One of the first things I did when I returned to Athens was visit Hans Harrison, the cat I fostered for 9 months, in his forever home. I sent pictures of him to Nine Lives, the cat shelter that had given him to me, and within hours I’d gotten a reply, “Do you want to foster another?” I explained that I would only be in Greece for three months this time, but the offer was repeated. A week later, Amelie was brought to my house!
Amelie was part of a cat colony that Nine Lives checks in on from time to time. She was taken to a vet a couple weeks ago when she developed an abscess on her back paw. Soon after she was returned to the streets, a pack of dogs attacked the colony, killing several. Knowing that the dogs would return to a successful hunting ground, Nine Lives rescued the remaining cats, Amelie included. She stayed with two USian university students for a week before returning to the vet for a second abscess on her other back paw. The next day, she came to me.
Clearly, she has been through a lot in the last couple weeks! This is her first time living indoors with a human, and she has been very skittish. She has made a home under my desk, first hiding under my footrest and then settling into a bucket with a rug. At the slightest change in environment, she hides under the footrest and stares at me with wide eyes.
I’m used to floppy, friendly cats, so this would have been discouraging but for one thing. Whenever I pet her, she goes mad with purring and leaning into my touch. She’s simultaneously desperate for affection but scared of literally everything. She’s an anxious introvert, and I can totally understand that.
It’s been slow going, but there have been small steps of progress in the last week! She will come out from under the desk during the night (though she rarely leaves the room, even though the door has been open for days), and last night I heard her playing with the catnip toy I left her. She also comes out of hiding to eat and use the litter box.
Last night, we had a major breakthrough when I came home, sat beside her bucket, and she came out to sit next to me! This morning, she went further, crawling out of her bucket and then up into my lap for cuddles! She’s also becoming blasé to my movements around the room, sleeping through noises she now considers normal instead of immediately darting for cover.
I’ve had Amelie for only five days, but it’s taking longer than I expected for her to settle in and feel safe. Still, she’s such a sweetie, and if you’re reading this from Greece, I’m confident that in two months she’ll be ready to cuddle in a forever home! She could be yours!
STAY POSTED: Nine Lives and I have decided that Amelie needs a friend! There is a kitten from her cat colony who is small enough to not intimidate her, but who is playful enough to hopefully help her feel more confident in her new home. He cannot join us yet, since Amelie is not yet vaccinated due to being on antibiotics for her abscesses. Once that is done, this little guy should be joining us!