animals and resisted the idea of me adding onto my small family.
They feared, as would likely happen, the additions of family members would never cease to end. My boyfriend agreed, so that cat hunt subsided. A few weeks later, he agreed to go to a shelter with me to play with some of the animals. That was something I thoroughly enjoyed doing in my free time and he was willing to give it a chance.
When we walked in, there were little kittens who were some of the cutest little animals I had ever seen. I held one, fell in love and passed her off to my boyfriend. He, however, did not feel the connection as I had and the little kitten went back with her siblings after some time of playing. On the car ride home, we discussed if we did ever get another pet, he would want it to be something he felt a strong bond with as I already had Phoebe and he would want a connection like that as well. We decided that the only condition of adopting another pet would be if there was one who really needed us, and he had a true connection with.
Finding the Connection
Weeks go by and the idea of a cat that was kind of “his” seemed to stick in his head. He had offered to take me to something called a ‘cat café’ which was just as it sounds….a café that has cats walking around. All of these cats are available for adoption and allowing them to roam the café freely helps socialize them for their future forever homes. I agree but sadly, there were no reservations available for that day. Their website though, did say a majority of their cats can be found online at a PetPromise. Curious as to the type of cats we would see eventually at the café, I went online and began browsing.
That was when I came across Wobbles for the first time. I clicked on her image mostly because she looked pretty similar to Phoebe…that’s when I looked closer. The image on there looked like this kitten only had three legs. I looked at her description and they went on to tell Wobbles’ story. She was a feral cat that was found by her foster mom. This kitten was a baby who had an animal wound in her leg, fleas, infections, and ruptured eardrums. My heart melted. That’s why her names Wobbles! Because she only has three legs! And she’s had a rough start to her life! She needs us! I showed the picture to my boyfriend and he agreed to have me reach out to PetPromise to inquire about this kitten. We tried to not get excited as we did not know how she would react to other animals, how badly her leg was, and if she would even be a good fit for our crazy little family.
Receiving the Call
Her foster mom called me a few days later. One of nicest individuals I was able to speak with and she dropped a surprising bomb on me. Wobbles had four legs….for some reason she likes to sit weird which makes her look at times like she only has three legs. In complete honesty, this saddened me at the moment.
My goal was to get a cat that I felt others would not want and figured the three legs were the only reason she was still even available for adoption. Still, I inquired about this kitten. Her foster mom explained to me that Wobbles was an amazing and sweet cat, she just requires a lot more patience than normal which was why she seemed to be passed over for other kittens. Immediately my desire for this cat returned, she still needed someone special though I was not completely sure what they had meant. After speaking with both my boyfriend and the foster mom, we arranged a time for Wobbles to meet us and Phoebe to see if it could be a good fit.
The day comes, and the foster mom comes to my place. She opens the door and Wobbles is older than I expected, 8 months ago to be exact. Not quite the tiny kitten I was expected. But what surprised me most was her calmness around Phoebe. Phoebe did not usually do well with other animals and had a tendency to hiss out of fear. Wobbles handled this with ease and not long after they were sitting together in the living room. The foster mom liked us and agreed to go ahead with adoption if that was what we wanted. She also explained that if we did not like Wobbles that was okay and there were plenty of other kittens out there. It almost seemed that the other families that saw her, didn’t seem to immediately fall in love with.
The Decision: To Adopt or Not Adopt?
They left, and again in all honesty, I was more on the fence about this cat. She seems nice. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for families to pass over her other than the fact that she didn’t come up to them and cuddle. But she was a feral cat, I feel like that’s to be expected. My boyfriend felt the complete opposite. He fell in love with her! He wanted her and was ready to file the adoption papers to get her back.
