TULA had had a wretched start in life. She had been living rough trying to care for her kittens, when little more than a kitten herself, she was attacked by some dogs.
Eventually she was taken into care by another cat rescue but, sadly, her troubles weren’t yet over as the owner of the rescue had 5 dogs ! Her previous experience was indelibly etched on her mind so, as you can imagine, she was terrified. She became more and more agitated and was unable to settle so she was transferred to C.L.A.W.S
It took a long time before we saw even a hint of her relaxing. We use the same "method” with all cats coming into care, varying it slightly to more closely fit their needs.
For instance we spotted Tula playing with a little ball so exploited her interests in toys to persuade her to interact with us. We sat in her pen talking quietly to her and gently pulling a fishing rod toy across the floor She watched this for what seemed like weeks until one day she stretched out her paw and touched it ! (See photo) Since then she has become more confident which has drawn her closer to her carer.
Then her favourite toy was a silver stick at one end with a long piece of thread attached to it and at the other end a funky chicken. The red thread fascinated her and she spent hours catching it as her carer pulled the chicken up and down. It was iparticularly pleasing that she began to play with it on her own. She also liked a fluffy "tail” attached to a stick and clasped it in her paws whilst rolling on her back. Wonderful !
She still enjoyed her treats but was torn between whether to play with her toys first or have some treats !
Her progress remained erratic. Any attempt to touch her and she flinched and rushed into the corner of her pen.
When we sadly lost the Divas Tula and Ziva joined Minstrel and Tina in their pen and over the years have become a well knit group.
Tula is more relaxed and, in good weather, lies in the sun. She is more friendly with Ziva and Minstrel and Tina if she is on the ground rather than the roof.
She even comes up to the fence of the enclosure and takes treats offered by her carers.
Remembering what a scared cat she was when she first arrived It is great to see her so much happier now.