Betsy The Cat's New home
By: Betsy's New Owner
21st September 2008
After Missy died two and a half years ago, there were many reasons not to have another cat:
Also, I was too blown away by her beauty – she is a living, breathing work of art!vAnd so my journey with Betsy started.
I went over to the clinic and introduced myself and enquired about having Betsy if her owner did not claim her. Simon took me to see her, and I was bowled over by her. She was smaller and prettier than her pictures. She was asleep, but when she opened her eyes she gave me a look that seemed to say: "I know who you are." We had connected. They let her out of her cage, and she was so friendly, rubbing up against me, I felt it was just for me! The nurse who played with her told me she didn't know of any other vets who would have done what they did for Betsy. Later on I met Zeta who filled me in on Betsy's background and the sorry state she was in when she was brought in.
I felt I had entered a magical world. And it just got unbelievably better!
I was allowed to have her, under a trial period of one month. Part of the joy was having Zeta and her team nearby. It was reassuring to know I could turn to them if I had any problems. The best part was the Health Club package – at last a vets who are pro-active in the way they help you look after your pet! So much stress is removed when you take the long view – a year's programme of basic healthcare taken care of.
Of course nothing is totally stress-free, especially re-homing an angry, neglected cat for the first time. We both had to work hard to get along, and Betsy worked even harder. During the first week, after a lot of biting and scratching, I was sitting in her room, feeling battered and bruised, nursing my sore hand, wondering where we were going to next, when she came up to me, and with every fibre of her being, looked up at me, locked her eyes meaningfully into mine, put out her paw and laid it on my hand, as if to say: "Don't be sad, I'm not really that bad!." This was a turning point.
I call her "the humanoid." I think it's the reason she's so highly strung. She's always straining, striving, watching, observing, listening, communicating. She puts so much effort into what she does, it's no wonder she gets exhausted, and the reason she needs so much sleep, her own space and a lot of time to herself.
I also call her "my designer cat" because she needs so little food and she does small amounts of toilet, only ONCE a day and in the MORNING! She also uses up so little litter. This cat is not a humanoid, she is an alien! I think there is an evolution taking place, and they are evolving more as they interact with us more. Suddenly, all the past difficulties melted away. It was like a gift.
It took a month for her to settle down. The first week she surprised us by snuggling into my lap and kneading. I let her have as much reassurance as she needed, and at the end of the week, it stopped! During the day, if she wasn't sleeping, she spent a lot of time running around. She was very restless, and would walk out of a room if we were in it. It became quite noticeable! We'd say: "looks as if she's avoiding us!"
The evenings were also restless and preferred to be "put to bed in her own room." Gradually she joined me on the sofa, but only for a short while, then she would shoot off. One evening, it all calmed down, and Betsy had come to stay.
Her greatest excitement during the day is policing the front and back of the house through the windows. She runs back and forth checking for cats. At first they all gathered round to see who the new kid on the block was. One day she had a ferocious set-to with three of them. She ran around the house, frantically marking her territory, and also for a way out, to get at them, even to trying to get up out the chimney and climbing on the dining room table trying to reach the window.
She has settled down now and her favourite pastime is basking in the sun, all day if there is any, otherwise she goes to bed and sleeps.
She's very sociable and was most gracious to my friends. She chats and is very mindful of my mother, knowing instinctively she has to avoid her when she sees her coming. We have many intimate one-to-ones when healing takes place. Our favourite place is the computer desk, I think the hum of the computer facilitates healing.
I do have to be mindful of her highly strung nature. If she hasn't had enough rest she is scatty and ratty. But then, who isn't? Biting is part of her character, but at least it is under control now. And to me, inside Betsy there is a sweet natured little cat who just wants to be understood and loved!
It's been a remarkable journey, she's so easy to look after, a delight to have, and such a reward after my miserable time.
Copyright: Betsy's Owner - 2008