As we had decided earlier, it needed to be a pet he felt he could have a bond with. Obviously, he felt with Wobbles. I filled out the adoption forms and set a date to have Wobbles come home permanently. The day came and the foster mom went through the typical adoption forms with Wobbles. She also explained to us that the only way she was able to pick up Wobbles is by a process called ‘scruffing’. Scruffing is basically grabbing the excess skin behind a cat’s neck and picking them up from that. The reason cats react well to scruffing is it is the same way their mothers would pick them up and carry them.
I had never scruffed a cat before. Phoebe would let me pick her up and hold her like a toddler anytime I wanted. The foster mom took Wobbles into the room where her litter box and food would be. Almost instantly, Wobbles went straight under the dresser. Understandable. She’s scared and it’s a new environment. We both understood the need to hide. We said our goodbyes and the foster mom again said if it did not work out she would take Wobbles back and reminded me to be patient with her. She knew something we did not yet. Wobbles is not like other cats. We gave her her space and would come and lie on the floor, pet her from under the dresser and talk to her in soothing tones.
Our First Night Together
Then, the nighttime game. And she cried. Oh how she cried. She emerged from the dresser which I was thankful for, but you could tell she was looking for someone. Maybe her foster mom, maybe the other animals at the house with her, but she was upset. After some convincing and time, she let me pet her. Which seemed to calm her down for a little while. Most of the night was spent getting up every few hours to help calm her down.
Morning came and back under the dresser she went. I had hoped she would emerge from the dresser for a little bit that day as she apparently felt comfortable enough to walk around at night. To no avail, Wobbles stayed either under the dresser or under the bed. I was heartbroken. She did this for a number of days. We would try and help her feel better by petting her under the bed and after a week we started to understand what the foster mom meant. She was a very scared and timid cat, she required a lot of patience to trust us.
Making Small But Mighty Steps
As time went on she began to come out from under the bed for moments the would stay in the room, then the hallway. Eventually would come hang out in the living room, so long as she was able to run and hide at a moments notice. Those first three months (yes! It took three months for her to be even in the living room) were hard, and I understood why a lot of people would have taken her back. She was a lot of work, but oddly enough that was something that made us love her even more. It made the small moments that most people took for granted to become special for us. And every time she would do something out of the ordinary, like climb on the bed or run to us without running away, it made us so happy.
She continues to make leaps and bounds which I credit fully to our patience. And luckily for us, Phoebe seems to have formed a very strong bond with Wobbles which has allowed us to be patient. It is very obvious those two are happy, humans are just the scary species for her. Her most recent progress has been after visiting “Grandma’s house” (my mom’s house). As expected, the first day she hid under a bed and reverted back to the early adoption days. What shocked my family was the next few times she came to visit.
This most recent time we went to my families for Thanksgiving, again I brought her inside and got her situated to stay under the bed. Up until this point she had remained under the bed for the majority of the time and would run around with Phoebe once all the lights were turned off. Not this time. She went under the bed and we proceeded to the living room to have some family time. Less than an hour after we arrived, I look into the room to see Wobbles sitting outside of the bed watching us. To her, these people were strangers she had only see a time or two before. She saw me and began walking towards us and eventually made it out to the living room where she relaxed for a little while with us. (Running back to the safe bed as soon as something spooked her but progress!)
We were all so happy and surprised that she was feeling comfortable enough to explore even with the number of people there. And she continued to do that for the remainder of the time we were there unless she was napping. And best of all, when we returned from “Grandma’s” her comfort level grew even more. It was obvious her confidence was growing from that time as she would come to sit on our laps and very rarely running away if she heard a loud noise.
Quote: We were all so happy and surprised that she was feeling comfortable enough to explore even with the number of people there.
It’s been almost a year since I adopted Wobbles. Every day I am so thankful that I decided to take all the steps that led me to her and decided to go through with the adoption. There were so many moments that made me question if we were the right fit with her and if she was even happy. But as time went on, the more I realized that she was just different and required a different level of support than Phoebe. She is a very happy cat that I truly believe loves me, my boyfriend and most of all Phoebe.